Lake Country council: Dog poop versus horse poop

"Feces is feces no matter where it comes from." - Lake Country Coun. Owen Dickie

Lake Country council debated the difference between horse and dog feces at its most recent meeting.

Lake Country council debated the difference between horse and dog feces at its most recent meeting.

Lake Country councillors tackled a sticky issue last week when discussion turned to poop-scooping and what animals should be included under the district’s ticketing bylaw for leaving feces behind.

Staff brought the bylaw forward for review and to bring Lake Country fines in line with fines handed out by the Central Okanagan Regional District for things such as having a dog or horse in an undesignated park or leaving dog or horse feces behind.

That’s when Coun. Owen Dickie pointed out an inequity between the district fine for depositing dog feces ($100) and horse feces ($25). CORD’s fine for depositing dog feces is $150.

“I can appreciate the intent of the bylaw but I can’t support it,” said Dickie. “We shouldn’t be adopting it until it is consistent.

“Feces is feces no matter where it comes from,” he said. “If we take it for a dog, we should take it for a horse. Why should someone be able to ride a horse through our park and be fined $25 and I can get fined $150 for taking my dog. We should be consistent.”

Dickie said during an outing last week on the rail trail, it was so thick with horse dung that in places he couldn’t ride his bike.

Discussion started to centre around other fines in the bylaw which range from carrying or discharging a weapon, feeding wildlife, or possession of liquor or drugs, all of which carry a $100 fine reduced to $50 if paid early.

The only infraction listed that is less than $100 is the two offences for horses: Riding one in a park or depositing horse feces.

“Let’s be honest, we’re not really enforcing (these),” said Coun. Matt Vader. “We need to look at this holistically, not just putting a number on this. We need to look in terms of what we should enforce.

“Dogs, horses, cats—whatever it is—the fine for having a gun in public is $100, it’s crazy,” countered Coun. Blair Ireland. “We have to take a look at this and not just fiddle around with these horse and dog things.”

Coun. Rob Geier said there isn’t much in the way of bylaw enforcement at Beasley Park.

“There is a lack of enforcement,” he said. “Down at Beasley Park there are dogs all the time and nobody is enforcing (the bylaw). What if someone has a pot belly pig, do we stop that?”

“They would have to wear diapers,” quipped Mayor James Baker.

In the end councillors sent the issue back to staff to investigate whether other municipalities fine people for leaving horse poop behind.

As of Friday, Lake Country’s corporate services manager Reyna Seabrook said she hadn’t found another municipality that had a fine for leaving horse feces behind.