- Kona Sankey
If the Pet-Friendly Penticton project has made one thing clear, it's that this community is passionate about their pets – Pets are family!
Do you share that passion? Tell us about the pets in your life!
If you don't have pets at home, let us know how animals have been important in your life.
I am an avid animal lover. I have three rescue cats and a two year old German Shepherd named Billie. I frequently take animal justice cases pro bono and in the past I have acted as a foster mom to cats, dogs, and even bunnies!
Penticton's pet-amenities are a regular point of contention due to issues around
maintenance, safety, and design/materials. Many Penticton residents regularly travel to surrounding communities across the Okanagan Valley for their dog parks and beaches rather than going to our local places due to these issues.
If elected, what solutions might you propose to address the concerns of residents local pet-amenities?
I would like to see our dog parks cleaned up and made more accessible. The broken glass and garbage I frequently see when I take my dog to the local parks is an issue I would like to see addressed by the city, and something I would do if I am elected.
What are your thoughts on the economic impact of non-use on our local pet-amenities and residents regularly commuting for preferable options?
I think it is unfortunate that locals are travelling outside the community to access dog parks. If our local parks are improved and cleaned up, use would increase which would be better for everyone!
Ontario's Residential Tenancy Act, Section 14, states that a Landlord cannot prevent a tenant from owning pets. Meanwhile, pets are being surrendered daily, all over BC, because their owners cannot find pet-friendly housing. Penticton faces additional pressure for housing as we have some of the highest rent rates in Canada, and a severe shortage on long-term and year-round rentals of any variety.
While a change to the Residential Tenancy Act is a provincial government matter, municipal government can still move to include/promote similar clauses on a local scale, and has the ability to push in support of such a change if a Bill were proposed.
What are your thoughts on revising the Residential Tenancy Act in BC, to be like that of Ontario, in regards to pets and rentals?
I would love to see our Residential Tenancy Act amended, but unfortunately this is a provincial issue.
Penticton doesn't have an emergency veterinary clinic!
If something happens and an animal needs to see a vet in the evenings, on weekends or on holidays, residents need to drive an hour out of Penticton in order to reach help. Many pets do not make it, and many more don't because their human doesn't have access to transportation.
Were you aware of this situation?
I am very aware of this situation- I have had to take my dog to the emergency vet in Kelowna when she was attacked by a coyote, and my cat when he got sick. It was heartbreaking and very expensive and traumatic to have to travel so far in such a difficult situation. It is a problem for all pet owners in our community that we are not able to access emergency vet care locally.
When vital and time sensitive services are missing from a community, what do you feel are a City Council's responsibilities in regards to communication and/or action?
The city would have a very limited role in this, as it’s a matter of private businesses. Certainly, as a community we can advocate among local vets for the opening of an emergency clinic and perhaps if they see a strong need, they will see the business case for doing so.