- 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 love pets. My wife and I for the past 53 years have owned 7 dogs. At the present time we have a 9 month old cocker spaniel called Sophie.
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?
We need more dog parks in Penticton. They need a large fenced space for running & playing with other dogs. The area needs to have benches & tables for people to watch their dogs. Clean running water should be in place in all parks. The parks also have to be improved with grassy areas in safe areas in the community. I have been advocating for these changes for many years but it has fallen on deaf ears.
What are your thoughts on the economic impact of non-use on our local pet-amenities and residents regularly commuting for preferable options?
I believe that if we were to make improvements on our dog parks our residents would not have to travel to other communities. It would be saving our pet owners a considerable amount of money on travelling expenses and at the same time they will be spending money in Penticton rather than making purchases in the communities that they would choose due to the lack of proper dog parks in Penticton.
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?
It would be very difficult to force landlords to accept pets in many apartment buildings for many reasons.
a. Many people have allergies to fur bearing animals.
b. Noise factor. Many apartments have working tenants with shift work and barking is an issue.
c. There are many buildings in Penticton that do accept animals and I am one of those landlords.
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 have been aware of this issue for many years. I have brought it up on many occasions at city council meetings.
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?
I believe that the Veterinary clinics should be taking turns being on call for emergencies for peoples pets. Veterinarians have taken an oath to serve the animal population in their community. If they do not do it voluntarily then the City Council should lobby the Provincial Government to make sure that the Veterinarians service the pet population 24 hours a day.