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Changes to Toronto Animal Control Bylaw Coming this March

As you may know, the City of Toronto Municipal Licensing and Standards Division recently reviewed its animal control bylaw Chapter 349, Animals to determine how the City could effectively balance, manage and address dog behaviour, owner responsibilities and public safety in the City.

In late 2016, CKC encouraged Toronto/GTA members to participate in the City’s Responsible Dog Ownership survey regarding the proposed bylaw changes and CKC was also invited by the City to submit a position statement on this subject.

Thank you to all members who participated in the survey. The results of this survey were considered as part of the City's report to the Municipal Licensing and Standards Committee. View survey summary.

The proposed changes to Chapter 349, Animals were considered by the Municipal Licensing and Standards Committee on November 30, 2016 and adopted with amendments. Toronto City Council adopted these proposed changes to Chapter 349, Animals without further amendments on December 13, 2016. The bylaw is expected to be enacted at the Council meeting end of this month.

Importantly, amendments to Chapter 349 are effective March 1, 2017 and include:
  • New definitions for dangerous dog, dangerous act, attack and extreme weather
  • Requirements for owners of a dangerous dog and muzzling, microchipping, special dog tags, warning signage, prohibition from off-leash parks and training
  • An extreme weather provision to ensure that the dog is adequately protected from the elements
  • Time limit of one hour that a dog can be tethered
  • A prohibition on the use of choke collars, choke chains, pronged collars or any similar device on dogs for tethering.
  • No person shall walk and have control over more than three dogs unless authorized by a commercial dog walker permit.
  • Prior to the determination of a dangerous dog, the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards is to consider whether the dog was acting in self-defense when the dangerous act leading to the order to comply under Chapter 349-15 occurred.
  • Increased fines and penalties for those who do not comply
  • Authority for Officers to inspect for compliance on private property. Note: an officer may enter upon land within the City at any reasonable time for the purpose of carrying out inspections to determine compliance.
For more details, please view all Amendments to Chapter 349, Animals.
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