At Pets Canada, we believe that animal welfare is everyone’s business, including businesses that provide products and services to help care for Canada’s pets.

Working with all levels of government, Pets Canada advocates for implemented policies that support a responsible Canadian pet industry, and the well-being of all pets in Canada. In collaboration with municipalities, provincial and territorial and federal governments, Pets Canada has created resources to address the issues the pet industry and Canadians are currently facing. With the support of our industry members and stakeholders, we aim to deliver fair and targeted measures to face these issues head-on.

Remove the sales tax from pet food

One petition; two purposes. Pets Canada is calling on the federal (and soon provincial) government to do two things: remove tax from pet food and include pets in the emergency evacuations planning strategy. By clicking the link below, you can join our Push Politics Letter Campaign to automatically send a letter to your representative. Help us deliver as many letters as possible by sharing our campaign to your socials.

Your Resources

Exotic Pet Policy


The issue of exotic animals in captivity has been hotly debated for a long time. The issue is now being debated at municipal and provincial levels across the country. This issue contributed to the creation of Pets Canada in 1988, when a group of pet industry players came together to address concerns about exotic pets in the Toronto area. Their work resulted in Pets Canada’s first-ever list of prohibitive species.
 Since 1988, this list has been the subject of numerous modifications reflecting changes in areas such as breeding, captive breeding techniques, public awareness and consumer demand.
No other association in Canada has the information, experience and knowledge of exotic animals as Pets Canada, information, experience and knowledge of exotic pets.

For more information about Pets Canada and its exotic pet policy, please contact Tonya Martin, Vice President of the Canadian Pet Association at or call (800) 667-7452.

Criteria used to develop the list

Sale of native wildlife

Pets Canada shares the concern about the potential threat to native wildlife species. Pets Canada does not support the sale of native wildlife as pets in Canada. A basic understanding of what constitutes a “pet” is sufficient to explain this position.

Danger to the public

The criterion of “danger to the public” is best addressed through the use of a prohibited species list. We believe that the list of prohibited species submitted by Pets Canada addresses all concerns related to this criterion.

Bred in captivity

Our organization encourages and promotes the sale of captive-bred animals. It’s common knowledge that with this approach, pet retailers are able to provide their customers with animals that are healthier, easier to handle and friendlier to their future owners. This maximizes the chances of a successful relationship between pet and owner. It’s a win-win situation for the animal, the owner and the retailer.
While everyone is aware of the advantages of captive-bred animals over those caught in the wild, it must not be forgotten that captive-breeding techniques need to be developed and refined. To accomplish this task, wild specimens have had to, and in some cases still have to, be part of the equation. Today, pet retailers have a wide range of captive-bred animals to offer their customers. Most of the pet birds and small mammals available in pet shops come from captive breeding facilities, and their numbers are increasing every year.
International conventions such as CITES and, closer to home, federal regulations such as WAPPRIITA, recognize the importance of well-established, well-structured captive breeding programs.

Breakthroughs in captive breeding programs are often the result of small, dedicated hobbyists. Requiring all animals sold to be captive-bred would certainly hinder the development of captive-breeding techniques not yet available to consumers. Presumably, requiring that only captive-bred animals be offered for sale would run counter to the current trend, encourage the black market, etc.

Do not threaten wildlife populations in their native habitats

Pets Canada is concerned about the effects of the possible introduction of exotic species on native wildlife populations. The best way to address these concerns is to establish a list of prohibited species and implement an education program.

Veterinary care

Exotic pet care is growing steadily, as more and more pet owners realize the appeal of these less conventional animals.
With this increased interest comes a growing demand for related services such as veterinary care. Experience has shown that if demand is created, veterinarians will recognize this new business opportunity and respond.

Pet store owner knowledge, knowledge transfer to the buyer, appropriate facilities and national guidelines.

Educating members of the pet industry remains a top priority for Pet Canada. Many pet retailers have realized that the survival of their business depends on their ability to offer their customers high standards of quality and professionalism in areas such as health, safety, environment and security. Pets Canada supports their efforts by providing them with reference manuals and information on the various species, which they in turn can pass on to their customers.


A list of prohibited or authorized species

The following parameters should be considered when asking this question.

a) List of criteria to be met
b) Difficulty of application
c) Restriction of trade

List of criteria

Comments on the proposed list of criteria are discussed in the previous section. These criteria represent the most frequently mentioned when discussing exotic animals in captivity.

Difficulty of application

Assuming that there is agreement on the list of criteria (listed above) that must be met, it can be argued that the number of proposed pet species that do not meet the list of criteria is by far smaller than the list of those that do.

If a list of all permitted species, i.e., those that meet the criteria and are available for the pet trade, could be compiled, it would be a very long list.

We believe that such a list would be an administrative nightmare for those charged with administering and enforcing it.  It would be impossible for these people to know each species well. Another important factor to consider is that, although much of the list is composed of “established” species, some would vary from species to species.

While many of the species are “established”, some would vary from species to species depending on changing consumer demand, market trends, availability of new species, etc. Updating this list would be a logistical nightmare. 

In Newfoundland, only a small number of authorized finch species are listed.

In reality, the number of finch species available for the pet trade is much higher. Changes to the list would be time consuming and often outdated by the time they are finally implemented. 

This is a source of frustration for retailers who see their customers travelling to a neighbouring province to legally acquire the species they desire (e.g. Ontario-Quebec hedgehogs) and can lead to trends that favour the black market.

Prohibited species lists are much shorter and easier to maintain and administer. References to the list are accessible more quickly and can be monitored by a larger number of people. The size of the list itself facilitates cross-referencing between common and scientific names.

Trade Restriction

As noted above, opting for a list of permitted species makes the introduction of new permitted species difficult for the local pet trade. Suffice it to mention the domestic ferret (not listed in Newfoundland), the African hedgehog and the degu as examples. All three meet the list of criteria (bred in captivity, easy to maintain in captivity, etc.). These species, although relatively new to our markets, are still very much in demand.

The omission of the list of “permitted” species would impose unfair and unjust trade restrictions on pet wholesalers and retailers.

This action would be in direct contradiction with the acceptance of the “what is already marketed” criterion. what is already marketed”. Such situations would not occur if a list of prohibited species were used.

Pets Canada’s exotic animal policy proposes a list of prohibited species.

All artiodactyl ungulates, except goats, sheep, pigs and domestic cattle All canids, except the
domestic dog
All crocodilians (such as alligators and crocodiles)
All toothless (anteaters, sloths and armadillos)
All elephantidae (elephants)
All erinacids (except African hedgehogs)
All felids, except the domestic cat
All hyaenidae (hyenas)
All marsupials (except sliders)
All mustelids (such as skunks, otters, and weasels), except the domestic ferret All non-huma primates (such as gorillas and monkeys)
all pinnipeds (such as seals, fur seals and walruses)
all perissodactyl ungulates, except the domestic horse and donkey
All procyonids (such as raccoons, coatis and cacomistles)
All pteropodids (bats)
All raptors, both diurnal and nocturnal (such as eagles, falcons, and owls)
All ratites (such as ostriches, rheas and cassowaries)
All ursids (bears)
All venomous reptiles
All viverrids (mongooses, civets and genets).
Examples of animals belonging to a particular prohibited group are given in parentheses.

These are examples only and should not be construed as limiting the generality of the group. This list is subject to revision based on accepted criteria.

Pets Canada’s Three Meter/Two Meter Rule
For reptiles, PetCare Canada recommends the three-meter/two-meter rule, defined as follows

“The length of an adult snake must not exceed three metres and the length of an adult lizard must not exceed two metres (from snout to tail tip).

Pet Canada favours this rule because it is easy to apply. All you need is a tape measure to apply it.

As noted above, PetCare Canada prefers a list of prohibited species to a list of permitted species.

However, regardless of the approach used, the more species added to a list, the more training required by officers to correctly identify prohibited species. training required for officers to correctly identify them.

Based on past experience, relying on identification can be problematic. With age, the colors of species of the species can change. There are also an increasing number of colors available to herpetoculturists (albino, hypomenal, granitic, calico, etc.) Some species are interbred or inbred, resulting in new subspecies. species. The three-meter rule takes all these situations into account.

In addition to this approach, PetCare Canada identifies six different species and one subspecies of snakes that should be banned.  All of these snakes are over three metres in length and are known for their for their viciousness. They all belong to the family Boidae and we recommend that they be included in a list of prohibited species. list of prohibited species, with a statement such as: “These six species and this subspecies of snakes are prohibited for pets of the family Boidae”.

Green anaconda
Eunectes murinusYellow anaconda>3m
Eunectes notaeusReticulated Python>3m
Python reticulatusAfrican rock python>3m
Python sebaeBurmese Python>3m
Python molurus bivittatusIndian Python>3m
Python molurus molurusAmethyst Python>3m
Morelia amethystina >3m

*Length suggested in the literature. Snakes grow throughout their lives and the total length they can reach is strongly influenced by the captive conditions in which they are kept.

As mentioned earlier, they are all covered by the three-meter and two-meter rules. As for the two-meter rule lizards, it allows for the elimination of all unsuitable specimens, as well as those that pose a real threat to pet owners.


The purpose of this by-law package is to assist Canadian municipalities to implement effective pet by-laws within their jurisdictions. It is also hoped that this project will bring consistency to bylaws across the country. It is also hoped that this project will bring some consistency to bylaws across the country.

For hundreds of years, we have domesticated and kept animals as companions. Pets have become an integral part of many are now an integral part of many families. These animals are not only companions, but can also provide but can also provide significant health benefits to their owners. Unfortunately, not all pet owners understand or accept the importance of health. Unfortunately, not all pet owners understand or accept the lifelong responsibilities that a pet requires. All pet owners should have their pets permanently identified, spayed or neutered, kept under control, properly trained, socialized. or spayed or neutered, kept under control, properly trained, socialized and cared for.

Some pet owners ignore or neglect their responsibilities to their pets or allow their pets to bother their neighbors or harass wildlife that share the environment. This can result in dog bites, threats to people or animals, damage or contamination of property, overpopulation of pets. or contamination of property, overpopulation of pets, animal abuse or neglect, and other consequences.

The solution lies in effective legislation and education that encourages responsible pet ownership.

Municipalities must pass by-laws that stipulate the types of animals that are permitted as pets.
The by-laws shall require the humane and responsible treatment of animals to prevent them from disturbing or injuring persons, pets or property and other provisions as determined by each council.
from disturbing or injuring persons, animals or property, and other provisions as determined by each Council.

In addition to the safety and public satisfaction benefits, practical and progressive animal control by-laws must improve the quality of life for the public.

Practical and progressive animal control by-laws must be cost-effective for the municipality.
Irresponsible pet owners are costing taxpayers money in impound fees, complaint investigations and pet overpopulation. complaints and overpopulation of animals.  These costs can be offset by significantly higher licensing fees for unsterilized animals, animal complaints and overpopulation.

These costs can be offset by significantly higher licensing fees for unsterilized animals, higher fines for repeat offenders, and other regulations that encourage responsible pet ownership.

This package brings together the expertise of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies and the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council of Canada. Canadian Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council. These groups make up the National Companion Animal. These groups make up the National Companion Animal Coalition, formed in 1996 to promote socially responsible pet ownership and improve the health and welfare of companion animals.

socially responsible pet ownership and to improve the health and welfare of pets. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is an observer member of the group. Other key people involved in animal welfare and animal control. municipal animal control.

Dog & Cat Control

For many years, most Canadian municipalities have had dog control by-laws in place, requiring owners to take responsibility for their dogs. However, very few municipalities require cat owners to do the same. Historically, it has been widely accepted that cats are left at large. However, in recent years, with the significant increase in the number of cats, this policy is being questioned by more and more urban municipalities as well as by residents who are tired of seeing their neighbors’ cats digging and scavenging in their yards and howling at night.

Some believe that cats should not be kept indoors and that they need to roam outdoors to satisfy their hunting instincts. Others recognize that with proper attention, companionship, and the opportunity to play, cats can have a fulfilling life indoors. Indoor cats are generally healthier, don’t get lost, don’t bother their neighbors, don’t kill wildlife and don’t spread disease. Nor do they contribute to the growing problem of cat overpopulation, which forces animal shelters to euthanize thousands of cats each year.

Municipalities can address these problems by enacting bylaws that discourage breeding and require cats to be licensed, permanently identified and kept indoors unless they are in an enclosed space or supervised with a harness and leash. Implementation of effective cat bylaws will result in reduced pound costs due to fewer strays, increased revenue from licensing fees and fines, reduced cat population due to spay/neuter incentives, and reduced conflict between cats and the public. These issues are more important in urban areas than in rural and agricultural areas, where cats are often used for rodent control.

When a cat licensing by-law is introduced, the municipality must conduct a public education program to help cat owners understand the issues and their responsibilities. It is important that this be done in a positive manner to encourage compliance. This can be done by emphasizing the benefits to the animals themselves as well as to the general public. There are significant health and behavioural benefits to spaying and neutering cats and dogs.

Licensing / Identification

One of the roles of municipal animal control by-laws is to encourage responsible pet ownership through licensing, permanent identification and mandatory spay/neuter. The preferred methods of permanent identification are microchipping and tattooing.

Tags should also be worn (on removable collars for cats) as proof of ownership so that animals can be returned to their owners more quickly, often by neighbors, without incurring impound fees. Municipalities should encourage pet owners to comply with the by-law by reducing licensing fees and fines for cats and dogs that have been spayed or neutered and permanently identified. Compliance can be encouraged through the application of stiff fines for failure to obtain and carry a license.

Responsible pet owners save municipalities money by reducing the number of free-roaming dogs and cats, preventing indiscriminate breeding and keeping their pets under control. Revenues from licensing and fines can be used to offset pound costs and for municipal education programs.

The licensing requirement for cats allows cat owners to contribute to the cost of animal control in the municipality, a cost that has traditionally been borne by dog owners. Most municipal pounds and humane societies take in far more cats than dogs, resulting in higher budget allocations for the cats in their care. In addition, less than 5% of cats are claimed by their owners, compared to more than 30% of dogs (EFC 1997 Canadian shelter statistics).

Sterilization (spaying or neutering)

Pet overpopulation is a major problem. It is currently a major factor in the euthanasia of nearly 60% of cats and over 30% of dogs in Canadian animal shelters each year (1997 CFS statistics from Canadian shelters). Municipalities can be part of the solution to this problem by implementing and enforcing by-laws that encourage and reward responsible pet owners who license, permanently identify and sterilize their pets.

Spaying and neutering pets is an important aspect of responsible pet ownership because it prevents the birth of puppies and kittens that need homes. Municipalities can encourage pet owners to have their pets spayed or neutered by instituting preferential licensing fees for spayed or neutered dogs and cats. The differential should be high enough to encourage pet owners to have their pets spayed or neutered. Municipalities can also help by educating pet owners about the health and behavioural benefits of spaying and neutering their pets, as well as their social responsibility to do so.

1. Number of dogs and cats allowed

Setting an arbitrary limit on the number of dogs and cats allowed in a dwelling does not address concerns about irresponsible pet ownership, but rather risks punishing responsible pet owners who properly care for their companions.

Concerns about inhumane treatment of animals or neighbourhood disturbances are addressed in Section D.

However, some urban municipalities may wish to set a limit on the number of dogs and cats allowed in a dwelling unit. A dwelling unit housing more than the maximum number would be considered a kennel or cattery and would be subject to the municipal by-laws that apply to such facilities (see Section VI).

Owner’s responsibilities

Owning a pet carries many responsibilities. Some of these responsibilities are for the benefit of the animal, others for the benefit of society. It is important that municipalities enact by-laws that require and encourage responsible pet ownership. In a society where decisions are made quickly and things are easily disposed of, pets are often neglected. In addition to the loss of quality of life for animals, this neglect also costs taxpayers money in terms of enforcement, impound fees, euthanasia, etc.

(i) Being free

Dogs and cats shall not be allowed to run at large, except in designated areas, to ensure the safety of the public, the animal itself and other animals. A loose dog or cat is a dog or cat that is on property other than the owner’s and is not on a leash and/or under the control of a responsible person.

Many dog owners seek open spaces to let their pets run off-leash for exercise and contact with other dogs, two important aspects of responsible dog ownership. Municipalities may consider establishing a neighbourhood committee of pet owners and non-pet owners to address the issue of off-leash areas for dogs. The group, which operates on a consensus basis, should strive to find the most effective solution for their neighbourhood. One possibility is to establish zones and times of day when dogs are allowed off-leash. All other municipal by-laws, such as walking and shovelling, licensing and dangerous dog by-laws, would apply. These areas must be well marked so that owners of unfamiliar dogs are aware that dogs are off-leash. Waste receptacles should be installed and maintained.

A growing number of urban municipalities are realizing that letting cats roam free inevitably leads to trespassing and damage to private property. There are growing concerns about cat overpopulation, predation on birds or other wildlife, contamination of property and the spread of disease. All of these concerns disappear when cats are kept indoors or controlled by a leash or pen.

(ii) Provide care

It is recommended that municipalities make every effort to ensure that pet owners provide their pets with the necessary care to meet the health, physical, social and behavioural needs of their species. This care must include clean food and water, adequate housing, proper companionship, health care and exercise.

There are different law enforcement organizations in different regions. Municipalities should work closely with their local or provincial society in this regard.

(iii) Walking and garbage collection

Dog and cat owners should be required to pick up after their pets on any public or private property.

(iv) Nuisances

Dog and cat owners must prevent their animals from chasing, biting, harassing or attacking any person or other animal and from damaging public or private property.

(v) Transportation

Municipalities may require that animals be transported humanely and safely. Pets must be transported in the passenger compartment of vehicles unless they are securely enclosed and have adequate shelter. Animals transported loose in the back of pickup trucks pose a public safety risk if they fall out, as well as a serious risk of injury to the animals themselves. This practice should not be allowed.

Dangerous dogs

The issue of dangerous or potentially dangerous dogs is a challenge for municipalities. It is often difficult to determine whether a dog may be dangerous until it bites or attacks a person or animal. Municipalities should consider legislation to reduce the likelihood of dangerous situations occurring.

It is important for municipalities to keep in mind that dangerous dogs are usually the result of irresponsible ownership. Dogs can become a threat if they are not properly socialized and trained, if they are mistreated or if they are deliberately bred or encouraged to attack people or animals.

First, it is necessary to determine exactly what constitutes a dangerous dog. The criteria should not be breed specific, as this only discriminates against certain breeds, rather than evaluating individual dogs based on their behavior. The suggested criteria for identifying dangerous dogs are:

  • a dog that has killed a person or a domestic animal, regardless of the circumstances
  • a dog that has bitten or injured a person or domestic animal.

Exceptions may be made if the dog was teased, abused or assaulted or if the dog was reacting to a person entering the dog owner’s property
a dog that has shown a disposition or tendency to be threatening or aggressive
a dog that is trained to attack

Municipalities must require that dangerous dogs be euthanized in the interest of public safety, or that their owners meet specific requirements for the humane care of such dogs, to ensure public safety. Penalties must be provided for owners who do not comply with these requirements.

Dangerous dogs should be licensed and spayed or neutered, as this can reduce aggressive tendencies and prevent owners from profiting from the sale of offspring that may also be dangerous. These dogs must be muzzled and leashed when off the owner’s property and must be strictly confined when on the owner’s property. If an owner is unwilling or unable to comply with these requirements, euthanasia must be imposed.

(i) Licensing

Municipalities may wish to implement a dangerous dog licence that the owner of such a dog must purchase at a significantly higher price than a regular dog licence. Such a licence would also have strict requirements for the housing and care of the dog, as outlined in this section.

(ii) Containment

Dangerous dogs shall be kept indoors or in a secure yard that prevents the dog from escaping over or under the fence or by any other means, and that prevents public access. They shall not be confined solely by a chain or tether.

(iii) Other

Warning signs must be posted in a clear and visible manner on the property where a dangerous dog is kept. Municipalities may also require owners of dangerous dogs to carry additional liability insurance to cover any damage or injury caused by the dog.

(iv) Violations

Dog owners whose animals violate the provisions of the dangerous dog by-law should be subject to stiff fines because of the threat they pose to public safety. Fines should be increased for repeat offenders. Euthanasia may be imposed depending on the severity and frequency of the violations.

(v) Dogfighting

Dog fighting, training or keeping dogs for fighting purposes cannot be allowed under any circumstances. It is an inhumane and illegal activity.

Unsanitary conditions

In the interest of public health, the comfort or enjoyment of any person, and for the welfare of the animals, no animal shall be kept in unsanitary conditions. Such conditions may be the accumulation of feces, odor or infestation of insects or rodents.

Other pets

Some people choose other animals as pets. These animals have specific needs (behavioural, environmental, social and nutritional) that must be met. Responsible pet ownership practices are no less important.

All of the following criteria should be considered when considering other animals as pets Ownership of the species is supported by the existence of published information relating to its breeding and veterinary care needs.

Ownership of the species does not pose a significant threat to public health and safety. The species in question does not pose a significant threat to native wildlife populations.

The keeping of the species is authorized by provincial, federal or international laws and regulations, such as the following:

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Canada is a signatory.

Wild Animals and Plants Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act (WAPPRIITA). Federal law administered by Environment Canada (Canadian Wildlife Service).

At the provincial level, relevant regulations are usually the responsibility of the Department of Agriculture and/or the Department of Natural Resources (Fish and Game Department).

NOTE: Information on all of these regulations can be obtained from the local provincial conservation officer or game warden.


Municipalities may encounter problems with repeat offenders where the fine is not sufficient to prevent the problem from recurring.

Attempts should be made to educate the individual on the reasons for the by-law and to encourage compliance. If this is not effective, graduated fines based on repeat offences are recommended.

Higher fines should also be imposed for violations involving cats or dogs that are not sterilized. This surcharge could be refunded if the animal is spayed or neutered within two months of the offence (or when the animal has reached six months of age).

Kennels, pet stores and animal shelters

Municipalities are encouraged to implement specific requirements for the care and housing of animals in establishments such as kennels, catteries, pet shops, animal shelters and other animal facilities. At a minimum, conditions in these facilities must meet the requirements of Section 2 D (ii) and Section 3 of this document. For more information, please contact the appropriate coalition member. Municipalities may have zoning by-laws regulating the location of these facilities.

Kennels, pet stores and animal shelters

Municipalities are encouraged to implement specific requirements for the care and housing of animals in establishments such as kennels, catteries, pet shops, animal shelters and other animal facilities. At a minimum, conditions in these facilities must meet the requirements of Section 2 D (ii) and Section 3 of this document. For more information, please contact the appropriate coalition member. Municipalities may have zoning by-laws regulating the location of these facilities.

National Pet Coalition

Example of a municipal by-law regulating the keeping and control of pets

Municipalities should refer to their provincial legislation governing municipalities to determine their specific authority for animal care and control. municipalities to determine their specific authority for animal care and control, in addition to consulting their municipal legal department. municipalities to determine their specific authority for animal care and control, in addition to consulting with their municipal legal department.

1. Interpretation
(a) “Animal” means all species of wildlife, but does not include humans, fish or aquatic invertebrates.

(b) “cat” means a male or female domestic cat.

(c) “Cattery” means a breeding and/or boarding facility for cats.

(d) “dangerous dog” means any individual dog

(i) who has killed a domestic animal without provocation while off the property of its

(ii) that has bitten or injured a human being or domestic animal without provocation
on public or private property

(iii) that is trained to attack

(iv) that is held for the purpose of security or protection, whether residential, commercial or industrial, of persons or property
residential, commercial or industrial, of persons or property

(v) that has shown a disposition or tendency to be threatening or aggressive

(e) “dog” means a male or female domestic dog.

(f) “Inspector” means a person designated by the Municipality to be responsible for the enforcement of this by-law.

(f) “Inspector” means a person designated by the municipality to be responsible for the enforcement of this by-law.

(g) “Kennel” means a dog breeding and/or boarding establishment.

(h) “Microchip” means a coded electronic device implanted in an animal by or under the supervision of a veterinarian.
or under the supervision of a veterinarian, which contains a unique code number providing information about the owner that is stored in a central database.

(i) “Muzzle” means a humane fastening or covering device of sufficient strength over the mouth of an animal to prevent it from eating.

(j) “Muzzle” means a human fastening or covering over the mouth of an animal to prevent it from biting.

(j) “Owner” means any person, partnership, association or corporation that owns,
owns or has control, care or custody of an animal.

(k) “Animal at large” means an animal not on the property of its owner and not on a leash and/or in the custody of its owner.

(k) “Animal at large” means an animal that is not on a leash and/or under the control of a responsible person.

Supply of Requirements

(1) Every person keeping an animal in the municipality shall provide or cause to be provided:

(a) clean, fresh drinking water at all times and suitable food in sufficient quantity and quality to permit normal and healthy growth and maintenance of a normal and healthy body weight;

(b) food and water containers that are kept clean and disinfected and placed in such a manner as to prevent contamination by feces

(c) the opportunity for periodic exercise sufficient to maintain good health, including the opportunity not to be confined in a fixed area and to exercise regularly under appropriate supervision; and

(d) necessary veterinary care when the animal shows signs of pain, illness, or suffering ;

(2) Any person who keeps an animal that normally resides outdoors or is kept outdoors unattended for extended periods of time shall ensure that the animal has an enclosure that meets the following criteria:

(a) a total area at least twice the length of the animal in all directions ;

(b) a house or shelter that provides protection from heat, cold and moisture, appropriate to the animal’s weight and coat type. Such shelter shall be large enough to allow the animal to turn around freely and lie down in a normal position;

(c) in an area with sufficient shade to protect the animal at all times from direct sunlight; and

(d) enclosures and running areas shall be regularly cleaned and disinfected, and excrement shall be removed and disposed of properly on a daily basis.

(3) No person shall cause an animal to be harnessed, tethered or attached to a fixed object where a choke collar or chain is part of the tethering device, or where a rope or cord is tied directly around the neck of the animal.

(4) No person shall cause an animal to be tethered to a fixed object as the primary means of confinement for an extended period of time.

(5) No person shall confine an animal in an enclosed space, including a car, without adequate ventilation.

(6) No person shall transport an animal in a vehicle outside the passenger compartment unless the animal is properly enclosed or secured by a harness or other adequate means of attachment to prevent the animal from falling out of the vehicle or otherwise injuring itself.

Unsanitary Conditions Prohibited

No person shall keep an animal in unsanitary conditions within the municipality. Conditions are considered unsanitary where the keeping of the animal results in an accumulation of fecal matter, odour, insect infestation or rodent attraction that endangers the health of the animal or any person, or that disturbs or is likely to disturb the enjoyment, comfort or convenience of any person in or about a dwelling, office, hospital or commercial establishment.

Dogs and Cats

1. Owner’s responsibilities

(1) If a dog or cat defecates on public or private property other than that of its owner, the latter must have the excrement removed immediately.

(2) No owner shall suffer, permit, allow or for any reason cause his animal to bark, howl or meow excessively or in any other way to disturb the tranquility of any person.

(3) No owner of a dog shall allow his animal, without provocation:

(a) pursue, bite or attack a person
(b) chase, bite or attack a domestic animal
(c) damage public or private property

(4) The straying of dogs or cats is prohibited on the territory of the municipality, with the exception of dogs in areas designated as off-leash.

2. Licence

(1) The owner of a dog or cat four months of age or older shall obtain a licence for the animal by registering the dog or cat with the municipality and paying a fee determined by the municipality. (See Schedule “A” for the 1998 proposed fees)

(2) The owner shall renew the licence annually with the Municipality.

(3) Where the dog or cat is not on the owner’s property, the owner shall cause the animal to wear a collar around its neck to which the current licence plate issued by the municipality for that dog or cat is attached.

(4) The licence fee for a dog or cat owned by a citizen over the age of 65 years shall be reduced by 50%.

(5) The licence fee for any dog or cat registered with the Municipality between July 1 and December 31 of any year shall be 50% of the fee set out in Schedule “A”.

(6) A dog used as a guide or to assist a person with a disability shall be licensed and shall bear the applicable license plate. Toute personne qui produit une preuve satisfaisante pour la municipalité montrant que le chien est nécessaire pour guider ou aider une personne handicapée est exemptée du paiement de la redevance.

(7) The municipality shall keep a record of all registered and licensed dogs and cats, showing the date and number of the registration and licence, and the name and description of the dog or cat, with the name and address of the owner.

3. Water retention

(1) An inspector may seize and impound
(a) any dog or cat found at large
(b) any dog or cat not wearing a collar and tag while off the premises of its owner and not accompanied by a responsible person.

(2) The inspector, pound keeper or police officer shall make every reasonable effort to identify and contact the owner of any stray animal received, whether alive or dead.

(3) Every impounded dog or cat shall be provided with clean food and water and be housed in sanitary conditions. The animal shall remain in the pound for five days or for such period as may be prescribed by the provincial pound legislation, unless it is claimed by its rightful owners. If not claimed within that time, the animal shall become the property of the City.

(4) Where, in the opinion of the Poundkeeper, after consultation with a veterinarian, a seized and impounded dog or cat is injured or diseased and must be destroyed without delay for humane or life safety reasons, the dog or cat may be humanely euthanized if reasonable efforts to locate the owner of the animal have not been successful.

(5) Where a seized and impounded dog or cat is injured or diseased and is treated by a veterinarian, the municipality is entitled, in addition to the impoundment fee, to charge the cost of treatment to the person claiming the animal.

(6) During the impoundment period, the owner may claim the dog or cat upon presentation of proof of ownership of the animal and payment to the municipality of:

(a) the appropriate fine, if any, as set out in Schedule “A

(b) the appropriate licence fee if the dog is not licensed

(c) the maintenance fee as set out in Schedule “A”, and

(d) veterinary fees, if any.

(7) Where the owner of a dog or cat does not claim the animal, the owner shall, where known to the operator of the pound, pay the impoundment fee set out in Schedule “A” and the maintenance fee for each day the animal is in the pound.

(8) A dog or cat impounded and not claimed by its owner within the time period provided in subsection (3) may,

(a) be adopted for the price fixed; or

(b) be euthanized by lethal injection of a barbiturate in accordance with the Food and Drugs Act.

Dangerous Dogs

(1) The owner of a dangerous dog shall ensure that:

(a) the dog is registered with the municipality as a dangerous dog in accordance with the fees set out in Schedule “A”; and

(b) the dog is sterilized

(c) the dog complies with the responsibilities of the owner as set out in Section 4Ad) the dog is muzzled at all times while off the property of the owner

(e) when off the property of the owner, the dog is kept on a leash not exceeding one metre in length and under the control of a responsible person over the age of eighteen years

(f) while the dog is on the property of the owner, the dog shall be securely confined within or in an enclosed and locked pen or structure so as to prevent the escape of the dangerous dog and to prevent the entry of any person not in control of the dog. Such enclosure or structure shall be a minimum of two metres by four metres and shall have secure sides and top. If there is no bottom attached to the sides, the sides must be sunk into the ground to a depth of at least thirty centimetres. The enclosure must also protect the dog from the elements. The pen or structure shall not be located within one metre of the property line or within three metres of a neighbouring dwelling unit. No dog shall be chained for the purpose of confinement

(g) a sign shall be placed at each entrance to the property and building in which the dog is kept, warning in writing, and by a symbol, of the presence of a dangerous dog on the property. Such sign shall be visible and legible from the nearest road or thoroughfare

(h) a liability insurance policy, satisfactory to the municipality, is in force in an amount not less than five hundred thousand dollars, covering the twelve month period during which the licence is applied for, for injuries caused by the owner’s dangerous dog. Such policy shall contain a provision requiring the community to be named as an additional insured for the sole purpose of being notified by the insurance company of any cancellation, termination or expiration of the policy.

(2) The municipality shall have the authority to conduct any investigation deemed necessary to ensure compliance with the provisions set forth in this section.

(3) If the owner of a dog designated as dangerous is unwilling or unable to comply with the requirements of this section, said dog shall be euthanized by an animal shelter, animal control agency or licensed veterinarian after a fourteen day waiting period. Any dog designated as dangerous under this by-law may not be offered for adoption.

Kennels and catteries

(1) Every person who owns or operates a kennel or cattery shall, upon application and payment of the fee set out in Schedule “A” and with the approval of the Municipality, obtain a licence to operate such kennel or cattery on or before a date to be fixed by the Municipality each year.

(2) A licence to operate a kennel or cattery shall be valid for one year.

(3) Every person who owns or operates a kennel shall comply with the requirements set out in the Code of Practice for Kennel Operations in Canada (Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, September 1994).

(4) Every person who owns or operates a kennel or cattery shall comply with the by-laws of the municipality.

(5) If the owner or operator of a kennel or cattery fails to comply with a by-law of the municipality, the licence may be suspended or revoked.

(6) Every person who owns or operates a kennel or cattery shall permit an inspector to enter and inspect the kennel or cattery at any reasonable time, upon presentation of proper identification, for the purpose of determining compliance with this by-law.

(7) An inspector may enter and inspect the kennel or cattery under a search warrant.

(8) Where an inspector finds that the owner or operator of a kennel or cattery is not in compliance with any of the provisions of this section, the inspector may order the animals to be seized and impounded by the operator of the pound.


No person shall use, set or maintain a leghold trap, lethal trap or snare in a suburban area. 

Other Pets

[For a discussion of the ownership of animals other than cats and dogs as pets, please refer to Appendix B]. 


(1) Every person who violates any provision of this by-law is guilty of an offence and is liable to the penalties set out in this section.

(2) Each day that a provision of this by-law is violated constitutes a separate offence.

(3) The collection and payment of fines does not relieve a person of the obligation to pay any fees, charges or costs for which the person is liable under the provisions of this by-law.

(4) A Provincial Court Judge, in addition to the penalties provided for in this by-law, may, if he or she considers the offence to be sufficiently serious, order the owner of a dog or cat to restrain the dog or cat from committing the mischief or causing the disturbance or nuisance complained of, or cause the animal to be removed from the City, or order the destruction of the animal.

(5) Where a person contravenes the same provision of this by-law twice in any twelve month period, the specified fine payable for the second contravention is double the amount specified in Section 9(7) of this by-law for that provision.

(6) Where a person violates the same provision of this by-law three or more times in a twelve month period, the specified penalty payable for the third or subsequent violation is three times the amount specified in section 9(7) of this by-law for that provision.

(7) The proposed minimum penalties for violations of sections of this by-law are as follows:


2, 3

4 A (1), (2), (4)

4 A (3)

4 B



Penalty Section







Appendix A


Dog or cat license (male or female) 50
Spayed or neutered male dog or cat license 15
Spayed or neutered male dog or cat license, microchipped or tattooed 5
License for dangerous dog 250
Kennel or cattery license 100

Impoundment Fee

First impoundment in a calendar year:

Neutered male dog or cat or spayed female cat 25

Unneutered or unspayed dog or cat $50

Dangerous dog $250

Second impoundment in a calendar year:

Spayed or neutered male dog or cat $50

Unneutered or unspayed dog or cat 100

500 Dangerous dog

Third and subsequent impoundments in a calendar year:

Spayed or neutered male dog or cat 75

Dog or cat not neutered or spayed 150

Dangerous dog or euthanasia $1,000

(1998 suggested rates)

Pets Canada’s Statement on Responsible Pet Sales

Pets Canada recognizes the important role pets play in our lives. Buying a pet should be done responsibly. The decision to acquire a pet must be taken with full knowledge of the facts.
Selling a pet must also be done responsibly. PetCare Canada believes that the following elements are essential to help and advise pet owners:

– The seller ensures, to the best of his/her knowledge, that the animal offered for sale is in good health;
– The seller provides potential pet owners with the information necessary to ensure that the pet is well cared for and managed;
– The seller makes every reasonable effort to ensure that the right animal is matched with the right owner.- Seller provides appropriate pre- and post-sale support to the animal’s new owner;
– The seller is able to provide the appropriate food and advise the buyer on products and accessories essential to the animal’s life.- The seller keeps appropriate records as required by law.

At Pets Canada, we stand for responsible breeding practices and the nurturing care that allows every dog to live a full and joyful life. Our stance is clear: we do not support breeding practices that exacerbate or encourage extreme conformations—physical appearances significantly altered from their natural, ancestral form—that detrimentally impact a dog’s health or impede their ability to engage in normal behaviors.

Advocacy for Health-Centric Breeding Practices

Pets Canada recognizes the inherent risks associated with extreme conformations, which can lead to compromised health and a diminished quality of life. Thus, we advocate for breeding practices that prioritize the well-being of dogs, ensuring they are free from physical or genetic conditions that negatively affect their health or lifespan.

Educating for Informed Decisions

Education remains a cornerstone of our approach. We aim to empower the community with knowledge about the consequences of extreme conformations and the importance of responsible breeding. By providing resources and engaging in dialogue, we encourage all potential dog owners and breeders to make informed decisions that consider the health, welfare, and natural behaviors of dogs.

Promoting Responsible Ownership

Pets Canada promotes responsible ownership practices that ensure dogs not only receive love and care but also live lives that are as free from health complications as possible. Our initiatives highlight the joys of dog ownership, underscored by a commitment to the well-being of our canine companions through responsible choices and care.

Collaboration for the Future of Canine Welfare

Understanding the complexities of canine health and welfare, especially concerning extreme conformations, Pets Canada is dedicated to collaborative efforts. We work alongside veterinarians, breeders, animal welfare organizations, and the wider community to advocate for guidelines and practices that prioritize the health and happiness of dogs. Our goal is to align efforts towards breeding and care standards that respect the natural form and needs of dogs.