Ontario could be worse than Denver

In response to Caveat’s article pointing to Denver’s breed specific ordinance, I decided to list all the cities within the province of Ontario that have their own, usually more restrictive, breed specific legislation.

Legal note: This article is an attempt to inform the public regarding certain instances of dog legislation found in Ontario. Legislation may be added, updated, or repealed. Wording may be changed without notice. Please do not rely on this document as your sole source of information. As a dog owner, it is solely your responsibility to obtain official copies of legislation from the city halls in the municipalities where you wish to visit or live.

Note that Windsor’s bylaw is as bad as Denver’s and, in some cases, worse. Windsor has been killing pit bulls at the same rate per capita as Denver, based on the comparative size of the cities.

Windsor and Powassan are the only Ontario cities, of the ones with breed-specific bylaws, that do not provide an option to remove an illegal dog from the city. Even Denver allows that. Windsor and Powassan require the destruction of any illegal dog, including puppies. Powassan requires the destruction of any dog whose owner fails to abide by their “restricted dog” laws.

Keep in mind that Ontario has province-wide breed specific legislation in the form of the Dog Owners’ Liability Act and its Regulations. This legislation applies to everywhere in the province and only the more restrictive provisions of these city bylaws apply. The province’s Animals for Research Act has specific provisions to allow for “pit bulls” to be sent to research facilities.

In addition, if an owner is convicted of any offence related to pit bulls, be it owning an illegal dog or owning a dog that is unsterilized, unmuzzled, or unleashed, Ontario requires the destruction of the dog. There is no option to remove it from the province. This includes the mandatory death of newborn puppies. These particular offences are not related at all to any dangerous behaviour on the part of the dog or its owner, only the physical attributes (the “look”) of the dog.

At least Denver (in theory) allows for removal of the dogs from the city.


Bradford

Click here to see where this city is located in Ontario

Click here to read the bylaw online

“Pit bull” same definition as Ontario

“Pit bull” is classified as a dangerous dog, so all dangerous dog provisions in the bylaw apply, with appropriate modifications.

Requirements:
– in house or in enclosed pen or in enclosed yard with minimum 6 ft fencing and locks
– in public, on collar-type leash 1 metre (3.28 feet) long, muzzled, and person 16 or older walking it
– microchip
– notification of change of address, change of ownership, or death of dog
– possible higher licence fees and penalties (separate appendix was not included online)
– no special “pit bull” licence
– no ban on “pit bulls” from out-of-town


Brantford

Click here to see where this city is located in Ontario

Click here to read the bylaw online

“Pit bull” same definition as Ontario

“prohibited dog” means :
(a) a pit bull dog;
(b) a pit bull dog, previously designated as a restricted dog, that is kept or permitted to be kept by its owner in violation of the requirements for such dog;

“restricted dog” means a dog that is a pit bull and that has been registered by the owner with the City of Brantford andmaintains a valid municipal dog licence, issued under Article 6.

NOTE: This means you can’t move to Brantford with a dog that is legal everywhere else in Ontario.

“pit bulls” that already have a muzzle order (prior to this bylaw) must be removed from the city.

“restricted pit bulls” must be:

– muzzled when not on property of its owner (no provision for friends’ houses)
– under control of person at least 18 years old
– on leash not greater than 3 feet (province says 6 feet)
– if on owner’s property, then in a building, wholly fenced yard, or pen
– sterilized
– microchipped
– insured for $1,000,000
– registered with the city

other requirements:

– warning sign on premises
– NO transfer of ownership EVER unless to owner outside of city
– notfication of death of dog or change of ownership

Any impounded pit bull must be killed or transferred to a research facility. This is technically more draconian than the Dog Owners’ Liability Act.

Regardless of breed, dogs may be identified as potentially dangerous (has approached in an attacking or threatening manner) or dangerous (has already attacked or bitten). “Pit bulls” that have never shown any aggression towards any person or animal actually have more restrictions on them than a dog of another breed that has already bitten someone. Dangerous dogs that have already bitten are not required to have one million dollars liability insurance. Also, dangerous dogs, if found running loose, may be returned to their owners after payment of fines, unlike pit bulls, which must be killed or used for research.

Fines:
206.2.1 Possession of more than 3 dogs $130.00
206.8.1 Failing to obtain dog licence $130.00
206.8.2 Failing to renew dog licence $130.00
206.2.5 Failing to remove dog excrement $130.00
206.9.1 Dog at large $130.00
206.8.7 Failing to affix tag to dog $130.00
206.8.7 Failing to ensure that tag remains affixed to dog $130.00
206.8.8 Unauthorized removal of dog tag $130.00
206.9.10 Fail to confine dog to a property $200.00
206.2.13 Fail to comply with direction to muzzle $300.00


Township of Edwardsburgh/Cardinal

Click here to see where this city is located in Ontario

Click here to read the bylaw online

The following “breeds” are prohibited in any village, former village, or hamlet in the township of Edwardsburgh/Cardinal:

Pit Bull Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier, Pit Bull, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, or any dog of mixed breeding which includes any of the aforementioned breeds.

There appears to be no provision for existing dogs. This bylaw was created on June 17, 2002.


Kitchener-Waterloo

Click here to see where this city is located in Ontario

Click here to read the bylaw online

Exempts CKC/AKC registered American Staffordshire Terriers and Staffordshire Bull Terriers.

“restricted dog”means a dog that is a Pit Bull dog forwhich the owner has a valid 1996 or 1997 City dog licence.

NOTE: This means you can’t move to Kitchener-Waterloo with a dog that is legal everywhere else in Ontario. I’m not sure how Kitchener intends to handle AKC or CKC registered American Staffordshire Terriers and Staffordshire Bull Terriers, dogs that used to be perfectly legal in that city. Obviously, many of those dogs won’t have valid 1996 or 1997 city dog licences. I guess they’re going to have to go on a licensing blitz to register all these new restricted dogs, which were doing just fine there until the new Ontario law.

A restricted dog licence shall be obtained from the Kitchener-Waterloo and North Waterloo Humane Society, 250 Riverbend Drive, Kitchener. The owner applicant shall attend with the restricted dog and the leash and any muzzle required pursuant to this Chapter, a designating notice hereunder, or a confirmed designation hereunder.

Owner must:

a) keep the dog within the owner’s dwelling; or
b) keep the dog in a secure enclosure with top and sides; or
c) allow the dog in a secure yard if it has completed a Canine Good Citizen test in 1997;

The city may require an owner of a restricted dog to keep the dog caged, penned, or under the control of a person over sixteen years old if children under 14 years old are in the dwelling.

Other requirements:

– muzzle/leash
– address change notification
– ownership change notification
– death of dog notification
– warning sign on premises
– sterilization
– destruction or removal of puppies within six weeks of birth
– destruction or removal of prohibited dogs

Sterilized Dog Licence Fee: $15 to $45 (based on date)
Unsterilized Dog Licence Fee: $30 to $60 (based on date)

Sterilized restricted dogs: $15 to $45 (based on date)
Unsterilized restricted dogs with no CGN: $75 to $150 (based on date)
Unsterilized restricted dogs with CGN: $30 to $60 (based on date)


Laurentian Township

Laurentian Township is located just southwest of Pembroke (see Pembroke for map).

Click here to read the bylaw online

“GRANDFATHERED PIT BULL DOG” shall mean a defined pit bull dog for which a valid pit bull dog licence was issued by the animal control officer and was either born in Ontario between August 29th, 2005 and November 26th, 2005, or owned by a resident of Ontario on August 29th, 2005.

NOTE: This means you can’t move to Laurentian Township with a dog that is legal everywhere else in Ontario.

“PIT BULL DOG” means a dog that:
(i) is of the Pit Bull Terrier breed, or
(ii) is of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier breed, or
(iii) is of the American Staffordshire Terrier breed, or
(iv) is of the American Pit Bull Terrier breed, or
(v) has an appearance and physical characteristics that are substantially similar to those of dogs referred to any of clauses A) to D), having regard to the breed standards established for American Staffordshire Bull Terriers or American Pit Terriers by the Canadian Kennel Club, United Kennel Club, American Kennel Club or the American Dog Breeders Association.

Required from owner:
– “grandfathered pit bull” licence prior to Dec 31, 2005;
– must apply in person with dog;
– description of dog;
– signed and sworn statement;
– photograph taken by Animal Control Officer;
– sterilized;
– immunized for rabies;
– microchipped;
– insured for $1,000,000;
– notification of death of dog or change of ownership;
– notification of change of address;
– transfer to new owner is allowed;
– dog tag with words “Laurentian Valley Pit Bull”;
– lost tag requires new licence (i.e., repayment of fees);
– muzzle/leash when off property or exiting from a vehicle;
– remove or destroy illegal pit bulls

Notes:
– entry/seizure without warrant specifically allowed;
– by-law can be enforced by all Township employees;

Fees:
– Initial Pit Bull Application and Licence $75.00
– Renewal $50.00
– Transfer $25.00
– Other breed (sterilized) $15.00 to $25.00
– Other breed (unsterilized) $20.00 to $30.00

Fines:
– All offences related to pit bulls (including muzzle/leash/sterilize and illegal dog) $500.00
– Typical offences for other breeds $100.00 to $150.00


London

Click here to see where this city is located in Ontario

Click here to read the bylaw online

“Grandfathered Pit Bull Dog” means a Pit Bull Dog for which a valid Pit Bull Dog Licence was issued for 2006, and was either born in Ontario between August 29, 2005 and November 26, 2005, or owned by a resident of Ontario on August 29, 2005.

NOTE: This means you can’t move to London with a dog that is legal everywhere else in Ontario.

Pit bull owners who are visiting the city with their dogs must register their dog with the city and pay a registration fee.

Owner must provide:

a) description of dog;
b) signed and witnessed statement that the dog was owned in Ontario before the ban;
c) current photograph of the dog;
d) evidence of sterilization;
e) evidence of rabies vaccination;
f) evidence of microchip;
g) application fee

Owner must re-apply for new licence if old tags lost ($75.00). Other breeds may simply have their tags replaced for $3.50.

Owner must:

– notify of address change;
– notify of death of dog;
– notify of change of ownershp;

Pit Bull Licence Renewal Fee: $50.00 to $75.00


Pembroke

Click here to see where this city is located in Ontario

Click here to read the city bylaw online

Grandfathered Pit Bull Dog shall mean a defined Pit Bull dog for which a valid Pit Bull Dog license was issued by the Animal Control Officer for the City of Pembroke and was either born in Ontario between August 29, 2005 and November 26, 2005, or owned by a resident of Ontario on August 29, 2005.

NOTE: This means you can’t move to Pembroke with a dog that is legal everywhere else in Ontario.

Beginning January 01, 2006 no person shall own a Pit Bull dog that is not a Grandfathered Pit Bull dog. Every Pit Bull dog owner shall make application for a Pit Bull dog license prior to December 31, 2005. The Pit Bull dog owner shall schedule an appointment with the Animal Control Officer to allow the Animal Control Officer to review the application and view the Pit Bull dog. A mutually agreeable location for the viewing of the Pit Bull dog will be arranged with the owner of the pit bull. Only an owner of a valid Pit Bull dog license from the City of Pembroke for their Pit Bull dog will be considered to have a Grandfathered Pit Bull dog.

To get a Pit Bull Licence, an owner must:

a) provide a description of the dog;
b) provide a signed and sworn statement that the dog was owned in Ontario before the ban;
c) have an Animal Control Officer take a photograph of the dog;
d) sterilize the dog;
e) immunize for rabies;
f) microchip the dog;
g) pay the licence fee.

Owner must:

– notify of address change;
– notify of death of dog;
– notify of change of ownership;
– affix a tag saying “Pembroke Pit Bull” on the dog;
– re-apply for a new Pit Bull License if the tag is lost;
– muzzle and leash the dog inside a vehicle if anyone other than the owner’s immediate family is in the vehicle;

Penalties:

– prohibited pit bulls must be destroyed or removed from the city;
– 10 days after notification to owner, Animal Control may seize the dog without a warrant;
– owner is responsible for all costs for destroying the dog (Saddam Hussen billed his victims’ families for the bullets);

Pit Bull Licence Renewal Fee: $50.00
Regular Dog Licence Renewal (sterilized): $15.00 to $25.00
Regular Dog Licence Renewal (intact): $20.00 to $30.00


Petrolia

Click here to see where this city is located in Ontario

Click here to read the city bylaw online

Dangerous dog defined – Pitbulls, Rotweillers or any other kind of dog that has bitten a person or domestic animal. (The spelling errors are theirs, not mine).

No person shall keep the following dogs within the limits of the Town of Petrolia: Pitbulls, Rotweillers or any dog that has bitten a person or domestic animal. (The spelling errors are theirs, not mine).

Petrolia does not seem to have any grandfathering provision, so I assume that any existing animals would have been forced to leave.

Every person who contravenes any of the provisions of this Chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, forfeit and pay a penalty, not exceeding five thousand dollars ($5,000.00), exclusive of cost, for each such offence, and every such penalty shall be recoverable under the Provincial Offences Act, all the provision of which shall apply except that the imprisonment may be for any term not exceeding six (6) months.

The total number of dogs owned by all of the persons comprising any one household within the limits of the municipality shall be restricted to two.

For the first dog in each household, the licence fee shall be $30.00. For each additional dog, the fee shall be $60.00. (only one additional dog is permitted).


Powassan

Click here to see where this city is located in Ontario

Click here to read the bylaw online

Restricted dog shall mean; a dog that is a Pit Bull dog (same definition as Ontario).

Requirements:

i) spay/neuter;
ii) indoors or in a secure enclosure with top and sides;
iii) “restricted dog on premises” sign;
iv) million dollars liability insurance;

Requires the death of the dog upon conviction of the owner under Municipal Act or under the Dog Owners’ Liability Act.

Fees:

Sterilized Dog Licence: $10 to $15
Additional Sterilized Dog: $20 to $25
Unsterilized Dog Licence: $25 to $30
Additional Unsterilized Dog: $35 to $40
Restricted Dog Licence: $250

It appears that, in 2006, the city reduced the licence fee for “dangerous dogs” to be the same as regular dogs, in order to encourage registration of dangerous dogs. Based on the wording of the bylaw and of the amendment, I’m assuming that “dangerous dogs” includes “pit bulls”.


Vaughan

Click here to see where this city is located in Ontario

Click here to read the bylaw online

“Aggressive Breed of Dog” means any dog of any age which can be identified as a dog of one or
more of the following breeds or mixed breeds by the Poundkeeper, namely:
i) Pit Bull Terrier;
ii) American Pit Bull Terrier;
iii) Pit Bull;
iv) or a dog of mixed breeding which includes the bloodline of the breeds referred to in
this section;
v) Staffordshire Bull Terrier except a Staffordshire Bull Terrier which is registered with
the American Kennel Club or the Canadian Kennel Club; or
vi) American Staffordshire Terrier, except an American Staffordshire Terrier which is
registered with the American Kennel Club or the Canadian Kennel Club.

I think Vauguan, like Kitchener-Waterloo, is going to get a little confused as to how to handle purebred CKC/AKC registered dogs.

“Aggressive Dogs” (i.e., pit bulls):
– must be microchipped
– must be in an enclosure if not inside the owner’s building
– must be on leash under control of person at least 18 years old if not on owner’s property
– any violation requires immediate removal of dog from city

Vicious dogs (that have already bitten or attacked, regardless of breed) are not allowed to be kept in the city if they get caught without a muzzle/leash or running at large or not restrained while on the owner’s property. No mention of muzzling for “pit bull” dogs, only dogs of any breed that have already attacked or bitten.

Fees:
Vicious or aggressive dog licence (including pit bulls): $50.00
Other dogs: $20/40/60 (first/second/third dogs)
Sterilized other dogs: $10/20/30


Windsor

Click here to see where this city is located in Ontario

Click here to read the bylaw online

“Restricted Dog” means:
(i) A dog that is a Pit Bull dog; and
(ii) A dog for which the owner has a valid 2004 dog licence issued under Part I.

NOTE: This means you can’t move to Windsor with a dog that is legal everywhere else in Ontario.

“Prohibited Dog” means:
(i) A Pit Bull dog which is not a restricted dog;
(ii) A Pit Bull dog, previously designated as a restricted dog, that is kept or permitted to be kept by its owner in violation of the requirements for such dog.

Owner of a restricted dog must:

a) obtain a restricted dog licence;
b) keep the dog within the owner’s dwelling or in an enclosed pen with top and sides;
c) on a leash not exceeding 1.8 metres;
d) muzzle the dog when not kept according to clause (b);
e) microchip the dog;
f/g/h) notify City Licensing Unit of change of address, change of ownership, or death of dog;
i) advise Enforcement Unit if dog is running at large;
j) spay/neuter and surrender puppies for destruction (“disposed of in a humane manner”);
k) “pit bull” warning sign on premises
l) one million dollars liability on the dog

Owner of a prohibited dog must surrender dog for destruction (“disposed of in a humane manner”).

Fees:

1st sterilized dog: $23.00
2nd sterilized dog: $25.00
1st intact dog: $38.00
2nd intact dog: $48.00
1st restricted dog: $137.00
2nd restricted dog: $165.00

2 thoughts on “Ontario could be worse than Denver

  1. Thanks you for providing a list of tin pot towns in Ontario. I guess we can use this as a checklist for towns to take to court immediately following the winning of the Ontario constitional challenge. There is a clear cut precedence setting win in Guysbourough County, NS that should have these tin pot towns shakin’ in their boots! I sure hope they have educated themselves, and read over the court case. After all they have all banned an urban legend! A “pit bull” does not even exist! It is merely a slang term used to describe a shape of dog. Certainly not something that stood up in court! The residents of these towns better get ready for a tax increase to fund all the legal fees these towns will incur as they fall like dominos. It truly is sad the people responsible for enacting laws where dangerous dog law is concerned, have chosen not to listen to reason. I hope a lesson will be learned by all, to listen to common sense spoken by people who are educated in successful dog laws. I hope they wished they had learned from cities such as Calgary who have had much success without BSL!
    I would think these towns/cities will be wishing they had listened or educated themselves in the first place because they are about to get a crash course!!

  2. Apparently the Village of Salisbury has BSL, I’m trying to get a copy of the by-law for public consumption.

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