Policy, Research, Public Consultation and Events

Owner and two dogs walking on trail

Review of Dog Behaviour and Responsible Dog Ownership

The City of Toronto Municipal Licensing and Standards (ML&S) Division is undertaking a review of Chapter 349, Animals to determine how the City can effectively balance, manage and address dogs' behaviour, their owners' responsibilities and public safety in the City of Toronto.

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Man sitting with dog, back to viewer

The review on dog behaviour and responsible dog ownership is now complete

December 13, 2016 - City Council adopted a series of amendments to the Toronto Municipal Code chapter dealing with dangerous dogs – specifically the prevention of dog bites, the risks associated with dangerous dogs and the responsibilities of dog owners. Responsibilities now include muzzling the dog and displaying warning signs on the property, among others. The amendments also address matters of animal welfare.

Read more about Amendments to Chapter 349, Animals - Dangerous Dogs

 

 

 

About the review

ExpandThe Review of Responsible Dog Ownership

Overview

The City of Toronto Municipal Licensing and Standards (ML&S) Division is undertaking a review of Chapter 349, Animals to determine how the City can effectively balance, manage and address dogs' behaviour, their owners' responsibilities and public safety in the City of Toronto.

Chapter 349, Animals sets out registration/licensing requirements and the requirement to leash dogs on public property, except where permitted (e.g., off-leash parks). The bylaw also covers how the City responds to dogs at large (on the loose) or dogs that have bitten people or animals.

The goal of the review is to address City Council's direction to provide recommendations on how the City can effectively respond to incidents of dog bites and dogs that may pose a risk to public safety.

The City is committed to an open and inclusive process which incorporates stakeholder and public participation. Staff will engage members of the general public, residents/community groups, veterinary and dog behaviour groups and relevant dog business associations.

Between July and October 2015, ML&S will complete research, analysis, and consultation with stakeholder groups, and the general public, described below.

Legislation

Legislation governing dogs and their owners include:

Decisions

Related legislative decisions:

http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2015.CC5.4

http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2016.LS13.4

Statistics

Toronto Animal Services 2011-2015 Enforcement and Mobile Response Complaints and Service requests

Phases of the Review

The review is being undertaken in three overlapping phases:

  • Phase 1: Research and Analysis – July to August 2015
  • Phase 2: Public and Stakeholder Consultations – August to October 2015
  • Phase 3: The Final Report – November 2015
  • Phase 4: Follow-up Report - September 2016

Each phase is described in more detail below.

Phase 1: Research and Analysis

Staff conducted research and analysis.

Phase 2: Stakeholder and Public Consultations

The purpose of this phase will be to obtain stakeholders and public input how the City can effectively respond. Staff will accept input through meetings, online survey and comments/feedback form.

Phase 3: Reporting back

The final report will be posted online and stakeholders and the public may depute on the final report at Licensing and Standards Committee.

ML&S reported to the November 26, 2015 Licensing and Standards Committee Meeting. The report identified next steps, included consultation findings and a jurisdictional scan.

Licensing and Standards Committee received this report for information during the meeting. Next steps are to report back with proposed by-law amendments, an education plan and an enforcement strategy to effectively balance, manage and address dogs' behaviour, their owners' responsibilities and public safety in the City of Toronto.

ML&S reported back to Licensing and Standards Committee on September 21, 2016.

Please contact us as soon as possible if you require accommodation to participate in the public consultation process.

In addition to the meeting, staff will continue to accept input through email and voice messages. See our contact information above right.

Public consultations will address DOLA, approaches applied in other jurisdictions, responses to dog bites and enforcement.  Learn more here.

Please contact us as soon as possible if you require accommodation to participate in the public consultation process.