Animal Services

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Pets in the City

Our mission:  To promote and protect the health and safety of people and animals in Toronto.

Our vision: To work with pet owners and residents to create a safe and healthy community for people and animals. 

Pets in the City: Dogs

ExpandPets in the City: Dogs and City Bylaws

Pets in the City:  Dogs

If you are new to Toronto or just new to having a dog, you may not be aware of the bylaws that apply to pet ownership. Municipal Code Chapter 349 covers owning pets in Toronto.

Toronto Animal Services promotes the health and safety of people, pets and animals living together in Toronto communities through bylaw enforcement and mobile response. Animal Care and Control officers respond to public safety concerns involving animals jeopardizing the safety of the public.

Know Toronto's Animal Bylaws

Your dog must be licensed. Dogs go missing every day. A licence helps to bring them home. The licence must be renewed yearly and the licence tag must be worn. You automatically become a member of the BluePaw Pet Licensing Rewards program and receive exclusive offers and discounts on pet-related products and services.

You can have up to three dogs. The maximum numbers of pets that you can own is six cats and three dogs.  You cannot walk more than three dogs at once anywhere in the city (sidewalks, parks) without a commercial dog walker's permit.

Poop and scoop. Pick up after your dog on private and public property.

There is a one-hour maximum for tying up your dog at home. If you are tying up your dog  on your own property, there is a time limit of one hour. The tether used to tie your dog must be more than three metres long.  You cannot use a choke collar, choke chain or pronged collar for your dog at any time. Martingale collars, which are consider a humane choke collar are still permitted.

Be aware of weather conditions. Your dog must be protected from the cold and/or heat. Leaving your dog in the yard without shade or water in the summer and adequate shelter in the winter is risking your dog's life.

Respect your neighbours. If your dog is continuously barking or whining and disturbing your neighbours, you can be fined under the Noise Bylaw.

Leash and control your dog in public.  Some people fear dogs – respect their feelings and concerns. Your dog must be kept on a leash no more than two metres long. You must be holding on to the leash - leashing your dog to a pole or bike rack is not allowed.

You are responsible for your dog if it bites a person or another animal. Dog bites should be reported to Toronto Public Health (416-338-7600) and 311 as soon as possible. In the event that the bite victim is transported to the hospital, a bite complaint should be made as soon as possible after treatment is complete.

If your dog has bitten, attacked or poses a menace, your dog may be deemed a "dangerous dog".  If your dog is deemed a "dangerous dog", there are special requirements that you must follow.  

Taking care of your dog

Owning a pet is a long-term commitment. Although the below topics are not part of the Bylaw, the City encourages following these steps to make sure that you have the best experience possible with your dog.

Spay or neuter your dog. Spaying and neutering pets prevents and reduces a number of serious and expensive health problems, reduces unwanted behaviour related to mating and prevents pet overpopulation.

Microchip and vaccinate your dog.  Animal Services' Chip Truck is a low-cost, mobile microchip and rabies clinic for dog and cat owners. The Chip Truck offers a microchip/rabies vaccine and a pet licence for $35. If your pet has a current City of Toronto licence, the cost of your microchip is $10. No appointment is necessary.

Exercise, train and socialize your dog.  Walk your dog often and on a leash (no longer than two metres). If you would like to give your dog additional exercise, consider visiting one of the City's off-leash dog parks.  Some dogs are excluded from off-leash areas, including unlicensed dogs, female dogs in heat, and dogs that must be muzzled or leashed under order from Toronto Animal Services.

Provide veterinary care for your dog. Keep your dog's vaccinations up-to-date and make sure they have annual check-ups.

ExpandLost and Found Pets

Losing your pet is a very traumatic experience. It's important to stay calm so that you can search for your pet and hopefully be reunited. There are a number of steps you should take as soon as your pet goes missing. If your pet is not immediately found, keep repeating the steps. Don't give up looking for your pet too early!

  • As soon as you notice your dog or cat missing, immediately check around your home and neighbourhood
  • Ask friends and neighbours if they have seen your pet
  • If your pet is not found after your initial search, contact 311 and file a lost animal report
  • Be prepared to provide a description of your pet, licence number and tattoo or microchip number if applicable

Visit our shelters in person. Only you can identify your missing pet. Make sure to also check the local veterinary clinics and humane societies.

If we don't have your pet

If your pet is not at one of our shelters you should:

1. Register your pet with Helping Lost Pets

Helping Lost Pets is a system that can help return a lost pet back home.  The system lists lost and found reports posted within your community and across North America.  You can see a map of the area in which you live and attach a photo to a Lost or Found report to help owners and finders determine if the pets match.

Helping Lost Pets allows you to:

  • Automatically search stray animals in our shelters and in the community
  • Post free Lost & Found reports
  • Print free Lost & Found posters
  • Receive e-mails of potential pet matches
  • Register yourself and your pets for FREE on Helping Lost Pets to be ready just in case your pet goes missing
  • Easily update your profile and provide care instructions for your pet
  • Upload a picture of your pet
  • Connect members to help search for missing pets

  1. Post flyers in the area where your pet was last seen and around your neighbourhood in as many of the following locations as possible:
  • Veterinarian offices
  • Animal Shelters
  • Supermarkets
  • Bulletin boards
  • Distribute flyers to delivery people in your area (not 100% sure what this means)
  • If someone responds to your flyer check it out even if it far away. Animals have been found miles from where they were originally lost.

Once your pet has been found, please:

  • Inform Toronto Animal Services.
  • Update your Helping Lost Pets posting.
  • Remove all flyers you have posted.

 

Found Pets

If you find a lost dog or cat wearing a City of Toronto tag, contact 311.  If the animal does not have any identification tags, bring it to one of our shelters.

The animal will be scanned for a microchip which may provide information on the registered owner as well as check our lost animal reports. We will also place the animal in public view. 

ExpandRemember: Not everyone loves Max

Toronto: 2.7 million people. 230,000 dogs.  With so many people who love dogs (and many others who don't), we have to all work together to live in harmony.

Here's how:

  • Leash and control your dog in public.
  • Stoop and scoop.
  • Exercise, train and socialize your dog.
  • Spay/neuter and license your dog.

More information about living with your pet in Toronto.

See the City's 57 off-leash dog park locations.

Ad Campaign poster of dog and recommendations on how to be a responsible dog owner

ExpandDogs Off-Leash

View Dogs Off Leash 101 

In Toronto, according to Municipal Codes Chapter 349, Animals and 608, Parks all dogs must be kept on a leash whenever they are on any property other than their owner’s - unless they are in designated dogs off-leash areas. There are social benefits to dogs (and their owners!) having space to run free within parks and other green spaces.

My dog is well-behaved. Why can’t I let him off his leash in a park?


Dogs are welcome in parks, but must be a on a leash unless in a designated off-leash area. Parks are shared spaces and everyone needs to be responsible and respectful of each other. Owners are responsible for their dog and any injuries or damage caused by any dog in their care. Owners and dog walkers are responsible for ensuring that their dogs are under control.

What do I need to know to use the off-leash areas?


In order to use the designated off-leash areas, dog owners must have vaccinated and, licensed their dogs. Dogs that are aggressive to humans, dogs with a history of biting, and other types of animals are not permitted in the off-leash areas. Dog training/electronic devices are not allowed.

I need a licence for my dog. Where can I get one?


Dog licences are $25 ($12.50 for seniors) for spayed or neutered dogs and can be obtained online, by calling 416-338-PETS (7387), by mail or in person at one of four animal shelters. Go to www.toronto.ca/petlicensing

 

Who enforces the rules regarding dogs off-leash?


Municipal Standards Officers, Animal Care and Control Officers and members of the Toronto Police Service have the authority to enforce rules around dogs.

Can I be fined for letting my dog off-leash in an area where they shouldn’t be?


A fine of up to $5,000 can be issued for allowing a dog to run off-leash except in a posted designated leash-free area.

Where can I find out where an off-leash park is in my area?


Off-leash dog parks are listed at toronto.ca/parks/dogs or by calling 311.

Code of Conduct for Off-Leash Areas

  • Follow all signs and boundaries.
  • Keep your dog on a leash at all times except when in the designated off-leash area.
  • Your dog must have a visible municipal licence.
  • Keep your dogs in the off-leash area so that they don’t trample or endanger plant material and other park resources.
  • Do not let your dog chase wildlife.
  • Poop and scoop your dog’s waste and place in receptacle or take home for disposal.
  • Keep dogs in sight and under control at all times.
  • Do not leave dogs unattended while in off-leash area.
  • Repair holes dug by the dogs under your control.

Are there some dogs that are not allowed in the off-leash area?

  • Dogs excluded from off-leash areas include:
  • Dogs that are pitbulls as defined by the Dogs Owner’s Liability Act
  • Female dogs in heat
  • Any dog that has been issued a muzzle order by the City of Toronto.

ExpandDogs in Winter

Winter is a fun season, but can present some hazards for your dog. Here are some helpful tips so you both can enjoy the season safely.

Number one tip: if it’s too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for your pet, so keep your animals inside when possible.

Pets burn extra energy by trying to stay warm. Talk to your veterinarian to see if your dog needs extra food during the cold weather months.

Try not to shave your dog down to the skin in winter, as a longer coat will provide more warmth. If your dog is short-haired, consider getting a warm coat or sweater with coverage from the base of the tail to the belly.

Before going outside, consider putting booties on your dog to protect paws from salt and chemicals. Or try massaging a protectant into paw pads, and bring a towel on long walks to clean off any irritated
paws.

Antifreeze is a lethal poison for your pet. When possible, consider using products that contain propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol. Always clean up any spills from your vehicle.

Keep your home humidified and towel dry your pet as soon as he comes inside. After walks, wash and dry your dog's feet and stomach to remove ice, salt and chemicals, and check for cracks in paw pads or redness between the toes.

Bathe your pets as little as possible during cold spells. Washing too often can remove their essential oils and can give them dry, flaky skin.

Make sure your pet has a warm place to sleep, off the floor and away from all drafts. Think cozy dog bed.

ExpandWhy do dogs bark?

Why do dogs bark?


Dogs communicate through barking. The following is a list of reasons and possible solutions to help correct barking.

Loneliness/Boredom:

  • Dogs are very social animals and love to interact with their owner or a playmate. When left alone for long periods, they may bark for attention. Providing interesting chew toys, hide and seek toys or food cubes (they have to work to get the food out) will often help to occupy them in your absence.
  • When at home, spend quality time with your pet. Long walks and plenty of exercise such as chasing a ball or frisbee will help them use up excess energy.
  • If you are unable to be home, have a neighbour or reliable dog walker come in to exercise your dog. "Doggie daycare" is another option.
  • Research your dog's breed and the purpose they were bred for. Some dogs were meant to have a high energy level and to be working long hours. When they are isolated and confined for long periods, they can become very frustrated.

Barking at Neighbours, Passers-by or Distractions

  • Dogs are often territorial and feel the need to protect their environment. Introduce your dog to your neighbours and encourage them to get to know each other.
  • Make sure people walking by your yard are not teasing your dog. This can lead to aggressive behaviour problems. It may be necessary to alter the times that your dog is outside to decrease exposure to these situations (ie: children walking by on their way to school). Attempt to supervise your dog when he is outside.
  • Spay or neuter your dog to decrease territorial behaviour towards strangers.
  • For indoor dogs, leave a radio or TV on to diminish outside noise. Close curtains or room doors that allow dogs access to an outside view.

Separation Anxiety

  • If your dog is showing signs of stress when left alone, seek professional advice from your veterinarian, a behaviourist or a reputable obedience instructor.

Environmental or Nutritional Needs

  • Often a dog will voice its distress when needs are not met. Make sure your dog has an adequate supply of food and water.
  • For dogs that spend a long period of time outside, make sure they have an insulated shelter of appropriate size and construction. Locate the shelter so it takes advantage of the sun in the winter and available shade in the summer.
  • If the dog is restrained by a tether on the property, make sure the dog has adequate room to move and cannot get tangled. A clothesline run is preferable to a stake in the ground. The tether must be a minimum length of three metres.

ExpandProper Outdoor Shelter

Toronto Animal Services recommends that dogs be sheltered inside your home if at all possible.

We don’t recommend keeping any pet outside for long periods of time, but if you are unable to keep your dog inside during cold weather, dogs need adequate shelter from the elements.  Dogs kept outside may be unintentionally exposed to bitter cold temperatures in the winter and scorching heat in the summer.

To protect your dog from harsh weather, provide a well-constructed dog house.  However, keep in mind that some breeds with long or short coats cannot tolerate extreme temperatures even when provided with a proper outdoor shelter.  Proper outdoor shelter for dogs must meet the following standards: 

1. Weatherproof Construction

The shelter must be well constructed, have a roof, enclosed sides, a doorway and a solid level floor raised at least 2 inches from the ground.  There should be no cracks or openings other than the entrance.  The shelter must be insulated.  Rainproof openings for ventilation are required in hot weather.

Protected/weather proof entrance – the entryway must be protected by a self-closing door, an offset outer door, or covered by a flexible flap.

Bedding – a sufficient amount of dry bedding such as cedar shavings or straw must be provided to protect against cold and dampness.  The bedding should be changed weekly to prevent mold and to keep the doghouse sanitary.

2. Size

The shelter should be small enough to allow a dog to warm the interior of the structure and maintain body heat, but must be large enough for the dog to stand up, turn around comfortably and lie down.

3.  Placement

The shelter should be placed where it will be adequately shaded in the hot weather and have the best protection from the wind in cold weather.  In addition ensure your dog has:

  • open/adequate access to fresh, non-frozen water (by changing the water frequently or using a pet-safe, heated water bowl);
  • food of sufficient quality and quantity;
  • continuous access to an area (e.g. kennel, run, backyard) with adequate space for exercise, daily lighting cycles of either natural or artificial light; and
  • appropriate veterinary care. 

Recognizing problems

If your pet is whining, shivering, seems anxious, slows down or stops moving, seems weak, or starts looking for warm places to burrow, get them inside quickly because they may be showing signs of hypothermia.  Frostbite is harder to detect and may not be fully recognized until a few days after the damage is done. If you suspect your pet has hypothermia or frostbite, consult your veterinarian immediately.

 

ExpandPets in the City: Dangerous Dogs

Pets in the City: Dangerous Dogs

The City of Toronto has amended Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 349 (Animals) to balance, manage and address dog owners' responsibilities, dog behaviour, protect the safety of people and their pets and public safety city-wide.  The amendments have introduced restrictions and requirements for owners of a dangerous dog, as well as tougher penalties to deal with owners of dangerous dogs.  

What is a dangerous dog? 

Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 349 defines a dangerous act as any bite, attack, act of menacing behaviour (injures or threatens a human without biting them) or a combination of the above.

Chapter 349, Animals defines a dangerous dog as:

  • A dog that has severely bitten a person or domestic animal (pet)
  • A dog that has bitten or attacked a person or domestic animal (pet) and it is the second bite or attack on record
  • A dog that is the subject of a notice of caution, muzzle or control order

What happens if a dog bites, attacks or engages in a dangerous act?

  • If the dangerous act is the first on record with the City, the owner will be served with a written warning
  • If the dangerous act is the second or subsequent on record with the City or is determined to be severe, a dog can be deemed to be a dangerous dog
  • If the dog is under a muzzle or notice of caution order, and a bite occurs, the Animal Care and Control Officer can determine the dog to be a dangerous dog.

If a dog is deemed to be a dangerous dog, the owner must adhere to the following requirements:

  • Muzzle, leash and maintain control of the dog at all times when off the premises of the owner.
  • Ensure the dog is wearing a dangerous dog tag at all times.
  • Prohibit the dog from entering into a designated leash-free area of a City park.
  • Post a warning sign on the owner's property. 
  • Obtain training for the dog. 
  • Obtain a microchip for the dog.
  • Consent to have a photograph of the dog on file.

ExpandDog Bites: What should you do?

Dog bites should be reported to Toronto Public Health (416-338-7600) and Toronto Animal Services (311) as soon as possible. In the even that the bite victim is transported to the hospital, a bite complaint should be made as soon as possible after treatment is complete.

If a dog bites you and breaks the skin:

  • Seek medical attention (call 911 if serious)
  • Report the bite to 311
  • Try to provide a clear description of dog
  • Obtain the dog owner's name and address
  • Write down the date, time and location where the bite occurred
  • Information about anyone who witnessed the bite
  • Take a clear photo of the bite injury – document that date and time of the photo
  • As soon as practical, In your own handwriting, make clear concise notes on what happened and document the date of the notes

If a dog bites you and does not break the skin:

Call 311 and provide:

  • A clear description of dog (if possible)Dog owner's name and address
  • Date, time and location where the bite occurred
  • Witness information, if possible

 

If you are the owner of a dog that has bitten:

  • Leash your dog and isolate it from causing further threats
  • Provide your contact information to the victim
  • Make clear, concise notes of the incident in your own handwriting
  • If the person's skin has been broken, isolate your dog until contacted by Public Health
  • If necessary, consult an expert about your dog's behaviour

What happens next?

Toronto Public Health will:

  • Initiate an animal to human exposure investigation
  • Contact the person who has been bitten to take a Rabies Exposure Report
  • Contact the dog owner (if known) and issue an order to confide and isolate the animal

 

Learn more about what you can do if you are bitten by a dog or about the responsibilities of a dog owner under the Dog Owner's Liability Act and Municipal Code, Chapter 349.

What to do when a dog bites brochure

ExpandDog Bites: What will the City do?

Toronto Public Health will:

  • Initiate an animal to human exposure investigation
  • Contact the person who has been bitten to take a Rabies Exposure Report
  • Contact the dog owner (if known) and issue an order to confine and isolate the animal

Once Toronto Animal Services receives information about a dog bite, the following happens:

  • If the dog is still on the loose, an officer will respond within two hours
  • if the dog is with the owner and under control, an officer will respond within 24 hours

 

Toronto Animal Services staff will support you by walking you through the process after you've been bitten by a dog. An Animal Care and Control Officer will confirm the bite, request the victim and any witness prepare a written statement detailing the biting incident, request medical documentation describing the bite wound/injury and continue the investigation.

A public health inspector will attend within 24 hours of receiving the report to quarantine the offending dog. 

 

ExpandDog Owners' Liability Act

The Province of Ontario has amended its Dog Owners' Liability Act to increase public safety in relation to dogs, including pit bulls. The date that the amended Act came into power is August 29, 2005. The full restrictions regarding pit bulls came into effect on October 28, 2005.

The Dog Owners' Liability Act has been amended to include the following:

  1. Authorize the commencement of a proceeding against a dog owner where the dog poses a menace to the safety of person or domestic animals, or against a person who contravenes the Act, the regulations made under the Act or a court order made under the Act. Adds to the orders that may or shall be made in those proceedings. Except as permitted by the Act or regulations under it, in relation to pit bulls, prohibit owning, breeding, transferring, abandoning, importing and training to fight. Provide an exception to the prohibition for "restricted pit bulls". These are pit bulls owned by an Ontario resident when the Bill comes into force. Owners of restricted pit bulls must ensure compliance with the provisions of the Act and regulations relating to restricted pit bulls. These regulations include:
    • Leashing (<1.8 metres in length, of sufficient strength) and muzzling (humanely and sufficently strong and well-fitted to prevent biting) of restricted pit bulls, Spaying or neutering of restricted pit bulls,
    • When kept within enclosed property, the property is enclosed in a way that can be relied on to prevent the pit bull from breaking out of the property,
    Provide for controls on pit bulls. The definition of "pit bull" includes:
    1. a pit bull terrier a Staffordshire Bull Terrier an American Staffordshire Terrier an American Pit Bull Terrier
    2. a dog that has an appearance and physical characteristics that are substantially similar to dogs referred to in a. to d.
    Provide for offences and increased penalties (up to $10,000 and six months of imprisonment) for contravention of the Act, regulations or orders. Provide for search and seizure of dogs under a warrant, in exigent circumstances or, in specified circumstances in a public place. Provide that, in a court proceeding in which it is alleged that a dog is a pit bull, the onus is on the owner of the dog to prove otherwise. Provide that where the owner of a pit bull is found to be in contravention of the Act, that pit bull must be ordered euthanized.
  2. Authorize the making of regulations respecting the control of pit bulls.

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ExpandAnimal-related Noise - Owners' Responsibility

If you own a pet that disturbs your neighbours

  • Every pet owner has a responsibility to make sure their animal does not disturb their neighbours
  • The City of Toronto has an anti-noise bylaw prohibiting persistent barking, calling, whining or similar noise-making by any animal kept of used for any purpose at all times in a residential area.
  • Any noise made by an animal or bird that disturbs the peace, quiet or enjoyment of other can be considered an offence. Fines on the first conviction are up to a maximum of $5,000.
  • As a pet owner, it is your responsibility to research the needs of your specific type of pet.
  • The majority of noise complaints are related to dogs. In most cases, there are reasons why dogs bark.

If you are being disturbed by a noisy animal:

  • Many animal owners may not realize that their pet is disturbing their neighbours. If you have a problem with a noisy animal in your neighbourhood, consider speaking with the owner. Advise them of the problem and ask the owner to stop the animal from being an annoyance to you. Most owners are responsible and will take the necessary corrective action to improve the problem.
  • If this approach does not work, call 311 and report it.
  • If the problem persists, legal action may be taken against the animal owner. This will require that you give evidence in court. The penalty is a fine - not the removal of the animal.

ExpandChildren and Dogs

Children should be taught:

  • not to tease dogs
  • to stay away from dogs that are chained or fenced in
  • never to approach a strange dog
  • not to bother any dog while it is eating or playing with its toys
  • never to go near dogs that are fighting

Remember: running children and bicycles are very exciting to a dog.

Children on bicycles, in-line skates and skateboards explore new places and come into contact with different sights, sounds, people and animals.

Children should be taught:

  • to walk, not run, past dogs that are not tied up or fenced in
  • to get off their bicycle and walk past a dog, placing the bicycle between them and the dog

Children should know what an angry dog looks like. Warning signs include barking, growling, snarling with teeth showing, tail up, and hair standing up on the dog's back.

If a dog looks angry, children should walk away slowly. They should turn sideways to the dog and shout "No!" as they slowly make their way out of the dog's reach. Never stare a dog in the eyes or turn around and run away. Curl up in a ball and protect their face if the dog attacks.

If bitten, a child must tell an adult right away. If possible a child should remember what the biting dog looked like, if it had a collar and a tag, and what direction it went.

Wash the wound, see a doctor and report the bite to 311.

This message is adapted from material supplied by the American Humane Association to promote responsible pet ownership.

Pets in the City: Cats

ExpandCats and the Outdoors

Your outdoor cat will happily use the neighbour's garden or lawn as a giant litter box, potentially causing problems. The City of Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 349 prohibits cat owners from allowing their cats to cause damage or nuisance to a neighbouring property. Your cat should be kept indoors or supervised while outdoors.

Outdoor cats are prone to getting lost - hundreds of cats die annually on the streets of Toronto alone and unidentified. Searching for a lost cat, especially if it does not have a City licence tag is a time consuming and often disappointing effort. Less than 10% of lost cats are reunited with their owners.

Indoor cats live longer, healthier lives than outdoor cats. An indoor cat never faces the dozens of dangers waiting outside your front door like cars, other cats waiting to fight or exposure to disease and parasites. Cats raised indoors are perfectly content with their world. Those that have experienced the outdoors will need some time to get used to being inside. A cat run in the backyard may be an initial step to help your outdoor cat learn to relax and enjoy the comforts of home.

Sterilizing your cat is important whether your cat goes outside or not. It is especially important to spay/neuter your cat if you do allow your cat to roam unsupervised. Many outdoor cats are also breeding with other cats, increasing the already overwhelming population of unwanted, homeless cats.

Please be a responsible cat owner and a respectful neighbour!

 

 

ExpandAnimal-related Noise - Owners' Responsibility

If you own a pet that disturbs your neighbours

  • Every pet owner has a responsibility to make sure their animal does not disturb their neighbours
  • The City of Toronto has an anti-noise bylaw prohibiting persistent barking, calling, whining or similar noise-making by any animal kept of used for any purpose at all times in a residential area.
  • Any noise made by an animal or bird that disturbs the peace, quiet or enjoyment of other can be considered an offence. Fines on the first conviction are up to a maximum of $5,000.
  • As a pet owner, it is your responsibility to research the needs of your specific type of pet.
  • The majority of noise complaints are related to dogs. In most cases, there are reasons why dogs bark.

If you are being disturbed by a noisy animal:

  • Many animal owners may not realize that their pet is disturbing their neighbours. If you have a problem with a noisy animal in your neighbourhood, consider speaking with the owner. Advise them of the problem and ask the owner to stop the animal from being an annoyance to you. Most owners are responsible and will take the necessary corrective action to improve the problem.
  • If this approach does not work, call 311 and report it.
  • If the problem persists, legal action may be taken against the animal owner. This will require that you give evidence in court. The penalty is a fine - not the removal of the animal.