Animal Services

Animal services van

Animal Enforcement and Mobile Services

Toronto Animal Services promotes the health and safety of people, pets and animals living together in Toronto communities through bylaw enforcement and mobile response.

Which enforcement and mobile services does Animal Services provide?

24-hour emergency emergency response to calls for stray pets and wildlife requiring immediate medical assistance

Response to safety concerns involving an animal, as well as animals jeopardizing the safety of the public, such as dogs at large

Pick up of lost dogs for return to their owners or impounding at one of our shelters while searching for the owner

Removal of dead wildlife and domestic animals on public or private property when the owner is unknown 

What to expect during an Animal Services investigation

Information you should provide

When reporting an incident or requesting an investigation it is helpful to provide as much information as possible to facilitate a thorough and timely response.  If the concern relates to animals being kept on privately-owned property, providing the address is essential.

What happens during an investigation

Every situation is unique and the time needed to gain compliance will vary. In cases where an animal owner does not comply in a reasonable time, our officers will issue Notices of Violation, Written Warnings, and may be in a position to lay charges if there is sufficient evidence. Priority is given to those situations where there is a threat to the safety of the animal or the public.


Due to freedom of information issues each officer is required to make the best effort to ensure that the privacy of individuals is maintained during an investigation. This will often affect the amount of information that can be communicated and the details that can be provided.


Animal Services is responsible for enforcement related to the following:


Toronto Animal Services enforces provisions of the Toronto Municipal Code and The Dog Owners' Liability Act:

  • to ensure that animals are kept in accordance with the conditions set out in the Toronto Municipal Code;
  • to ensure animal owners understand their responsibilities owning a pet in Toronto; and
  • to ensure that specific safety concerns and emergencies within the authority of the Municipal Code and Dog Owners' Liability Act are addressed in a timely manner.

Animal Services inspects and investigates animal-related complaints on private property and City-owned lands, such as parks, to ensure compliance with acts, bylaws and regulations.  This maintains a high level of public safety, neighbourhood integrity and cleanliness, and consumer protection.

Bylaw Compliance Program

This program responds to complaints and initiates prevention through inspections, dispute resolution, education, enforcement and prosecution.  Please contact 311 for more information.