Dogs and Cats and the new animal control by-law

Dogs and Cats and the new animal control by-law
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Gisele Shaw

Gisele Shaw

Gisele Shaw is the Manager of Corporate Communication for the town of Oakville since 2002. Prior to working for the town she worked for Halton Region as a communications specialist. She is a graduate of Humber College.

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Following extensive review and public input, the Town of Oakville has strengthened its animal control by-law to better serve the community and ensure a positive quality of life for all pets within the town. Animal Control By-law 2018-006 comes into effect on June 4, 2018.

“Updating this by-law ensures our community continues to be safe and enjoyable for all residents, animals and visitors,” said Mayor Rob Burton.

The animal control by-law regulates the keeping of pets within the town. It provides regulations for pets at large, leash requirements, and standards of care. It sets out what animals residents can have in their homes and limits the number of pets per household.

Animal control services in Oakville, including the enforcement of the by-law, are provided by the Oakville & Milton Humane Society (OMHS).

New animal control by-law highlights:

Standards of Care

A Standards of Care section is now included, which will allow OMHS officers to address issues such as dogs left in cars, unsanitary living conditions, and adequate shelter and protection from the elements.

Leash requirements

Additional wording has been added to clarify that when not on the owner’s property, a dog must be on a leash of some kind and under the control of a person who has sufficient strength and ability to maintain control of the dog at all times.

Number of pets per household

Currently, a maximum of three dogs and six cats are permitted per household in Oakville. The new by-law permits a combined dog and cat limit of six animals, with a maximum of three dogs. This brings the town in line with neighbouring municipalities and may assist in addressing sanitary conditions and nuisance complaints.

The by-law also provides a list of animals which are prohibited as pets within the town, including goats, chickens and pigs.

Administrative penalty system

Violations of the animal control by-law can now be handled through the Administrative Penalty System (APS) much like a parking ticket. This allows staff to address more minor violations with an administrative penalty fee, resulting in reduced reliance on the courts, and earlier resolution of offences.

As with the current animal control by-law all dogs over the age of six months in the Town of Oakville must be licensed. Licensing is an important part of being a responsible pet owner and fees help provide animal control services to reunite lost pets with owners; shelter and feed lost animals; and provide emergency veterinary medical care for injured stray dogs and cats.

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