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Deadline looms for input into tough new dog control bylaws

-adapted from newkaralacom

-adapted from newkaralacom

October 24, 2016

Toronto residents have just two more days to make their views known about proposed new bylaw provisions that would impose stricter rules governing how owners of dogs defined as “dangerous” control their pets —even on their own property.

The City of Toronto survey about “Responsible Dog Ownership and Mitigating the Risks of Dangerous Dogs”, which closes October 26, will be reviewed by the Licensing and Standards Committee considering a number of revisions to the city’s animal control regulations.

The survey, which can be viewed and completed online, asks residents to rate their agreement with suggested definitions of “dangerous” dogs, an “attack” and a “menace” and whether they agree with a number of proposed regulatory changes respecting such animals.

Among the criteria that could label a pet dangerous are incidents in which a dog has “severely bitten a person or domestic animal”; a dog that has bitten another animal or person more than once; and dogs that are subject to “a muzzle order” under bylaws, control orders or the provincial Dog Owner’s Liability Act.

Survey participants are also asked to agree, disagree or suggest amendments to proposed regulatory provisions that would require owners of dogs defined as dangerous to:

* muzzle and leash them at all times when off the owner’s property;
* ensure the animals wear a “dangerous dog” tag when in public;
* keep the animals out of “off-leash areas” in parks;
* post a “dangerous dog” warning sign on their property;
* provide proof of microchipping and a recent photo of the animal to the city;
* provide proof of obedience training for the dog and of safe handling practices for the owner.

Other changes being considered by the city and for which response is requested include forbidding dangerous dogs to be “tethered (tied up) on the owner’s property for any period longer than a total of three hours” per day; prohibition of the use of “choke collars, chains or pronged collars” to tie up dogs —even while the animal is on the owner’s property— or possible outright ban on the use of such collars.

Questions about the survey can be directed to the Municipal Licensing and Standards division through senior policy officer Jessica Walters.  She can be contacted at 416-362-8794 or via email at jwalter2@toronto.ca.

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