Animal Control Bylaw Review

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

Cat, lizard, dog, fish and cockatiel


View the Animal Bylaw Review Survey reporting back.


As part of a regular review process, the City is seeking input on a number of proposed new provisions to its Animal Control Bylaw, which is aimed at ensuring the safety of people and animals.

Existing animal control regulations are different for the rural and urban parts of Kingston. New provisions are now being considered to regulate:

  • Exotic pets
  • Per household pet limits
  • Standard of care requirements
  • Leash-length requirements

The survey below is part of a data collection process. Staff will be collecting resident input on various requirements before preparing

Cat, lizard, dog, fish and cockatiel


View the Animal Bylaw Review Survey reporting back.


As part of a regular review process, the City is seeking input on a number of proposed new provisions to its Animal Control Bylaw, which is aimed at ensuring the safety of people and animals.

Existing animal control regulations are different for the rural and urban parts of Kingston. New provisions are now being considered to regulate:

  • Exotic pets
  • Per household pet limits
  • Standard of care requirements
  • Leash-length requirements

The survey below is part of a data collection process. Staff will be collecting resident input on various requirements before preparing a draft bylaw for consideration by Council. At this point, no draft has been prepared. The information collected as part of the survey will be presented at an online open house on Dec. 9.

Pet owners: Existing pet arrangements will likely be grandfathered in to any update to the Animal Control Bylaw.


CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

Ask your questions about the Animal Bylaw Review. The Q&A will remain open until Jan. 4, 2021.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Why are cats allowed at large but dogs are not

    Shan asked 5 months ago

    Hello and thank you for the question. You are correct in that cats are not currently subject to the at-large provisions of the by-law. While a question on this topic was not included in the survey, staff are intending to make cats subject to at-large provisions of the by-law as part of the updated by-law. 

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Why only focus on dogs. You allow cats to roam free. I would much prefer to see a dog in my open backyard instead of a cat. But I always see cats wandering about

    Shan asked 5 months ago

    Thank you for the question. The current by-law does contain a provision that makes it an offence for cats to trespass on private property (Section 4.21). Any infractions need to be reported to City by-law for investigation.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    I'm disappointed that there aren't more positive initiatives proposed. Animals are largely framed as a potential problem to be controlled in the survey. What about more and better dog parks? (and cat parks!) What about good citizenship designations that allow dogs access to more spaces, business, etc.? What about policies for so-called farm animals who live with people as companions? What about policies to make life better for wild animals in the city -- e.g. road crossings, protective window glass? publicly funded rescue, rehab and release programs? What about a city education program on non-lethal methods for resolving conflicts? Where is the imagination????

    Sue Donaldson asked 5 months ago

    Hello and thank you for comments. By-laws by nature are somewhat negative, as they are punitive in nature and look to discourage certain behaviours. Public education regarding responsible pet ownership will be a part of ongoing City efforts once the by-law review has been completed. The City does support community organizations involved in the trap, neuter, vaccinate and return of feral cats, which you can learn more about on the City website.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    I live along a busy City corridor - Union Street. Apart from the daily routine of EMS vehicles hurrying in both directions, there is a constant flow of automobile, truck, bus and City maintenance vehicle traffic. Left to roam free, neighbourhood cats frequently cross from one side of Union to the other, and I have personally witnessed a near accident involving a cat dashing in front of the path of a cyclist as they were being passed by a car. It could well have been a fatal collision, for the cyclist. The owners of the cat have been consulted by neighbours a number of times, but fail to understand their responsibility as pet owners. I'm sure that citywide, this is by no means a unique occurrence. It would improve safety on our streets if cat owners were obliged to restrict their animals from roaming freely . . . Can you expand the existing by-law to include this element?

    Derek Complin asked 5 months ago

    Hello and thank for the question. The current by-law does contain a provision prohibiting cats from trespassing on private property (Section 4.21). Cats are not currently subject to 'at-large' provisions, which would cover cats that are in a place other than the property owned or occupied by its owner and not under the control of its owner or another person acting on behalf of the owner, such as the situation you describe above. As part of the review staff are considering having cats in the urban area subject to at-large provisions.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    What by laws exist for dog sitting/walking businesses. Are they licensed? Are they insured? How many dogs can you walk at the same time? I watch a neighbour take up to 7 large dogs walking in the neighbourhood. No way could he control them from stray dog attacks or if they decided to run off. The noise from their barking during the day between walks is excessive. How does this type of business get regulated?

    Johnmackay asked 5 months ago

    Hello and thank you for the question. Dog walking business are not subject to licensing requirements in Kingston, and there is no limit to the number of dogs that can be walked at once. However, the current by-law, Section 4.19 states "Every dog shall be under the control of its owner at all times when on any property that is not owned or occupied by its owner." Additionally, regarding barking, section 4.24(1) states "No owner shall cause or permit his or her dog to become a public nuisance by: (1) persistently barking or howling"

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Re: The number of pets per household. Were you aware that Humane Canada (Canadian Federation of Humane Societies), the largest animal welfare group in Canada, has the following position statement on this issue: "Establishing an arbitrary limit on the number of pets permitted in a dwelling does not address concerns about irresponsible pet ownership." Do you have data/evidence which you believe refutes this position?

    MargaretJB asked 5 months ago

    Hello and thank you for the question and additional information. At this time we are gathering information and research on a variety of topics, including pet limits. Staff is aware of the positions of various groups on the the topic and the limitations of pet limits as a tool to address irresponsible pet ownership. One of the reasons the questions was included in the survey was to gather public opinion on the topic, as pet limits is a tool used in many other municipal animal by-laws. If you have research papers or data related to the topic, please feel free to share with me (dochej@cityofkingston.ca). The more information we have the better recommendations we can make!

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Why are we being asked about leash on dogs only? I have an issue with Cat's roaming through my yard, dirtying up patio furniture and shedding their hair. It seems to me you should be asking about leashes for dogs and cats.

    holmesjw asked 5 months ago

    Hello and thank you for the question. At the time of compiling the survey questions, the issue of leashes for cats was not considered a priority issue. The current by-law does contain a provision prohibiting cats from trespassing on private property (Section 4.21). Your comment on the matter is appreciated and will be considered along with other comments as we move forward in gathering feedback to inform a new draft by-law.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Does Kingston have any dog parks where a section is divided for smaller dogs? The Memorial Center would be ideal.

    LF asked 5 months ago

    At this time the City does not have any off-leash dog parks that areas sectioned off for smaller dogs. Thank you for the suggestion. 

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    The multi pet home concerns me as many of us, aware of the lack of affordable and accessible spay neuter services in this community, provide safe and healthy homes for the excess animals that are a result of our out of control breeding crisis. The focus should be on being a humane community whereby reducing the numbers to a sustainable level which would render this arbitrary limit a moot topic. Can you please rise above the obstacles blocking the creation of a HVLC s/n clinic and help this community become humane in reducing this Over breeding. Killing healthy animals is not the solution. Stopping the breeding is THE only sustainable and humane step. THANK YOU!

    Wendya asked 5 months ago

    Thank you for your comments.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    What is the limit of household animals discussed?

    Confiteor28 asked 5 months ago

    Hello,

    As part of the survey we are asking people, if they are in favour of limiting the number of household animals, what their preferred limit would be. We have left the limits open-ended so we can get an idea of what limits would be reasonable for Kingston residents. Research from other municipalities show that limits for cats range between 3 - 6 and dogs 3 - 4. I hope this information helps!