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Animal and Pet Services

To report injured, found, or trespassing pets and animals, call 613-546-4291 ext. 3135.

Our pet and animal regulations support responsible pet ownership to ensure the safety and well-being of pets and the community.

Responsible pet ownership

Pets bring many joys - our cats and dogs love us without conditions, offer companionship, and enhance our lives. However, loving a pet is not enough. We want to help you be a responsible pet owner and keep you, your pet, and your community safe. 

Spaying and neutering pets reduces the number of strays and animals in shelters. You will also enjoy a reduced pet licence rate after spaying or neutering. 

Contact your veterinarian for more information and to book a service. 

Did you know! We offer a $250 voucher to low-income households to help you spay or neuter your pet. You can apply for this through our Municipal Fee Assistance Program (MFAP). A limited number of vouchers are available. 

The Lanark Leeds & Grenville Spay Neuter Clinic in Brockville operates an affordable spay and neuter service.

As a pet owner, you must follow our Animal Bylaw and Ontario's Dog Owners' Liability Act. Respect others when taking your pet to public areas. 

  • Keep your dog on a leash unless you are on your property or have permission from the property owner to have the dog off leash. 
  • Cats don't need leashes but shouldn't trespass in urban areas.
  • Always clean up your pet's waste, whether at home or in public.
  • Make sure your dog does not cause a disturbance, as defined by the Animal Bylaw
  • You are responsible for your dog and their behaviour at all times. Do not put your dog in a situation where they may bite or attack another person, pet, or animal.

Owning a pet involves a lifelong commitment. Before you bring one home, research their needs in terms of food, care, training, and medical costs. Be ready for essential training, socialization, and exercise. Ensure you can provide all these necessities. 

When selecting a pet, consider adopting from a reputable rescue organization like the Kingston Humane Society or purchasing from a responsible breeder with a valid permit. We license dog, cat, and rabbit breeders in Kingston. If you choose to buy from a breeder, ask for their license. This ensures they follow our bylaws and helps protect the animals, you, and your family.

Pet and animal regulations

Our Animal Bylaw creates standards for animal care in our community and ensures your safety.  

We have a list of permitted pets to help keep you and our community safe: 

  • Domestic dogs, cats, rabbits, ferrets, birds, amphibians, and fish 
  • Hens, as detailed in Schedule C of the Animal Bylaw 
  • Pigeons, as specified in Schedule D of the Animal Bylaw 
  • Rodents 
  • Mini pigs, such as pot-bellied pigs 
  • Sugar gliders 
  • Hedgehogs 
  • Raptors, provided the owner is licensed by the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources, and Forestry 
  • Non-venomous reptiles, excluding members of the crocodilian order, that do not exceed a length of two meters when fully grown 
  • Non-venomous snakes that are not constrictors and do not grow longer than three meters as adults 
  • Non-venomous tarantulas and spiders 
  • Livestock, as defined in Section 11 of the bylaw 

  • You cannot leave your dog tethered on public property for more than 15 minutes 
  • You cannot leave your dog tethered for any length of time in extreme weather conditions, like extreme heat or cold. 
  • Dogs must be on a leash when they are not on their owner's property, except in designated off-leash areas. There is no maximum leash length. 
  • Your dog must be licensed and vaccinated to visit our off-leash dog parks. 
  • All dogs must have a valid license. 
  • We may enforce persistent barking penalties under our Noise Bylaw, if the complainant provides supporting evidence such as written logs or audio or video proof.

You cannot leave your pet tethered on private property unless: 

  • The animal has free and unrestricted movement within range of the tether 
  • The animal has access to food, water, and protection from elements, including the sun 
  • The tether is a minimum of 3 metres long

  • Outdoor cats cannot enter private property 
  • Cats in urban areas must have a valid licence

You need a valid kennel or breeder permit to run a kennel or breed animals. If you have a permit, the City can inspect your property (except your living spaces) at any reasonable time to make sure you're following the rules. Permits are valid for one year and must be renewed by March 31st each year by paying the annual fee. 

Request or renew your kennel or breeder permit. You will need to sign in / log in into My Kingston portal and provide your information. 

Eligibility to get or renew a Breeder permit: 

  • Your property must follow the Zoning bylaw
  • Your property must comply with the City of Kingston bylaw for “Prescribing Standards for the Maintenance and Occupancy of Property within the City of Kingston”, and any other applicable by laws including, the Health Protection and Promotion Act, the Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act, and the Fire Protection and Prevention Act 
  • Keep your property clean and in sanitary condition  
  • Register every dog over six months and that resides on the property in the City’s Animal Identification System 
  • If the Property is in the urban area [link to map], register every cat over six months and that resides on the property permanently in the City’s Animal Identification System.  

As a Breeder with a permit, follow these rules: 

  • Keep current and accurate breeding records, including dog, cat and rabbit sales transactions 
  • Don't sell or donate to pet stores in Kingston. 
  • Every breeder must check if people wanting to buy dogs, cats, or rabbits are suitable and able to care for the specific species and breed they're interested in. Keep a written record of this screening, which an Animal Control Officer can inspect if needed. 
  • Don't sell, adopt, or give away animals before eight weeks of age. 
  • Treat animals for parasites and vaccinations before selling. 
  • Provide health and vaccination records to the new owner. 
  • Do not allow female dogs, cats, or rabbits to breed unless a veterinarian certifies their health, and this certification is updated every year. 
  • Show the breeder permit number where you sell dogs, cats, and rabbits, and include it in any ads for selling them.
  • Every breeder must give a written sales agreement with the buyer's name, sale date, and the animal's breed. The agreement should clearly state all sale terms, including a return or replacement policy that obliges the breeder to accept any returned dog, cat, or rabbit. This agreement must be properly dated and signed by everyone involved.
  • Every breeder must give the new owner of a dog, cat, or rabbit documents that confirm: 
    • The sale date 
    • The sale price 
    • The breed or crossbreed of the animal
    • The animal's gender
    • The animal's age
    • A description of the animal, including colour and markings, if any
    • An up-to-date health certificate from a veterinarian for dogs or cats

The Breeder should keep a copy of these documents for seven years from the sale date and provide copies to an Animal Control Officer upon request. 

  • Provide proper housing and exercise areas for each breed. 
  • Ensure animals have: 
    • Adequate food and water 
    • Appropriate medical attention 
    • Adequate resting and sleeping areas 
    • Adequate space to let them move naturally and to exercise
    • Sanitary conditions 
    • Ventilation, light, and protection from elements and harmful temperatures 
    • Avoid keeping animals in crowded cages or rooms 
  • Provide immediate care for animals showing distress or suffering.
  • Breeders must provide a City of Kingston license tag to new owners of dogs or cats residing in Kingston and ensure all animals are microchipped.

You can keep pigeons in the City only on an agricultural property or on a residential property that is at least on-third (1/3) of an acre in size. If you want to keep pigeons on a residential property as described above, you must have a valid Pigeon Loft permit. 

Request or renew your pigeon keeping permit. You will need to sign in / log in into My Kingston portal and provide your information. 

Regulations for keeping pigeons on a residential property 

  • The person who owns the pigeons must live on the property where the pigeons are kept. 
  • The maximum number of pigeons allowed on any Residential Property is as follows:  
    • Between November 1 in any one year to March 31 in the immediately following year, the limit is forty (40) pigeons. 
    • Between April 1 to October 31 in any one year, the limit is sixty pigeons. 
  • Pigeons can only be bred for personal use by the owner and cannot be sold for profit or gain. 
  • Anyone with a Pigeon Loft permit must allow an Animal Control Officer or another authorized city employee to inspect the property at any reasonable time, excluding any room or place used as a dwelling, to ensure compliance with all the requirements of this Bylaw. 

Every owner must: 

  • Join a recognized pigeon organization affiliated with a national pigeon organization.
  • Place metal or plastic leg bands on their pigeons.
  • Register the band numbers of their pigeons with an organization mentioned in clause.

Pigeon loft guidelines 

  • Place the pigeon loft in the rear yard of the property.  
  • Ensure that the loft is situated at least 6 meters from any property line and at least 15 meters from any dwellings on an adjacent property.  
  • Provide a minimum of 1.0 square meter of loft space for every ten (10) pigeons, with a maximum loft area of 10 square meters.  
  • Limit the height of the pigeon loft to a maximum of 5 meters. 

In case of a conflict between the requirements above and the terms of the Zoning Bylaw applicable to the property, the greater distance or setback shall take precedence. 

  • Pigeon loft maintenance: 
    • Keep it in a state of good repair through regular maintenance.  
    • Ensure it is always in a sanitary condition, disposing of waste materials in a manner that avoids creating a nuisance or public health hazard. 
  • Store all pigeon feed in a container that is proof against rodents. 
  • Keep the pigeons always confined in the pigeon loft, except during a maximum of two (2) daily flight periods within a twenty-four (24) hour period. During these flight periods, no more than half the total number of pigeons owned by the individual should be at large simultaneously. 
  • Prohibit pigeon flights between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. from April 1 to September 30, and between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. from October 1 to March 31 of the following year. 
  • Supervise all pigeon flights for the duration, except those conducted by a recognized racing pigeon club. 
  • Take reasonable steps to ensure that pigeons do not perch, nest, roost, stray, or rest on any premises other than those belonging to the pigeon owner.

Animal bylaw violations 

Common animal bylaw violations: 

  • Not getting a license for your pet.
  • Letting dogs off leash in public areas that are not designated off leash areas.
  • Not cleaning up after your pet, which applies for both public and private property. 
  • Advertising animals for sale without a license. To sell dogs, cats, or rabbits, you must be a licensed breeder, run a pet store, or are an established rescue agency. 

Irresponsible pet owners in violation of the Animal Bylaw are subject to fines. Learn more about the potential fees and penalties for Animal Bylaw violations.

To report dogs at large or any dog-related issues within the Kingston area, please contact us at 613-546-4291 ext. 3135. 

Our bylaw enforcement staff are available during the following hours: 

  • Monday to Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. 
  • Monday to Sunday: 9:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. 
  • Saturday: 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 
  • Sunday: Closed 

We can help support the following animal control issues: 

For Dogs: 

  • Monday to Friday 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Officers will try to catch dogs running loose in public places, like parks and streets. Response is dependent on staffing and weather conditions. We will also try our best to respond after hours if possible. 
  • If an Officer picks-up an injured dog, we will seek medical care. 

For Cats: 

  • We do not catch loose or stray cats. 
  • If an Officer finds as injured cat on public property, we will seek medical care.

The City of Kingston acknowledges that we are on the traditional homeland of the Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee and the Huron-Wendat, and thanks these nations for their care and stewardship over this shared land.

Today, the City is committed to working with Indigenous peoples and all residents to pursue a united path of reconciliation.

Learn more about the City's reconciliation initiatives.

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