Responsible Pet Ownership

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Owning a pet is very rewarding — our cats and dogs love us unconditionally, provide us with companionship and enrich our lives. But simply loving a pet isn't enough.  The City of Kingston wants to ensure that everyone who has a pet in Kingston is a responsible pet owner. This includes:

Licensing your pet

License your pet. New pet licences will now expire 365 days from the date of purchase.
  • All dogs in any part of the City and any cats residing in the urban area must be licensed annually. Free initial licensing will be provided to dogs and cats that are under the age of 6 months or dogs and cats over the age of 6 months that have been spayed or neutered. See the rates.
  • A City of Kingston license is a pet's ticket home. The licence tag, along with permanent identification like a microchip or tattoo, will help you reunite with a lost pet. If a dog found at-large or stray is licensed, the first ride home will be provided at no charge if the pet owner can be contacted and is able to receive the animal prior to the pet being impounded.
  • Micro-chipping your pet is also a good way to ensure they can be brought home if they are lost. The City offers reduced rates on licences for pets that are micro-chipped.

Spaying and neutering your pets

It's simple – spaying and neutering helps control the number of animals in shelters and on the streets. Residents who spay/neuter their pets also receive reduced rates for pet licences.

The City's responsible pet ownership program offers a limited number of $250 vouchers to help low-income households spay or neuter their pets. The vouchers are aimed at helping to reduce cost as a barrier for responsible pet ownership.  Households can apply for the vouchers through the City's Municipal Fee Assistance Program (MFAP).

Preventing your pet from becoming a threat or nuisance

Know what your responsibilities are under the City's Animal Bylaw and Ontario's Dog Owners' Liability Act.

  • Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times, except when they are on your property or on the property of someone who has given permission for your dog to go unleashed.
  • Cats do not have to wear a leash; however, cats in the urban area will not be allowed to trespass on another person's property.
  • Pick up and properly dispose of your pet's feces, both on and off your property.
  • Ensure your dog does not bite, injure, chase, threaten, or disturb anyone.

Procure your pet ethically and from a credible source

Having a pet means a commitment for the lifetime of that pet. Do your research on your potential pet's physical needs and what to expect for food, care and medical costs. Be aware of the type of training, socialization and exercise that will be needed and be sure that you are able to provide all of these things for your pet. Once an informed decision is made, it is important that you procure your new pet from a rescue organization (such as the Kingston Humane Society) or a breeder that is both credible and humane.

The City licenses dog, cat and rabbit breeders in Kingston. If you are purchasing a pet from a breeder, make sure to ask to see their licence. This will protect you and your family and ensures your breeder follows all the appropriate City bylaws.

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