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City of Kingston’s Animal Bylaw updates now in effect

Kingstonist file photo

On Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022. updates to the City of Kingston’s Animal Bylaw took effect. These “paw-sitive” measures are meant to strengthen and elevate standards for animal care in the community and keep residents safe, the City said in a media release.

“For many people, pets are part of the family,” stated Kyle Compeau, Manager of Enforcement Services. “These new measures will clarify responsibilities for pet owners in the community to ensure that everyone, including their pets, feel safe and comfortable in Kingston.”

Updates to the Animal Bylaw include:

  • A list that includes all species allowed for domestic ownership;
  • New regulations for keeping racing pigeons;
  • Additional measures to protect the public from potentially dangerous dogs;
  • Banning the tethering of animals on public property during extreme weather events and instituting time limits for unattended tethered animals at other times;
  • Prohibiting the advertisement of the sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits, to discourage unethical breeding practices;
  • Expanding enforcement to permit issuing fines for unlicensed dogs in dog parks;
  • Permitting Administrative Monetary Penalties for Animal Bylaw violations; and,
  • Expansion of at-large regulations to include Livestock

City introduces a Safe Surrender Program

According to the release, the Municipal Fee Assistance Program (MFAP) has been temporarily expanded to include a Safe Surrender Program. The city said that eligible residents can apply for a voucher of up to $2,000 to assist with costs related to the extraction or removal of the non-permitted species and associated re-homing costs. Veterinary costs would not be covered and a surrender agreement will be required between the owner of the prohibited species and the surrender agency.

The City will assist residents in contacting an appropriate agency to help with rehoming, and residents seeking to rehome a non-permitted species through MFAP would not be fined, according to the release. The Safe Surrender Program will be in place until the end of 2022.

City funds low-cost spay/neuter clinic

On Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022, City council approved funding for the Kingston Humane Society (KHS) to establish a high volume/low-cost spay/neuter clinic in Kingston. According to the release, this additional funding will allow the KHS to purchase additional equipment necessary to conduct safe, high-volume spay/neuter surgeries. This program will be an additional support, in conjunction with the current MFAP spay/neuter voucher program, the City said, and will provide an additional 240 spay/neuters per year with further dates expected as the clinic progresses. According to the release, this will significantly help community-wide efforts to reduce pet overpopulation and unwanted animals, ensuring animals can find a home.

The clinic is expected to be in operation within 2022. Residents interested in learning more can call the City’s Customer Experience team at 613-546-0000.

Learn about responsible pet ownership

The City’s responsible pet ownership program provides these guidelines for residents to ensure that Kingston pets are happy and healthy:

  1. License your pet: dogs, and cats within the urban part of Kingston must be licensed. This helps the City to know how many pets are in Kingston and can help you get reunited with your pet if they get lost.
  2. Spay/neuter your pet: spaying or neutering your pet helps to control the number of animals, keeping pets out of shelters and off the streets.
  3. Prevent your pet from becoming a threat or nuisance: while you know and trust your pet, others might not. Please be considerate of others when taking your pets out in public and follow the Animal Bylaw.
  4. Get your pet ethically and from a credible source: Do your research before getting a pet and, when you do, get your pet from a recognized rescue, like the Kingston Humane Society, or a licensed breeder.

Learn more about responsible pet ownership and the Animal Bylaw online at: https://www.cityofkingston.ca/residents/animals-pets

Ted Hsu for MPP
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