Animal-Related Noise Bylaw
Animal-Related Noise Bylaw
- If you own a pet that disturbs your neighbours
- The following is a list of some of the reasons and possible solutions to help correct a barking issue:
- Barking at Neighbours, Passers-by or Distractions
- Separation Anxiety
- Environmental or Nutritional Needs
- Other Helpful Hints
- If you are being disturbed by anoisy animal
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If you own a pet that disturbs your neighbours
- Every pet owner has a responsibility to make sure their animal does not disturb their neighbours.
- The City of Toronto has an anti-noise bylaw prohibiting persistent barking, calling, whining or similar noise-making by any animal kept or used for any purpose at all times in a residential area. (Municipal Code Chapter 591-4 (A)). Any noise made by an animal or bird, which disturbs the peace, quiet or enjoyment of others may be considered an offence.Fines on the first conviction are up toa maximum of $5000.
- As a pet owner you have the responsibility to research through various resources, such as your veterinarian or the Internet, the behaviours and needs of your specific type of pet.
- The majority of noise complaints to Toronto Animal Services are related to dogs. In most cases, there are reasons why dogs bark. This is how theycommunicate.
The following is a list of some of the reasons and possible solutions to help correct a barking issue.
- Dogs are very social animals and love to interact with their owner or a playmate. When left alone for long periods, they may bark for attention. Providing interesting chew toys, hide and seek toys or food cubes (that they have to work at to get the food out) will often help tooccupy them in your absence.
- When at home, spend quality time with your pet. Long walks and plenty of exercise such as chasing a ball or frisbee will help them use up excess energy.
- If you are unable to be home, have a neighbour or reliable dog walker come in to exercise your dog. “Doggie daycare” is another option.
- Research your dog’s breed and the purpose they were bred for. Some dogs were meant to have a high energy level and to be working long hours. When they are isolated and confined for long periods, they can become very frustrated.
Barking at Neighbours, Passers-by or Distractions:
- Dogs are often territorial and feel the need to protect their environment. Introduce your dog to your neighbours and encourage them to get to know each other.
- Make sure people walking by your yard are not teasing your dog. This can lead to aggressive behaviour problems. It may be necessary to alter the times that your dog is outside to decrease exposure to these situations (i.e. children walking by on their way to school). Attempt to supervise your dog when he is outside.
- Spay or neuter your dog to decrease territorial behaviour towards strangers.
- For indoor dogs, leave a radio or TV on to diminish outside noise. Close curtains or room doors that allow dogs access to an outside view.
- If your dog is showing signs of stress when left alone, seek professional advice from your veterinarian, a behaviourist or a reputable obedience instructor.
Environmental or Nutritional Needs:
- Often a dog will voice their distress when their needs are not met. Make sure your dog has an adequate supply of food and water.
- For dogs that spend a long period of time outside, make sure they have an insulated shelter of appropriate size and construction. Locate the shelter so it takes advantage of the sun in the winter and available shade in the summer.
- If the dog is restrained by a tether on the property, make sure the dog has adequate room to move and cannot get tangled. A clothesline run is preferable to a stake in the ground. The Animal Care Bylaw, Municipal Code, Chapter 349 states that a tether must be a minimum length of three metres.
Other Helpful Hints:
- Citronella collars are considered to be a humane tool to discourage barking. They release a citronella solution each time the dog barks.
- Obedience training your dog will socialize your dog and get them used to a variety of situations, people and dogs.
- If your dog is barking at night due to distractions or discomfort, consider crate training your dog and allowing him in the house at night.
- The Internet offers a wealth of information about barking dogs and how to correct the problems.
- Make sure that your dog’s needs are met both physically and mentally. Your pet will be well adjusted and content, and you and your neighbours will benefit.
If you are being disturbed by a noisy animal
- Many animal owners may not realize that their pet is disturbing their neighbours. If you have a problem with a noisy animal in your neighbourhood, consider speaking with the owner. Advise them of the problem and ask the owner to stop the animal from being an annoyance to you. Most owners are responsible and will take the necessary corrective action to improve the problem.
- If this approach does not work, call Toronto Animal Services at 416-338-7297 and report the problem.
- Toronto Animal Services will contact the animal owner to educate them about the anti-noise bylaw and recommend steps to help solve the problem.
- If the problem persists, legal action may be taken against the animal owner. This will require that you give evidence in court. Please be aware that the penalty is a fine and not the removal of the animal.
- Please note that tolerance to noise varies with each individual.