Frequently Asked Questions
- What does Toronto Animal Services (TAS) do?
- Where are the Animal Care Centres located?
- When are the Animal Care Centres open?
- Is Toronto Animal Services the same as the OSPCA (humane societies)?
- Does Toronto Animal Services operate spay/neuter clinics?
- Why is it important to sterilize my dog or cat?
- What educational programs are available?
- Can I volunteer with Toronto Animal Services?
- Do your shelters have animals available for adoption?
- What are the requirements for adopting a pet from Toronto Animal Services?
- What are the fees for adopting an animal?
- Why are there more cats than dogs available for adoption?
- Why do I need to licence and vaccinate my pet?
- Where can I get a licence for my pet?
- Where does the money for pet licensing go?
- How do I update my pet's licensing/registration information?
- I recently moved to Toronto. I had my dog/cat licensed at my old place of residence, can I transfer my registration to you or do I need to purchase a new one?
Lost & found pets
- What should I do if I've lost my dog or cat?
- I have found a lost dog or cat, what should I do?
- Should I let my cat go outside?
- My neighbour’s dog barks all the time, who do I complain to and how?
- Where do I call to report a dog running at large, a public safety concern involving an animal, a dead animal, etc?
- How many animals are you legally allowed to own?
- What should I do if I have been bitten by a dog?
- What do I do if a dog has bitten my pet (dog or cat)?
- Why does it sometimes seem to take so long for an Animal Care & Control Officer to respond to my call?
What does Toronto Animal Services (TAS) do?
Toronto Animal Services promotes responsible pet ownership, encourages voluntary compliance with animal-related laws (City of Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 349 (PDF file size 95KB)), promotes pet adoption and pet identification. TAS works to further promote and support a harmonious environment where humans and animals can co-exist free from conditions that adversely affect their health and safety.
TAS also provides services to pet owners (e.g., lost pets, owner surrender, cremation, etc.) and services to citizens in the City of Toronto (e.g., pick up of sick and/or injured wildlife, removal of dead animals, etc.). For more information contact Toronto Animal Services at 416-338-PAWS(7297).
Where are the Animal Centres located?
There are four Animal Centres in the city.
When are the Animal Centres open?
|Centre Hours||Monday through Sunday 10:30 am to 6:30 pm
|Centres Closed||Statutory Holidays, Rememberance Day, and the Monday after Easter|
Is Toronto Animal Services the same as the OSPCA (humane societies)?
Toronto Animal Services enforces the City of Toronto bylaws as they relate to animals living in the City of Toronto. We care for all animals impounded under the bylaws. In contrast, the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) aims to prevent cruelty to animals. Toronto Animal Services and the various branches and affiliates of the OSPCA advocate responsible pet ownership through education, provide adoption services and share a concern for the welfare of animals.
Does Toronto Animal Services operate spay/neuter clinics?
Yes, Toronto Animal Services operates a Spay/Neuter Clinic. The telephone number is 416-338-6281.
For more information on the requirements, hours of the spay/neuter clinic and/or to book an appointment, please contact the telephone number listed above. Please note that the City's veterinarians provide the surgery for cats only.
Why is it important to sterilize my dog or cat?
The City of Toronto area has a serious pet over-population problem. Sterilizing animals before they have puppies or kittens is an effective method of controlling animal population. Sterilization has also proven to benefit the health and well being of many animals. A veterinarian can perform this simple medical procedure which promotes animal health and prevents the birth of additional animals for which good homes may not be available.
What educational programs are available?
An Animal Care & Control Officer with help of a canine companion, provides Dog Bite Prevention programs to elementary schools throughout the City of Toronto. Other public education presentations are provided to community groups and public events events by request. For more information, call 416-338-8522.
Can I volunteer with Toronto Animal Services?
Yes. Animal Services has a variety of different volunteer opportunities where you can lend a helping hand. Volunteers are always welcome to help with animal socialization, cat cuddling and dog walking. We are also in need of volunteers to foster our orphaned animals and pregnant dogs and cats, especially in the spring and summer months.
To become a volunteer, visit one of our Animal Centres to complete a volunteer application and receive information about our volunteer programs. Our staff will provide you with an orientation of the Animal Centre and you will have an opportunity to positively interact with the cats and dogs available for adoption. Our volunteers find this to be a rewarding experience and their commitment greatly contributes to the physical and psychological well being of our adoptable dogs and cats.
Do your shelters have animals available for adoption?
Yes. Each of our Animal Centres houses a variety of dogs and cats, young and old, as well as other types of small animals available for adoption. Make sure to check back frequently as new animals are posted for adoption each day.
|Adoption Hours||Monday through Sunday 10:30 am to 6:30 pm
Statutory holidays: closed
What are the requirements for adopting a pet from Toronto Animal Services?
Toronto Animal Services encourages the adoption of available animals to responsible pet owners. If you are interested in adopting a pet, you will be required to complete an adoption questionnaire at the Animal Centre. The questionnaire will assist our staff to make sure that the pet you choose will best fit your lifestyle. You will also need to provide a drivers licence or I.D. with your current address. Payment can be in the form of cash, debit, Visa, MasterCard or American Express.
What are the fees for adopting an animal?
The adoption fees include vaccinations, microchip and refundable certificates for surgical sterilization of the pet, rabies vaccination and veterinary health check.
- Adult cats or kittens are $75.00 plus all taxes and $15.00 annual licence fee (discount available to senior citizens).
- Adult dogs or puppies are $125.00 plus all taxes and $25.00 annual licence fee (discount available to senior citizens) and a one time sterilization recovery fee plus all taxes ($60.00 for neutered male dogs and $90.00 for spayed female dogs).
Why are there more cats than dogs available for adoption?
Although it is mandatory to register your cat each year with the City of Toronto, there are currently no laws to prohibit cats from roaming the streets. When roaming cats are brought to Toronto Animal Services, we often cannot contact the owner because the cat is not wearing any form of identification and has not been microchipped.
If the owners do not come in to find their cats after a specified period of time, the cat can be put up for adoption. Toronto Animal Services has more cats available for adoption, as fewer cats are returned to or claimed by their owners than dogs.
Why do I need to licence and vaccinate my pet?
Regardless of a dog or cat’s (and owner's) lifestyle, the City of Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 349 (PDF file size 95KB) requires that all dogs and cats are licensed/registered on an annual basis. In addition, Ontario Regulation 567, Health Protection and Promotion Act, requires that all dogs and cats be vaccinated against rabies.
Where can I get a licence for my pet?
You can licence/register your pet at any of our Animal Centres.
Where does the money for pet licensing go?
The money received for pet licensing/registration allows us to:
- feed and shelter stray animals support the rescue of lost and/or homeless animals that are injured or in need of veterinary care provides 24 hour emergency response to calls for animals requiring immediate medical assistance or are jeopardizing the safety of the public return lost pets
- provide public education programs
How do I update my pet's licensing/registration information?
In order to keep accurate and up-to-date records, we ask you to please send us any updated information on either yourself or your pets. Updated information (e.g., new mailing address, phone number, etc.) can be sent via mail, fax or by phone to:
Toronto Animal Services
35 Spadina Rd.
I recently moved to Toronto. I had my dog/cat licensed at my old place of residence, can I transfer my registration to you or do I need to purchase a new one?
Unfortunately we do not accept animal licences from other municipalities. You will need to re-apply with the City of Toronto Animal Services for a new pet licence.
Lost & found pets
What should I do if I've lost my dog or cat?
As soon as you notice your dog or cat is missing, immediately check around your home and neighbourhood. Ask friends and neighbours if they have seen your pet and if so, when and where? If your pet is not found after your initial search, contact Toronto Animal Services at 416-338-PAWS (7297) and file a lost animal report. Be prepared to provide a description of your pet, licence number and tattoo or microchip number if applicable.
Visit all Animal Centres in person. If your pet is not wearing a licence/tag and your pet does not have a tattoo or microchip identification, only you can visibly identify your missing pet. Make sure you also check your local veterinary clinics and your local humane society.
If it has been more than 24 hours and you still haven't been able to locate your dog or cat, visit our Web site section on lost pets to search through the photos of lost pets in our Centres (the pictures are updated frequently throughout the day).
Place notices, preferably with a picture of your missing pet, at all of our Animal Centres, local stores, veterinary clinics and the local humane society. Place your own advertisements in the lost and found sections of the local newspapers and ask the local radio and cable stations if they will mention your lost pet. Don't give up. Sometimes a lost dog or cat will show up months later.
I have found a lost dog or cat, what should I do?
If you have found a lost dog or cat and it is wearing a City of Toronto tag, contact our office at 416-338-PAWS (7297). Toronto Animal Services staff are available to check our database to locate the registered owner, seven days per week from 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
If you have found an animal that is not wearing any identification (e.g., tag), please bring the animal to one of our Animal Centres. We can scan for a microchip, which may provide information on the registered owner and we can check our lost animal reports. In addition, we will be able to place the animal in public view. If you are unable to bring the animal to one of our Animal Centres, call 416-338-PAWS (7297) to arrange for the animal to be picked up by an Animal Care & Control Officer.
Should I let my cat go outside?
Outdoor cats live a life that is a mystery to their owners. Your outdoor cat will happily use the neighbour’s garden or lawn as a giant-sized litter box, causing a great deal of aggravation. Many are also breeding with other cats, increasing the already overwhelming population of unwanted, homeless cats. Outdoor cats are prone to getting lost and hundreds of cats die annually on the streets of Toronto, alone and unidentified. Searching for a lost cat, especially if it does not have a city registration tag as required by the City of Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 349 (PDF file size 95KB) is a time consuming and often disappointing effort. Less than 10% of lost cats in Toronto are reunited with their owners.
It’s a fact that an indoor cat lives a longer, healthier life than that of an outdoor cat. An indoor cat never faces the dozens of dangers waiting outside your front door like cars, other cats waiting to fight or exposure to disease and parasites. Cats raised indoors are perfectly content with their world. Those that have experienced the outdoors will need some time to get used to being inside. A cat run in the backyard may be the initial step to help your outdoor cat learn to relax and enjoy the comforts of home.
My neighbour’s dog barks all the time, who do I complain to and how?
Animal noise complaints can be reported during normal business hours (Monday to Sunday 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.) by calling 416-338-PAWS(7297). As part of our investigation, we will make sure the owner is in compliance with the City of Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 349 (PDF file size 95KB) The Municipal Code requires an owner to provide adequate and appropriate care for their animals. However the code does not require an owner to allow their dog to sleep inside the house. Where an animal is kept outside with adequate food, water and shelter and is not injured or in poor condition, the owner is not committing an offence.
If you believe the dog is barking because it is suffering or in distress, contact the OSPCA at 1-888-ONT-SPCA (1-888-668-7722).
Where do I call to report a dog running at large, a public safety concern involving an animal, a dead animal, etc?
Complaints for bylaw infractions (e.g., dog running at large, dog off leash, failure to stoop & scoop, etc.) may be reported during normal business hours by calling 416-338-PAWS (7297).
How many animals are you legally allowed to own?
The City of Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 349 (PDF file size 95KB) states that no person can keep more than six of any combination of dogs, cats, ferrets and rabbits at any given time in their home. Within the combination of dogs, cats, ferrets and rabbits the maximum number of dogs permitted per dwelling unit is three.
What should I do if I have been bitten by a dog?
Immediately seek medical attention if required.
Report the dog bite to Toronto Animal Services during our normal business hours (Monday to Sunday 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.).
If you have an immediate public safety concern (e.g., dog is at large) an operator is available 24 hours per day at 416-338-PAWS (7297).
Why does it sometimes seem to take so long for an Animal Care & Control Officer to respond to my call?
How quickly an officer can respond to a call depends upon two factors: how many officers are available to respond, and the priority calls that need to be serviced first (e.g., sick or injured animal). Calls involving an immediate danger or injury to an animal or person are of higher priority than the pick up of a dead animal.