Enforcement & Assistance
The City of Toronto inspects and investigates animal-related complaints to ensure compliance with acts, bylaws and regulations.
Call us for:
- 24-hour emergency response to calls for stray pets and wildlife requiring immediate medical assistance
- Response to safety concerns involving an animal, as well as animals jeopardizing the safety of the public, such as dogs at large
- Pick up of lost dogs for return to their owners or transporting to a shelter while searching for owner
- Removal of dead wildlife and domestic animals on public or private property (when owner unknown)
- Report dog bite or attack to 311 as soon as possible. You may also be required to report the incident to Public Health.
- If the bite or attack victim is transported to the hospital, contact 311 as soon as reasonably possible.
If a dog bites or attacks you and breaks the skin:
- Seek medical attention (call 911 if serious).
- Report the bite to 311.
- Try to provide a clear description of dog.
- Obtain the dog owner’s name and address.
- Write down the date, time and location where the bite occurred.
- Information about anyone who witnessed the bite.
- Take a clear photo of the bite injury – document that date and time of the photo.
- As soon as practical, In your own handwriting, make clear concise notes on what happened and document the date of the notes.
If a dog attacks you and causes injury other than a break in the skin:
Call 311 and provide:
- A clear description of dog (if possible)
- Dog owner’s name and address
- Date, time and location where the bite occurred
- Witness information, if possible
What happens next?
Toronto Public Health will:
- initiate an animal to human exposure investigation
- contact the person who has been bitten to take a Rabies Exposure Report
- contact the dog owner (if known) and issue an order to confine and isolate the animal
Once Toronto Animal Services receives information about a dog bite, the following happens:
- If the dog is still on the loose, an officer will respond within two hours.
- if the dog is with the owner and under control, an officer will respond within 24 hours.
An Animal Care and Control Officer will:
- visit the victim to take a report
- request the victim and any witness prepare a written statement detailing the bite or attack incident
- request medical documentation describing the bite wound/injury
- continue the investigation by proceeding to the dog owner (if known)
A public health inspector will make contact to quarantine the offending dog.(if known)
What actions could be taken with respect to the offending dog?
- If the bite or injury is not severe and is the first on record with the City, the dog owner could be served with a Written Warning.
- If the bite or injury is severe, or there is a prior record with the City, the dog could be deemed a Dangerous Dog and the owner could be served with a Dangerous Dog Order.
- If the dog is already under a Muzzle or Notice of Caution Order, the dog could be deemed a Dangerous Dog and the owner could be served with a Dangerous Dog Order.
- If a dog owner is served with a Dangerous Dog Order, the owner must muzzle and leash the dog when off the premises of the owner, post a warning sign on their property, obtain training for the dog and prohibit the dog from entering a designated leash-free area.
- The City’s noise bylaw prohibits persistent barking, whining or other animal-related noise in a residential area.
- If you have a problem with a noisy animal in your neighbourhood, consider speaking with the owner first.
- If this approach does not work, call 311.
- If the animal owner does not fix the issue, officers can issue notices of violation, written warnings, and may lay charges.