Calling all pets!

Last summer, the city of Montreal, and elsewhere in Quebec, witnessed dramatic incidents involving dogs that are labelled “dangerous.” The responsibility of owners toward their pets is being debated, and our leaders have an obligation to enact laws in this regard. Given the heated discussions between the people “for” and “against,” Montreal mayor Denis Coderre and his councillors have introduced a new law to control all of our pets. Here is a summary…


The new by-law concern all citizens. Whether we live in Verdun, downtown or on the Plateau, whether we are fans of dogs, cats or canaries, we must now report our pets to the city and obtain a renewable license each year. Of course, the majority of the animals involved are our feline and canine friends.

This by-lay, as described on the website of the City of Montreal (, aims to promote harmonious co-existence between citizens and pets, and to ensure the safety of people. Consequently, the law lists the animal species that you are allowed to keep at home and limits their number per household.

The law mainly targets dogs, especially pit bull-type dogs, which were unfortunately implicated in the incidents last summer. “Recent events involving dog attacks in Montreal have led us to rigorously review our animal control laws and harmonize them among all boroughs. The new by-law substantially tightens our measures against dangerous pit bull-type dogs, in order to protect all citizens in all boroughs,” said the Montreal mayor.

This by-law emphasizes the responsibility of owners and their behaviour in public places.

What this means for your dog

Spaying or neutering, along with microchipping, of all dogs will be required by December 31, 2019.
All dogs must be kept on a leash, which must be a maximum length of 1.85 m. Dogs weighing more than 20 kg must also wear a harness or halter.
All pit bull-type dogs, including the American pit bull terrier, the American Staffordshire terrier and the Staffordshire bull terrier, must be under the supervision of an adult (18+) guardian when they are outdoors. They must also be muzzled at all times and kept on a leash no more than 1.25 m long, except in a dog run or a space enclosed by a fence at least 2 m high. They must also wear a tag issued by the City.
The adoption of pit bull-type dogs is now banned, and current owners must be sure to have their special ownership permit and fulfill their obligations in this regard.

Fines for offenders

To ensure we all comply with the new by-law, an animal control patrol will be on duty throughout the territory of Montreal, making sure animal owners are observing the rules regarding safety and respect for their fellow citizens.

In the event of an offence, these sworn officers can give out a fine. The minimum fine is $300, and may range from $500 to $750 if the offence poses a risk to public safety (e.g. a bite, no leash or a false declaration).

To learn more, you can visit the website of the City of Montreal (, or talk to your veterinarian. And finally, to avoid a needless expense, we encourage you to enjoy the outstanding facilities dedicated to the dogs of our city.