A paw in the right direction
The safety of residents and the welfare of animals at the heart of the regulation
At the municipal council meeting held on February 7, 2017, a notice of motion was given to announce the adoption of new municipal by-law L-12430 concerning animals. The draft by-law will be submitted for its adoption by the members of the municipal council at the March 14 meeting for entry into force on April 1, 2017.
Consult the draft regulation (PDF, 518 Ko - in French only)
“In keeping with our animal management philosophy, the new regulation focuses first of all on the safety of residents and the accountability of animal owners, in harmony with animal welfare,” stated Laval Mayor Marc Demers at the outset.
Accountability of animal owners
A gradation of the severity of the fines will be established based on the seriousness of the offences committed by animal owners. Furthermore, any dog involved in a situation liable to threaten the safety of a person or of a household pet will be subject to an investigative process aimed at assessing the level of risk. This investigation may lead to the imposition of certain measures such as behavioural therapy, the obligation to wear a muzzle or euthanasia.
“One of the main objectives of this new regulation is to hold dog owners accountable for their animal's behaviour. Their non-compliance could result in a charge of criminal negligence under the Criminal Code of Canada,” explained Mayor Demers.
“Working with an advisory committee made up mostly of animal experts, we benchmarked best practices in Canada to draw up this new by-law. We sincerely thank the experts who were involved in this process on a voluntary basis, namely Dr. Joël Bergeron, president of the Ordre des médecins vétérinaires du Québec, Dr. Michel Pepin, communications officer of the Association des médecins vétérinaires du Québec - small animals, Danny Ménard, animal health technician and president of the Association des techniciens en santé animale du Québec and Tayna Thorpe, animal shelter representative,” added Sandra Desmeules, councillor for Concorde - Bois-de-Boulogne, member of the executive committee and responsible for the animal management file.
Mandatory permits and identification tags for cats and dogs
“The ID tag makes it possible to rapidly locate the owner of a lost animal and to estimate the household cat and dog populations on our territory, which in turn facilitates animal management,” explained Sandra Desmeules.
Dog owners are already used to this and as of April 1, 2017, Laval cat owners will also have to obtain a permit and an ID tag for their pets. The permit costs $27 for a dog and $15 for a cat and is valid for 1 year from the date of issue. Animal owners may purchase it at the Comptoir multiservice, located at 1333, boulevard Chomedey, or during home visits by City representatives.
“In addition to curbing the problem of overpopulation and unwanted animals, sterilization has more benefits than disadvantages for the animal in terms of both health and behaviour,” explained Dr. Joël Bergeron.
“When not intended as part of a responsible reproduction programme, the sterilization of small animals is a form of respect for animal life. By limiting the number of births, we can reduce the number of healthy animals which must be euthanized,” added Dr. Michel Pepin.
Therefore, as of January 1, 2018, sterilization will be mandatory for all dogs and cats more than 6 months old kept on the Laval territory. Exceptions may be made with written proof from a veterinarian.
“Microchipping is inexpensive and is recognized as the most reliable and durable option. Once implanted, the microchip lasts for the life of the pet. It can help solve disputes regarding animal ownership but most importantly, it facilitates the return of a lost animal to its owner. Identification by microchip can help save on pound fees and curb useless or inappropriate euthanasia,” said Danny Ménard.
Therefore, as of January 1, 2018, microchips will be mandatory for all dogs and cats kept on the Laval territory. Microchipping is offered in most veterinary clinics but to help residents meet this requirement, the City will hold microchipping clinics during the year.
• The maximum number of animals allowed is 4 including a maximum of 2 dogs. However, a special permit can be obtained to keep up to a maximum of 8 animals including 4 dogs. Those who own more animals than the number allowed in the by-law before its coming into force will be allowed to keep their animals upon presentation of evidence to that effect.
• Dogs must be kept on a leash no longer than 1.85 m in all public places, with the exception of dog parks. Dogs must be under the control of their guardian at all times.
• It is forbidden to leave an animal in a road vehicle without supervision for more than 10 minutes in temperatures below –10 °C or above 20 °C, and the windows must be left partly open at all times.
• As of January 1, 2018, all dogs and all cats must be vaccinated against rabies.