Under the microscope: Dog Control Act
On March 3, 2020, in order to provide itself with uniform rules, the Quebec government adopted the Regulation respecting the application of the Act to promote the protection of persons by establishing a framework for dogs.
Although it has now been in place for more than a year, this law includes several new features or changes that deserve to be highlighted…
WHY this new regulation?
Over the past few years, several municipalities have put in place bylaws to regulate the presence of dogs on their territory. However, the Government of Quebec has deemed it important to create a regulation to standardize everything.
According to the Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation, this regulation would allow ;
“A better picture of the dog population through mandatory registration of all dogs ”
“the establishment of minimum standards for the control and ownership of dogs”
“Increased custody standards for potentially dangerous dogs”.
“inspection and enforcement powers for municipalities”.
WHERE and WHEN does it apply?
As of March 2020, this regulation is in effect throughout Quebec at all times. All dogs and their guardians are subject to this regulation.
WHO is responsible for its implementation?
The government has delegated authority to Quebec municipalities to enforce this regulation. Several municipalities in the Eastern Townships have chosen to delegate some of the responsibilities to the Société protectrice des animaux de l’Estrie.
WHAT DOES THIS IMPLY for me and my dog?
The regulation states;
- “The owner or guardian of a dog must register it with the local municipality of his or her principal residence within 30 days of acquiring the dog, establishing his or her principal residence in a municipality, or the day on which the dog reaches the age of 3 months.”
If you live in a municipality served by the SPA de l’Estrie, you can register your dog directly with us. Visit our online registration form, or contact our licensing department by phone at 819 821-4727 option 4, to register your pet.
- « In a public place, a dog must at all times be under the control of a person capable of handling it. »
You or the person walking your dog in a public place must have good control of the animal’s movements. For example, if you come across someone on a trail who says they do not want to make contact with your dog, you must be able to control your dog to avoid contact.
- « (…) a dog must also be kept on a leash of a maximum length of 1.85 m. A dog weighing 20 kg or more must also wear a halter or harness attached to its leash at all times.»
Make sure your leash is no longer than 1.85 m (6 feet). Also, in some cities, such as Sherbrooke, retractable leashes are prohibited. If your dog weighs more than 20 kg (66 lbs), take the time to choose between a halter or a harness for the comfort of you and your dog when going outside.
- « A dog may not be on a property belonging to a person other than its owner or keeper, unless the presence of the dog has been expressly authorised. »
At home, you must ensure that your dog is not allowed to leave the boundaries of your property. He should be restrained or in a fenced area. When your dog is free on your property, you should be outside with him to monitor his movements.
WHO CAN REPORT an aggressive incident?
Doctors and veterinarians
Doctors are obliged to report a biting incident on a human. Veterinarians must report the incident when they have reason to believe that the dog may pose a risk to the safety of others.
If you have witnessed or been a victim of an aggressive incident involving a dog and you live in a municipality served by the SPA de l’Estrie, we invite you to report it here.
*If you do not live in a municipality served by the SPA de l’Estrie, contact your municipality directly.
WHAT ARE THE FINES under this regulation?
$250 to $750
A dog not registered with the SPA or whose licence has not been renewed
$500 to $1500
A guardian who does not control his dog, who does not keep it on a leash, who does not make it wear its harness or halter (20 kg and +) in a public place
$1000 to $2500
A guardian of a dog declared potentially dangerous who does not respect the specific custody standards required by the municipality.
$1000 à $10 000
The guardian of a dog who fails to undergo a behavioural assessment or who fails to comply with the orders of the municipality (euthanasia or other measure)
For all criminal provisions related to the application of the Regulation, see Section 6 of the Implementing Regulation.
Under the microscope, you and your dog
Check to see if you and your canine companion are legal and well informed.