As spring has arrived, citizens of the Eastern Townships are enjoying the weather with their dogs outside. The SPA de l’Estrie is taking this opportunity to remind the public of the proper behavior to adopt with their dogs, whether it be on their property or in public places.

WHY have your dog on a leash?
• To control your dog in case of an aggressive response
• To control its movements
• For its safety in case of a fight between dogs
• To avoid losing your dog
• To respect other citizens
• To keep the right to frequent public places with your dog

It is important to mention that not everyone wants to meet your dog. Even if you think you are alone on a trail or in the street, you never know what may happen or who you may encounter. For everyone’s safety and for a peaceful cohabitation, it is mandatory to keep your dog on a leash and respect the rules.

Keeping your dog on a leash; a provincial regulation
A dog must be kept on a leash at all times and be well controlled by its guardian. This is specified in the new provincial Dog Control Act that came into effect in March 2020. The Act also states that the maximum leash length is 1.85 metres and that a dog weighing 20 kg or more must wear attached to its leash, either a halter or harness at all times. In addition, the Provincial Act establishes fines for offences, including a minimum of $500 plus costs for an off-leash dog.

WHY keep your dog under control on your property;
• To respect citizens who are afraid of dogs
• For the safety of the animal and anyone around it (bites, accidents, fights between dogs, etc.)
• To prevent it from being hit by a car
• To prevent it from running away
• To control its movements
• To avoid having it stolen
• To respect the municipal by-law

Unless the dog is securely restrained, in an outdoor enclosure or fenced in area, a guardian may not allow a dog to be free on the property unless the guardian has constant control of the dog. A dog running freely outside the boundaries of its property in the absence of its guardian is considered a stray. A guardian, not respecting the regulation, is liable to a fine for a stray dog infraction. Furthermore, considering the current context, in order to prevent the theft of your pet, we strongly suggest that you always supervise your dog’s outings on your property.

LET’S ADOPT the right behaviour
Walking your dog in a public place is a privilege.

1. Keep your dog on a leash and under control when you are out walking. If your dog weighs more than 20 kg, he must wear either a halter or a harness attached to his leash.
2. Before leaving the house, it is important to make sure that your dog is wearing his SPA de l’Estrie identification tag. If he ever runs away, his tag will facilitate his return home.
3. Dispose of your dog’s excrement in a hygienic manner.

Finally, it is important to note that these rules are in place to ensure the well-being and safety of everyone in the community. However, it is possible to do it the right way in order to ensure the safety of everyone, humans and dogs included!