Pet Owner Responsibilities

Pet Owner Responsibilities

Two KittensThe City of St. John's recognizes pet owners and non-pet owners as being members of our community. Our goal is to provide a safe and enjoyable City for all residents. As a pet owner you have responsibilities under our Animal Control Regulation. These regulations are for the health and well being of both pets and residents.

The Basics of Animal Care
Pets are to be provided with clean, fresh drinking water and food to allow for normal, healthy growth and the maintenance of normal, healthy body weight. Your pet needs to be exercised, socialized and provided with necessary medical care.

All dogs aged six months or older must be licensed with the City within 20 business days of acquiring the dog or within 20 business days of the dog reaching six months of age. The licence is due to be  renewed annually from the date of purchase. This will help reunite pets and owners and also help ensure rapid medical treatment in case of emergency. Cat tags are not mandatory, but are available. For more information on pet registration, including where licenses can be purchased please click on the tag.

License Tag

Off Leash and Off Property
Dogs or cats are prohibited from running at large. Dogs are prohibited from being off the owners property without being on a leash and wearing a City tag. Even though you are comfortable with animals, a lot of residents and children are not. This is for the safety of your pet and other residents comfort.

City public spaces are for everyone to enjoy, and roaming dogs present a danger to other people, pets, and property, as well as themselves. When off leash, an owner can never truly be in control of their pet’s actions. An excited, distracted, or frightened dog can react in a manner that is not “normal for them”, leading to potentially dangerous people/pet interactions. Even if the dog is friendly, there are a number of citizens that are genuinely afraid of or intimidated by dogs, especially those not attached to its owner. Also, other dogs walking with their owners may be fearful and react aggressively toward other dogs.

Walking your dog on leash fosters pet/owner bond that is of benefit to both the dog and owners mental health.

If you suspect coyotes are near your home please keep pets indoors or under supervision when outside on your property. Roaming or unattended pets are an easy target. Having pets spayed or neutered will also help avoid attracting coyotes. For more information please click here.

Public Safety
Owners are responsible to ensure their pet does not:

  • Chase, bite or attack any person
  • Chase, bite or attack any domestic animal
  • Damage public or private property

Stoop and Scoop
If your pet goes on any property other than your own, you must stoop and scoop the feces immediately. This shows respect for our neighbours and public space.

It is natural for animals to bark and meow. Barking, howling or meowing excessively is a nuisance. Please ensure your pet is not making continual noise for 20 minutes. If your pet tends to bark while outside, please do not leave it out to cause a disturbance.

Dogs in Vehicles
Animals that are being transported in a vehicle outside of the passenger compartment must be confined or secured with a body harness to ensure they do not fall out of a moving vehicle or injure themselves. When travelling inside the passenger compartment, do not leave your pet unattended without proper ventilation.

Tied On?
Owners are not to leave their animal unattended while tied or fastened to a fixed object where a choke collar or choke chain is securing them. Rope or cord is not to be tied directly around the animal’s neck. The animal could slip out of this very easily or injure itself.

Living Accommodations
No animal shall be kept in unsanitary conditions. This is when the keeping of the animal results in an accumulation of fecal matter, an odour, insect infestation or rodent attractants which endanger the health of the animal or any person. This also includes disturbing or likely to disturb the enjoyment, comfort or convenience of any person in or about your residence. Our neighbours deserve to enjoy their surroundings.

Animals that reside outside in an enclosure or are kept outside unsupervised for extended periods of time require:

  • An enclosure area that is at least twice the length of the animal in all directions and not less than nine metres squared where one animal is housed.
  • Where more than one animal is housed, the width and length shall be increased by one metre for each additional animal.
  • Containing a maximum of three animals.
  • Is a minimum height of one metre over and above the tallest animal.
  • Contains a shelter which provides protection from the elements and is of sufficient size to allow each animal to turn around freely and lie in a normal position.
  • Provides sufficient shade at all times.
  • Is cleaned, including the removal of excrement, on a daily basis.
  • Does not have wire mesh, metal or wooden slat flooring.
  • Is not stacked with other enclosures and is not located off the ground.
  • Is heated from Nov. 1 to April 30.
  • Pregnant or nursing animals shall not be housed with any other animals other than their nursing offspring.

For additional help, contact information or to submit a request visit Access St. John's
Call: 311 or 709-754-CITY (2489)
Call Humane Services 576-6126
For shelter hours of operation click here