Dog Bites
Featured Article
Dog Bite
Dog Bites and the Law

Mississauga Animal Services
...helping people and pets live together in safety and harmony.



Provincial Law is very specific and holds the dog owner accountable and liable for damages resulting from a dog bite or attack by a dog on a person or domestic animal.  As a dog owner it is your responsibility to make sure that your dog is never in a situation that may cause it to bite or attack a person or domestic pet.  An owner is still liable for damages caused by their dog even if the attack or bite has occurred on the property of the dog owner.   An “owner” when used in relation to a dog, includes a person who possesses or harbours the dog and if the owner is a minor the person responsible for the custody of the minor is responsible.  Where there is more than one owner of the dog, they are jointly and severally liable under the Provincial Statute.

 Dog Owners - Liability Act of Ontario

The Animal Care and Control By-Law 0098-2004 currently allows for the muzzling of a dog that has bitten a person or domestic pet.  Upon receipt of a signed affidavit by the witness to the alleged bite, the Manager of Animal Services may declare the dog “Vicious” under the provisions of this By-law.  Subsequently, the dog owner will be issued with an Order requiring that the dog be muzzled and restrained pursuant to the provisions of the By-Law

A muzzle is defined as a humane fastening device over the mouth of the dog of sufficient strength to prevent the dog from biting.  The Muzzle Order will specify that the dog does not bite or attack a person or domestic animal on any property including that of the owner.  The dog must also be chained or tethered to the dog owners’ property at all times.  When the dog is off of the dog owners’ property the dog must be under the control of a person at least 16 years of age and securely leashed and muzzled.  Failure to muzzle the dog under this Order can result in additional charges and penalties. 

Under this By-Law there is also an appeal process to the Order.  The dog owner may submit a request to the Clerks Office for a public hearing allowing them to submit evidence that shows the dog has not bitten or attacked a person or domestic animal. 

The Region of Peel Health Department requires all biting dogs to undergo a minimum rabies quarantine of 10 days from the date of the bite.

 Animal Care and Control By-Law