News release

Mississauga’s Animal Care and Control By-law sets Standards of Care to Protect Pets

City services | September 3, 2014

The City of Mississauga is setting new standards of care to protect animals with changes to the Animal Care and Control By-law 0098-04.

The new standards address issues such as: keeping animals outside for long periods; especially during extreme weather and how to provide proper care; tethering; and specifications on doghouses, pens and enclosures. Standards related to extreme weather and Animal Services staff authorization to enter on to private lands will take effect immediately with other standards taking effect December 1, 2014. Staff will report back to Council in fall 2015 to provide an update on the impacts of these changes.

A new ad hoc committee was formed to review the by-law including three Members of Council; two residents; one representative from the Mississauga Humane Society; representatives from Mississauga Animal Services and Enforcement, and representatives from the veterinary and animal welfare communities.

Animal Standards of Care Ad Hoc Committee Quotes:

Ward 9 Councillor Pat Saito and Animal Standards of Care Ad Hoc Committee Chair

“By working together with citizens, staff and Council, we have improved the recommendations from the initial report. This by-law will go a long way towards protecting animals and ensuring their well-being.”

Ward 7 Councillor Iannicca and Animal Standards of Care Ad Hoc Committee Member

“We have made progress to protect the animals in our community by working with those close to the issue.”

Ward 11 Councillor George Carlson and Animal Standards of Care Ad Hoc Committee Member

“This was a good example of the community and stakeholders coming together to find a workable solution to an important issue.”

Lily Chan, President  of Mississauga Humane Society

“The new bylaw will enhance the well-being of animals in our  city. We are especially pleased with the new by-law whereby ‘Animals (Dogs) must not be tethered for any longer than a total of four hours out of every 24 hours.’ This is a huge step in animal welfare and will stop suffering of the  24/7 outdoor confined dogs. Mississauga is the first city in implementing this restriction and  I hope other cities of Ontario will follow our lead.”

Connie Mallory, Chief Inspector OSPCA

“The Ontario SPCA is pleased to see the support for Animal Welfare driven by the City of Mississauga Council. Animal Welfare is a community responsibility and the Society is always available to work with municipalities to address the Animal Care needs in their region. These changes to the City of Mississauga Animal Care By-laws have set a benchmark for municipalities across the province.”

Mickey Frost, director, Enforcement

“Animal Services will be reaching out to inform pet owners of the by-law changes and responsible pet care,” said Director of Enforcement Mickey Frost. “Staff will also review processes and procedures to ensure best practices are followed.”

New Standards of Care Highlights

  • Pets cannot be left outdoors during extreme weather except for brief walks or exercise unless the animal has access to adequate shelter to protect the animal – in effect immediately.
  • Animal Services officers will be authorized to enter on private lands to inspect and ensure the Animal Care and Control bylaw is being followed – in effect immediately.
  • Doghouses must be large enough for the dog to stand up, turn around, lie down and stretch its limbs to the fullest. They must be insulated; have clean dry bedding and shade; be in good repair; and comply with the City’s Zoning by-law. There are extra requirements for each additional dog.
  • Pens must be 9.3 square metres or 100 square feet – to be increased by 2.8 square metres x 30 square feet for each additional dog. Animals must be out of the pen and not tethered for four hours in any 24 hour time period.
  • Animals must not be tethered for any longer than a total of four hours out of every 24 hours. Tethers must be at least three metres or 9.84 feet allowing the dog to move safely and unrestricted.  The animal is to be in view of the owner with access to appropriate food, water shelter and shade.
  • Animals cannot be left unattended in automobiles if weather conditions are not suitable and may cause the animal distress. Animals must have suitable ventilation and be restrained to prevent contact between the animal and the public.
  • Animals travelling in automobiles must be in the passenger compartment of the vehicle or if outside must be in a kennel that is securely fastened to the vehicle that provides adequate ventilation and protects the animal.
  • Owners must provide veterinary care to pets to relieve distress from injury neglect or disease.

For more information read the corporate report, Animal Standards of Care.

The report will be on the September 10, 2014 meeting of Council agenda for final approval.

Enforcement of the By-law

The by-law will be enforced on a complaints basis.


The Animal Standards of Care Ad Hoc Committee reviewed the Animal Care and Control Bylaw on the standards of care for keeping and housing animals to ensure that it met the best interests of the community and animals.

For more information read the report: Mandate and Terms of Reference – Ad Hoc Committee to Review the Animal Care and Control By-law 0098-04, as amended, regarding the Standards of Care for the Keeping and Housing of Dogs and Animals

Media Contact:
Catherine Monast
Senior Communications Advisor
Transportation and Works
City of Mississauga
905-615-3200 ext. 5046
TTY: 905-896-5151