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City council passes amendments to dangerous dog by-law

A dog being walked outside during winter. CSAKISTI/THINKSTOCK

Toronto City Council unanimously passed amendments to the city’s by-law on Wednesday governing dangerous dogs.

A dangerous dog is now one that has severely bitten a person or another animal or it is the second or subsequent bite or attack on record or a dog that has been ordered muzzled.

A pet deemed to be a dangerous dog will not be allowed into a leash-free area and the dog’s owner must purchase a dangerous dog tag from the city and be microchipped. Warning signs must also be posted on the owner’s property.

As well, the new by-law makes it illegal for a pet to be tethered for more than three consecutive hours. It also bans the use of choke collars and choke chains while increasing the fines for owners who do not comply with the by-law.

Among the other amendments made to the by-law, a pet will not be allowed to remain outdoors during extreme weather unless they have access to an enclosure that will protect them from the elements.

The new by-law will take effect on March 1, 2017. Anyone found guilty of an offence under the new by-law could face fines of up to $100,000.