Council approves changes for how city deals with dangerous dogs

City council has unanimously approved recommendations for how the city deals with dangerous dogs.

In a 21-0 vote on Thursday, the city agreed to create and maintain a dangerous dog registry that includes the ward number, dog’s name, breed and colour as well as the date of the dangerous act that can be easily searched by the public.

While the owner’s name or address will not be listed in the registry, a sign warning of a dangerous dog will have to be posted at the place where it resides.

Council is also asking the province to increase fines for dog owners whose pets have bitten, attacked or pose a menace under the City’s municipal code.

The motion was first put forth by Coun. Paula Fletcher following a “life-changing mauling” of a resident in her ward who was attacked by an off-leash dog that was under a dangerous dog order last summer.

The woman and her friend were walking on Mortimer Avenue near Coxwell Avenue on the evening of July 30, 2023 when they were attacked by two dogs. She was treated in hospital for serious injuries that required stitches to her head, neck, back and leg.

Fletcher noted the owner was not required to surrender the dogs to Animal Services and that the dogs were left in the care of the owner along with two other dogs that were also under dangerous dog orders. Toronto police charged the owner with criminal negligence causing bodily harm but no public charges were ever laid by the City of Toronto.

Council also approved spending $500,000 in the 2025 budget for a public education campaign to support compliance and enforcement of dangerous dog orders.

The Executive Director of Municipal Licensing and Standards has also been asked to report back to the Economic and Community Development Committee in October on the feasibility of including photos of dogs under dangerous dog orders regarding privacy, technology and legal considerations.

Currently, there are 450 dogs under dangerous dog orders, according to city staff.

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