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Responsible Pet Ownership

Animal Services Home

Pets are a lifelong commitment. Companion animals have the power to enrich our lives, making ownership a rewarding experience, but it takes more than meeting their basic needs to care for them. They deserve a promise to receive proper treatment and care, an understanding and willingness to follow the local rules and regulations and unconditional love from their owners.

Show your pet you are a responsible owner!


Responsibilities of a Pet Owner in Richmond Hill

  • License your dog every year. It is their identification if they ever get lost. Ensure your dog is always wearing its collar and the licence tag is properly attached.

  • Poop and Scoop. Pick up any mess made by your pet immediately and dispose of it in an appropriate waste container.

  • Keep your pet on a leash at all times when out in public. It is unsafe for your pet and others in the community to let them run free, unless you are in an official off-leash park.

  • Spay or neuter your pet. This will eliminate unexpected litters and reduce pet overpopulation. It also gets you a discounted rate on an annual dog licence!

  • Reduce nuisance noises. Discourage consistent barking, howling and whining at any time during the day to allow your neighbours the full enjoyment of their property.

  • Exercise and socialization. There are benefits for both you and your pet. Animals need to get out and experience the world around them. Out of ideas? Try visiting one of our off leash dog areas!

  • Food and water. Provide your pet with the appropriate food and clean, fresh water each day. Understand and avoid foods that can be harmful, and don’t overfeed your pet.

  • Medical care. Find a local veterinarian to stay up-to-date with required vaccinations and annual check-ups.

  • Love and attention. Pets need to feel special too! Take some time each day for a good belly rub or a playful game with a new toy.

    Understand and follow the local rules and regulations:
    *All pet owners in Richmond Hill are reminded of the importance of being a responsible pet owner and good neighbour. As such, compliance with the local by-laws connected to these responsibilities is required.

    *Pet owners who are not willing to comply with the by-laws may be issued a ticket and its associated fine by an Animal Control or Town Enforcement Officer.

    Responsible Pet Ownership brochure [PDF]


    Pet Safety and Emergency Preparedness

    Keep a pet-safe house
    It doesn’t take long for a pet to get into something it shouldn’t. Be proactive and keep pesticides, medications, household cleaners and hazardous plants out of reach at all times.

    Always be aware of the weather conditions
    The weather can change in a matter of minutes. Pets are sensitive to both hot and cold and many also fear different types of storms. Remember if the conditions outside are not suitable for you, they are not suitable for your pet.

    Being ready for an emergency means planning for your pet too
    As an important member of your family, your pet needs to be included in all the emergency planning your family does. Visit the Town’s emergency services page for more tips on emergency preparedness for pets.

    Know your numbers
    Make sure to post important phone numbers related to your pet in an easily accessible area of the home. Include numbers like your pet’s veterinarian, emergency animal clinic and the OSPCA shelter.

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