Updates to Standards of Care for Outdoor Dogs under the Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act, 2019
O. Reg. 444/19 Standards of Care and Administrative Requirements
Regulation - LGIC
Bill or Act:
Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act, 2019
Summary of Decision:
Updated Standards of Care for Dogs Kept Outdoors were filed on April 19, 2022, and came into force on July 1, 2022.
The updated standards replace the previous standards of care for dogs that live outdoors under the Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act (PAWS Act) and create more comprehensive requirements related to:
General care - including access to shade, food and water, grooming and nail care, and health and welfare maintenance.
Outdoor dog shelter - including when an outdoor dog shelter is required (with exceptions for livestock guardian dogs and dogs that have access to a structure housing livestock), as well as design features and size-related specifications for an outdoor dog shelter.
Use of tethering - including when dogs cannot be tethered, the safe usage of tethers, minimum space requirements when a dog is tethered, and maximum time a dog can spend on a tether (with limited exceptions).
Use of housing pens - including the use of housing pens, minimum housing pen size and restrictions on outdoor dogs that can be penned together (with limited exceptions).
Tethering and housing pen containment area - including adequate cleaning and sanitation, as well as features to support the physical comfort and welfare of a dog while they are contained outdoors.
These updates advance additional protections to ensure the welfare, health and safety of outdoor dogs in Ontario.
Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
If this proposal is approved, it is anticipated that there would be direct compliance costs for businesses that keep dogs outdoors in Ontario. To assist in assessing the impacts of this proposal, the ministry is seeking comments and feedback from impacted stakeholders pertaining to anticipated one-time and ongoing costs.
There may be direct compliance costs for businesses that keep or tether dogs outdoors in Ontario.
Regulatory Impact Analysis Update:
Potential upfront direct compliance costs are estimated to range between $100 to $21,790 per business depending on the number of dogs a business may choose to keep or tether outdoors and the extent to which each business may already be in compliance with the updated standards as part of their existing efforts to ensure the welfare, health and safety of outdoor dogs.
The low-end direct compliance cost estimate is limited to minor administrative costs associated with businesses familiarizing themselves with the updates to the regulation. The high-end direct compliance cost estimate assumes the business is required to incur new costs associated with meeting the updated standards.
January 21, 2022
Summary of Proposal:
The Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act, 2019 (PAWS Act) came into force on January 1, 2020, repealing and replacing the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. Through the PAWS Act, Ontario:
Enabled a fully provincial government-based enforcement model
Enabled courts to impose the strongest financial penalties for offenders in Canada
Updated prohibitions and obligations, such as prohibiting harming or attempting to harm a service animal
Established a process for members of the public to make complaints about the conduct of inspectors that offers increased transparency and accountability
The PAWS Act and its regulations aim to ensure that all animals are protected and treated in a humane manner. Protections include setting out prohibitions against causing or permitting distress to an animal, basic standards of care that apply to all animals covered under the Act, and additional standards of care that apply to animals in certain circumstances including dogs that live outdoors, captive wildlife and enclosures for captive wildlife, captive primates and marine mammals.
Section 4 of O. Reg. 444/19 - Standards of Care and Administrative Requirements currently contains the following standards of care that apply to dogs that live outdoors:
Standards of care for dogs that live outdoors
4. (1) Every dog that lives primarily outdoors must be provided with a structurally sound enclosure for its use at all times.
(2) The enclosure must be weather-proofed and insulated.
(3) The size and design of the enclosure must be adequate and appropriate for the dog.
(4) A chain, rope or similar restraining device used to tether a dog that lives primarily outdoors,
(a) must be at least three metres long;
(b) must allow the dog to move safely and unrestricted, except by its length; and
(c) must allow the dog to have access to adequate and appropriate water and shelter.
The Ministry of the Solicitor General is proposing to create a definition of a dog "kept outdoors", as well as update the standards of care that apply to dogs "kept outdoors" with respect to their physical environment, health and nutrition. In particular, the proposed updates would cover requirements for:
Food and water;
Grooming and nail care; and,
Health and welfare maintenance.
If approved, these regulatory amendments would replace the current standards of care for dogs that live outdoors and set out new, more comprehensive standards for the care of dogs kept outdoors. The ministry is proposing that the updated standards, if approved, would come into force on July 1, 2022.
For more details, please see the below consultation paper, attached as a Word document named "Consultation Paper - Proposal for Updated Standards of Care for Dogs Kept Outdoors", containing a summary of the proposed amendments.
The ministry welcomes your comments and feedback. Interested parties may submit comments by responding to this posting or by sending an email to email@example.com no later than Monday, March 7, 2022.
Ministry of the Solicitor General
George Drew Building
25 Grosvenor St, 9th Floor
Toronto, ON M7A 1Y6
July 1, 2022