New pet ownership rules coming to Winnipeg in July

The city posted a new list of rules for pet owners and businesses on its website Wednesday.

There will be several new requirements for domestic pet owners to follow as well as new wildlife regulations, effective July 1.

“The recent bylaw review gave us an opportunity to engage pet owners, businesses, and animal welfare organizations to understand how we can modernize these regulations to improve the health and safety of pets and communities,” said Leland Gordon, the city’s general manager of animal services.

Beginning this summer, dogs will no longer be allowed to be chained or housed outside for extended periods while unsupervised and when it’s warmer than 22 C. Owners will no longer be able to go cycling with their dogs. And owners won’t be allowed to leave pets unattended in a vehicle unless the air conditioning is running.

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Furthermore, dog and cat breeders will have to get a breeder permit, and there will be restrictions on how many litters female animals can have. Owners can choose to keep their pet intact (not spayed or neutered) but they must keep up regular veterinary care and a history of responsible pet ownership.

The city is also adding regulations to doggy daycares which it said have so far been generally unregulated. The regulations include mandatory dog assessment, staff training, and minimum safety and cleaning standards for facilities.

“Separate play areas must be used for small and large dogs, with a minimum of 20 sq. ft. per dog in small dog areas, and 35 sq. ft. per dog for large dog areas. Dog groups also must have at least one staff member for every 25 small dogs, and one staff member for every 20 large dogs,” the website reads.

For wildlife, the use of body hold or glue traps outside will be strictly prohibited as these traps can cause injury or death to ensnared animals, and can also kill and injure animals that aren’t targeted, such as dogs, cats, and birds, according to the website.

Additionally, feeding wildlife will also be banned (with the exception of birds) to prevent overpopulation of urban wildlife and reduce conflict with humans.

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