Gempress's post about leash laws sparked me to think about the relation of effective dog laws and dog attacks. I'm curious as to what dog laws everyone currently faces in their own piticular area ( lets keep it on a local, city/town level) and on annual how many dog attacks you hear about in your city. Do you think these laws are effective or ineffective at preventing dog bites, and if not what ones you would like to see imposed? ( try and be realistic within the budget your city works with) A few examples of types of laws your area may have include... How many can you own? Noise levels? Mandatory leash laws? Mandatory registration of dog to local Animal Control? BSL? (Breed Bans) Dangerous dog laws? Bans against chaining Mandatory spay/neuter laws? Animal Creultly laws ( if you know how much money/jail time is usually given out for offence's) Any other laws? I'll start I live in Ontario, Canada. In my city you can own up to four dogs, any additional dogs will be ceased. Owners are responsible for keeping their dogs from causing a disturbance, this does not have any specific hours and owners may be fined at anytime. Dogs are required to be leashed at all times, though I hardly see this enforced in my area. All dogs are reqired after 6 months of age to be registerted with the City Animal control regardless of breed. Any owners caught walking their dogs around without a city tag can be fined up to $400. Breed Specific Legislation was introduced two years ago, after three or four attacks. Pitbulls living with their owners were allowed to stay (unlike many parts of the world) as long as they complied to strict rules which included, mandatory muzzles when in public, mandatory spay/neuter and great prosecution power for ACO's. As part of the legislation, and i qoute, "The definition of a pit bull includes; pit bull terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, American pit bull terrier or a dog that shares the physical characteristics with any of the above." Recently a law suite has been filed against the pitbull ban bill and while the jury is still in deliberation as to whether or not the bill will be shot down, the have ruled that the definition of a "pit bull terrier" was too vague but it is still too early to see if this will change anything. Fines for grandfathered pitbulls who are still legally allowed to exsist in Ontario include... "The regulations stipulate that restricted pit bulls must be spayed or neutered and leashed and muzzled in public.The onus to prove a dog is not a pit bull will lie with the owner of the dog. In a Court proceeding if a pit bull owneris found to have contravened a provision of the Dog Owners Liability Act or their dog has bitten, attacked or posed a menacea mandatory destruction order will be issued by the Courts." As for dangerous dog laws we also have a law which applies to the whole province of Ontario and to all beeds and mixes. " Amendments Regarding All Dogs and Dog Owners Charges can be brought against any dog owner where a dog has bitten or attacked OR behaved in a manner that poses a menace to the safety of persons or domestic animals OR where the dog owner did not exercise reasonable grounds to prevent a dog from doing any of the above." "Menacing behaviour" is not defined in the law and thus is at the discration of the Animal Control officer. This means if your dog attacks a neighbors "inesert domestic animal here" or barks at passer byers from its fence line you could recieve one of the following sentences... 10,000.00 fine and or 6 months in jail. $60,000.00 fine for corporations. The court may also make restitution orders requiring convicted persons to make compensation to the victims. There are no mandatory spay/neuter laws and in addition chaining your dog is legal. Our Animal Creultly laws are pretty standard and are qouted as follows, "Criminal Code of Canada - Cruelty to Animals In Part XI of the Criminal Code, Wilful and Forbidden Acts in Respect of Certain Property, Section 446-1 states that it is a federal offence to "wilfully cause or permit to be caused, being the owner, unnecessary pain, suffering or injury to an animal or by wilful neglect, cause damage or injury to animals while they are being driven or conveyed." In Ontario, Inspectors and Agents of the Ontario SPCA can and do lay charges under the Criminal Code in cases of severe cruelty or neglect. " Other Laws "Dog Owner's Liability Act An Act designating dog owners (or the parents/guardians of owners who are minors) responsibility for bites or attacks by their dog on a person or other domestic animal. An exclusion may be made if the bite or attack occurred on a person in the process of committing a criminal act or in the destruction of the owner's property. The Act covers all breeds of dogs but has specific regulations for pit bull owners including a mandatory requirement for all dogs to be muzzled and leashed off the owner's property. In case of a dog bite or attack, the Ontario Court of Justice may order one of the following: destruction of the dog; measures for more effective control; confinement; leash; muzzle and prohibition of the individual from dog ownership for a specified period of time. The Dog Owner's Liability Act is enforced by local municipalities and police forces. " "Animals for Research Act An Act providing a focus for humane care and use of all animals in research through establishing minimum standards. The purpose of the Act is threefold: to maintain a minimum standard of care and well-being for all animals used in research; to protect research animals from unnecessary pain; and to assure that dogs used in research are obtained legally and are not wanted as pets. The Act requires all researchers to be accountable to animal care committees for their use of animals; protects all vertebrates including fish, rodents, reptiles, birds, primates and livestock; prescribes minimum standards and requirements; provides minimum redemption times for animals impounded; and provides minimum standards for municipal pounds. The Animals for Research Act is enforced by inspectors who are appointed by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA). " While I wont use statistics or numbers as most are always taken from a selective pool and rarely accurate I have not seen a dramatic decrease in dog attacks because of of BSL and currently I think the laws are misplaced in attempting to keep the public safe. While we do have mandatory leash laws I still see dogs running free constantly. While we do have laws that target irresponsible owners whose dogs do attack we still have incidences and no laws that are effective at preventing attacks. While the dog owners liability act is tough, i think it is to vague especially with "menacing behaviour" not even being defined meaning if your neighbors are afraid of your dog or breed can complain that your dog barks at them and actually have action taken against you, something which any informed person would tell you is simply a trait of most dogs. Which is where I think the problem lies my areas dog laws are founded in misinformation. The price of this is to high in my opinion, on the one hand these laws seldom work and usually work against not only a large percentage of tax paying dog owners but against public safety. Laws I would like to see imposed that I think would be more effective inculde... minimum fence hieghts for all dog owners and all coporations using attack/gaurd dogs ( for example in car lots) a ban on chaining your dog outside for the majority of the day ( standards would have to be set to this and may need to vary from season to season) Laws id like to see removed or partially changed include... Our breed specific legislation bill and parts of the dangerous dog legislation more clearly defined in this case "menacing behaviour" as i dont think you should be looking at losing yor dog or a fine because your dog chased your neighbors cat ( in this case they would instead be fined for your dog being offleash, as i do not believe prey drive constitues human aggression. Sorry for the long post but id like to get others imput on their current laws what they think of them and what youd like changed and then taking some time after the holidays to write your city major/council.