Guides and Factsheets
Controlling Dangerous Animals: Rights and Responsibilities
Animal Control in the Community
Animal control is a municipal responsibility and is governed by a municipal bylaw. However control of dangerous animals is governed by legislation. Mandatory Controls have been increased and apply to all dangerous animals.
What is a "Dangerous Animal"?
A "dangerous animal" is one that:
Are There Any Exceptions?
An animal will not be declared dangerous if the actions occurred while the animal was:
What is the Definition of an Owner?
The legislation defines the term "owner" to mean any of the following:
Each of these individuals is considered the owner of the animal and as such is subject to liability and penalty provisions.
If an animal attacks a person or domestic animal while under the temporary care of a veterinarian, a humane society, or animal shelter, the temporary caregiver is exempt from liability as an owner unless there was negligence.
How do I Report a Dangerous Animal?
Contact yhour municipal office to report a dangerous animal. a judge may hear the complaint and the municipality may have implemented policies to enable ciizens to report incidents involving animals which are alleged to be dangerous.
What Happens Once a Complaint is Made?
Once a complaint has been made, the animal owner is served notice of a hearing. If the owner does not appear at the hearing the court may proceed without the owner.
Once an animal is declared dangerous by the court, an order may be issued stating the terms under which the owner must keep the animal. For example, the owner may be required to do one or more of the following:
In some cases, the court may order that a dangerous animal be tattooed, spayed/neutered, or in extreme cases, destroyed.
Is there an Appeal Procedure?
The owner of an animal declared dangerous can file notice of appeal with the appeal court within seven days of the order.
An order for destruction of an animal may be appealed to Court of Queen's Bench within seven days. If the judge on appeal overturns the order, the animal is released to the owner.
What Constitutes an Offence under the Legislation?
The following situations are offences under the legislation and may result in a fine and/or imprisonment:
What is the Penalty or Fine?
A person found guilty of any of these offences may be liable to a fine of up to $10,000, imprisonment for up to six months, and an order for destruction of the animal.
What Other Measures are Provided?
If a peace officer or an officer designated by the municipality has grounds for believing that n animal is dangerous or has been ordered destroyed, the officer may, under certain circumstances, enter the premises to search for the animal and impound it. If the animal has been ordered destroyed, the officer may deliver the animal to the person appointed to destroy it.
For more information:
For more information on responsible pet ownership practices, contact your local veterinarian or humane society or:
Saskatchewan Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Telephone: (306) 382-7722
For more information on legislation regarding control of dangerous animals, and your municipality's animal control bylaws, contact your municipal office.
This brochure is not a substitute for legislation dealing with animal control. It is advisable to consult a solicitor on more complex situations.
Updated May 2011