Service at a Glance

Why do I have to licence my dog?

It is the law that you must have a licence for your dog and attach it to your dog's collar or face fines of up to $10,000

Benefits of licensing your dog:

  • It is easier to find a lost dog if it is licensed.
  • A lost dog gets one free ride home every 365 days.
  • Your dog will come home to you if lost without going to an animal shelter first.
  • Licence fees are used to care for and feed lost or stray pets, and find a home for them.
Do I qualify for a reduced dog licence rate?

There are reduced dog licence rates for:

  • Dogs that have been spayed or neutered (you must give proof from a veterinarian)
  • Dog owners who are 65 years or older (Government I.D. must be provided)
  • Dog owners who receive a government disability pension (Proof of ODSP or CPPD funding must be provided)
  • Service Animals (agency certificate must be provided)
  • Owners who have moved within 30 days from another municipality to Hamilton and are purchasing a licence here (current licence paperwork must be shown)
How do I file a complaint about a barking dog in my neighbourhood?

To make a complaint about a dog that doesn’t stop barking in your neighbourhood, you need to:

  • Submit a complaint form
  • Complete the noise evaluation package we send to you, which asks you to give details about the dates and times of when the barking is taking place
Will I be charged if my dog bites or attacks someone?

Charges can be laid against you if:

  • Your dog bites or attacks
  • Your dog’s behaviour poses a danger to people or family animals
  • You don’t prevent the above
  • Penalties in the Dog Owners’ Liability Act can be up to a $10,000 fine and / or six months imprisonment upon conviction.
Does the City have dog parks?

We have a Leash Free Parks Policy which outlines two types of leash free dog parks where you can exercise your dog without a leash:

  • Dog park (fenced facilities)
  • Free running area (not fenced existing parkland and open space areas)
What do I need to claim my dog from the shelter?

To claim your dog from the shelter, you must:

  • Show government identification with your current address
  • Pay impound or boarding fees for each day your dog is in the shelter
  • Have a leash or carrier to take your dog home
  • Avoid touching other animals at the shelter to reduce the spread of disease
  • Buy a dog licence if you don’t have one