City of Greater Sudbury Prepares for Changes to Animal Control By-Law Enforcement

Feb 24, 2016

For Immediate Release                                
Wednesday, February 24, 2016

On February 4, 2016, Greater Sudbury Council approved changes to the Animal Control By-law that will take effect November 1, 2016. The changes will see the City moving away from the former model, which bundled animal control by-law enforcement with pound services. Instead, the City will take over enforcement duties while continuing to contract out pound services.

"By bringing animal care and control enforcement duties in-house and adding new by-law enforcement staff, we now have the ability to provide a more responsive and consistent enforcement effort," Caroline Hallsworth, Executive Director of Administrative Services with the City of Greater Sudbury said. "This will see the added benefit of improving enforcement of all municipal by-laws."

Council emphasized the importance of animal care services by proposing a model that formally adopts a low kill philosophy, with additional programs and funding to address key issues identified as priorities by the community and designed to manage the animal population in a humane manner.  

These new programs would include a trap-neuter-and-release program to begin dealing with the feral cat population, and a low-cost spay and neuter program to assist residents without the financial resources to do so. These programs will begin to reduce the unwanted animal population.Implementation of the new structure will require several steps in order to be ready for the November 1 deadline:

  • The City is preparing a request for proposals to contract out pound services. To increase competition and the potential for a larger number of qualified bidders, the RFP will include options for bidders to provide service for the entire City of Greater Sudbury or one of three smaller service areas. The best and most appropriate approach will be identified at the RFP award stage. 
  • The City is hosting an information meeting regarding the Request for Proposal for Animal Care Pound Services, including the nature of the service, standard of care requirements, provincial animal care and pound service regulations, the relationship between the pound and the City, service area zones and the process or requirements for submitting a proposal. This will also be an opportunity for those who may be interested in submitting proposals to the City for this service to ask questions and learn more about the expectations of potential bidders. The meeting is being held on March 4 at 2 p.m. in Room C-12 of Tom Davies Square, 200 Brady Street. 
  • The City will begin recruitment of a By-Law Co-Ordinator in the coming weeks.
  • The City is committed to providing a model for animal control enforcement that will ensure that there is a seven day a week service that aligns with the needs of the community.Recruitment of six new part-time by-law enforcement officers will begin in late summer. These new staff will supplement the current by-law enforcement team, all of whom will be trained in animal care and control enforcement, through the Municipal Law Enforcement Officers Association of Ontario and/or similar programs. Under this new model, each of the City's by-law officers will provide enforcement for all municipal by-laws, including those associated with animal control, providing a greater level of service for residents.
  • Over the summer months, 3-1-1 will update its system to receive and log calls specific to animal care and control. 
  • In the summer of 2016, City staff, with input from Matrix Consulting, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) and the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) will be presenting a proposed new Animal Care and Control By-Law to Council. 
  • A full education campaign will launch in conjunction with a new Animal Care and Adoption website in October 2016.  

"We are excited for the opportunity to provide a more robust by-law enforcement service," Hallsworth said.  "We are always looking for ways to better serve the community and look forward to making a smooth transition from our past to our future in animal care and control." 

Quick Facts

The total estimated pet population in the City of Greater Sudbury is 75,329, which is divided between approximately 36,000 dogs and 39,329 cats.  

In 2015, only 6,617 animal tags were sold, which is well below the ratio of licenced animals in other communities. Benefits of having an animal tag includes quick return to their owners in the event that an animal is loose or becomes lost and knowing you're your licensing fees are used to help provide food, shelter and care for lost pets and support the adoption of unclaimed pets.  

In 2014 the current service provider reported 2,761 calls for service and in 2015 they reported 2,861 calls.  This is an average of 7.7 calls related to animal care and control every day.

The most frequent calls for animal control service in 2015 were dog at large with 936 calls and barking dog at 510 calls.

825 residents responded to the Animal Control Services survey that was active between September 10 and 20, 2015. A majority, or 58.7% of respondents either disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement that "In general, the City of Greater Sudbury's Animal Services meets my expectations,", most frequently citing public education, field services including enforcement and animal care in the shelter as areas for improvement.