Animal Bites and Attacks

Responsible Pet Owners Never Allow Threatening Behaviour

The City of Greater Sudbury Animal Care and Control By-law does not permit pet owners to allow or direct a dog to attack, threaten, chase or harass other people or animals.

Businesses using guard dogs must post warning signs which include a contact number for both the owner of the dog and the owner of the premises.

If someone is bitten or severely scratched by a dog or a cat, it is important to consult a physician immediately and to notify the Sudbury & District Health Unit at 705-522-9200.

Complaints of an attack or bite without provocation must be made in writing to Greater Sudbury By-law Compliance and Enforcement. Include the signature of the complainant, enough information to identify the owner of the dog and details of the incident.

Vicious Dog

When investigating a complaint, Greater Sudbury By-law Compliance and Enforcement Services will consider:

  • The severity of the bite or attack and any resulting injuries
  • Whether there is prior record of a bite or attack, and
  • Factors such as whether the attack was an act of defense, a reaction to trespassing and/or being teased, provoked or tormented

If the investigation results in a finding of a Vicious Dog, pet owners are required to:

  • Post a clearly visible warning sign purchased from the City of Greater Sudbury at the entrance to their home
  • Muzzle their dog at all times, except when the dog is home and indoors
  • Securely restrain their dog at all times, except when the dog is home and indoors. Leashes are not to be more than 1 metre in length
  • Ensure that outdoor enclosures are secure, high enough to prevent escape and do not permit contact with other animals or persons
  • Microchip the dog
  • Maintain liability insurance with minimum coverage of $1 million per occurrence
  • Notify Greater Sudbury By-law Compliance and Enforcement Services within two working days of any change in ownership or address

Pet owners have a right to appeal the finding of Vicious Dog to the City of Greater Sudbury Hearing Committee within 14 days of receiving a notice and upon payment of an administrative fee.

Depending on the severity of the bite or attack, the City of Greater Sudbury may exercise its rights under the provincial Dog Owner’s Liability Act to go before a Justice of the Peace to request a warrant to remove a vicious dog from its home. The dog is held in care of the municipality until a hearing before the Ontario Court of Justice determines its fate and penalties for the dog owner.

Under the Dog Owner’s Liability Act, owners are liable for the actions of their dog if it can be proven before the court that the dog has bitten or attacked a person or domestic animal, has behaved in a manner that poses a menace to the safety of persons or domestic animals or the owner did not exercise reasonable precautions to prevent a dog from biting, attacking or posing menace.