Animal Bites and Attacks
Under the City of Greater Sudbury Animal Care and Control By-law (PDF, 1.47 MB) you are not allowed to permit your dog to attack, threaten, chase or harass other people or animals.
Under the Dog Owner’s Liability Act, you may be liable for the actions of your 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.
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.
Report an Attack or Bite
If you are bitten or severely scratched by a dog or a cat, consult a physician immediately and notify Public Health Sudbury & Districts at 705-522-9200.
To make a complaint of an attack or bite without provocation, send your written complaint 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.
When investigating a complaint, 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 when the dog is off the owners property
- 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
Vicious Dog Appeals
You can 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.
Removal of Vicious Dog from Home
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.