Oro-Medonte council introduced to new Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act

·1 min read

Tying up a pup without shelter or shade is against the law.

Enacted on Jan. 1, the Provincial Animal Welfare Services (PAWS) Act replaced the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) Act to ensure all animals are humanely cared for across the province.

The PAWS Act specifically covers basic care of pets, including adequate and proper food and water, medical attention, ventilation, protection from the elements, the proper use of pens or enclosed structures and even humane euthanasia to minimize pain and distress to animals.

Oro-Medonte’s manager of municipal law, Curtis Shelswell, presented a report to council March 24 detailing the township’s responsibility to ensure people don’t tie their dogs up outside unattended for long periods of time.

“We don’t get a lot of calls about tethering, maybe once a year. But now if we do, we can work with a provincial inspector to handle it,” said Shelswell.

In his report, Shelswell says several townships to the south of Oro-Medonte have included anti-tethering amendments to their bylaws, including City of Toronto, Town of Essex, the City of Kawartha Lakes and Newmarket.

Each township states tethering an animal on less than three metres of rope or chain is inhumane and most stipulate using a choke chain or pronged collar is detrimental to a dog’s health.

Council accepted the report, determining to maintain the town’s current canine control bylaw and agreed to bring concerns regarding animal welfare to provincial inspectors under the new PAWS legislation if necessary.

Cheryl Browne, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Barrie Advance