Animal Services

Ontario law puts primary responsibility for animal control onto municipalities. Municipalities are not required to provide animal control services except in situations where they have passed a bylaw (for example, if there is a bylaw against dogs running at large there must be an animal control program to enforce the bylaw). But even if not required, most residents expect there to be an option for them to call if there is an injured animal in a park or if they find a stray animal. Over the years, many municipalities have expanded their animal control programs to provide a wide range of services. But that expansion is not universal, and in some area municipalities, little response for animals other than dogs is provided. For years, the Humane Society has tried to respond rather than leave an animal in need, but with increased demand our resources are stretched thin. We need ALL area municipalities to take responsibility for animal control for all species (domestic and wild) in their community.


The City of Windsor includes response for all species of sick or injured animals as part of its animal control contract. That means that if you find a sick or injured animal on public property in Windsor we will assist. Our contract with the Town of Amherstburg primarily address dogs, but the Humane Society will still assist with injured or sick stray cats or wildlife. If you live in other municipalities, it is possible that your Town does not have ANY provisions for responding to even critically injured or sick cats or wildlife in your town. Imagine if you saw a cat hit by a car dying on the side of the road, and having your town hall tell you that “the municipality doesn’t have any responsibility to assist”. Not sure if your municipality makes any provision for rescuing sick or injured cats or wildlife on public property? Click the appropriate page below to find out what animal services your municipality offers:

Remember, if you are in one of the municipalities that lack most animal-related services, change will only happen if your elected officials hear that residents want it. Be sure to let them know that as a resident you expect your municipality to provide comprehensive animal services.


Municipalities also have the ability to pass bylaws relating to public safety (dangerous dog enforcement, exotic animal prohibitions), relating to welfare (tethering bylaws or others standards of care), or regarding land use (feeding or ownership of farm animals). These are not included here as this information is focused on the response offered for stray animals.