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Pet Ownership in Kingston

Many families in Kingston own one or more pets. The most common household pets are dogs and cats but hamsters, gerbils, fish, rabbits, birds and certain reptiles are also popular.

It is against the law to keep livestock or poultry on urban property except under certain circumstances (see Backyard Hens section below). It is also against the law to own or import a Pit Bull Terrier dog into the province. (see Pet Importation)

Owners of dogs and cats are required to register or license their animals once a year with the city (see For More Information section below). Registered animals wear Pet Identification Tags that make it easier to identify them if they are lost or picked up by an animal control officer. Tags can be renewed online, by email or in person at City Hall. You may be asked to provide proof that your pet has been neutered or spayed and also vaccinated against rabies.

Dogs and cats must be vaccinated for rabies once a year or at longer intervals depending on the vaccine. Animals are usually vaccinated against other diseases at the same time.

Cats are allowed to roam outdoors and do not have to be on a leash, but should not be allowed to trespass on other properties. Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times except on their owner's property or on one of the city's four off-leash parks. The city has set aside four permanent areas called "Off-Leash Parks" where dog owners can take their dogs off a leash.

To use the off-leash parks, dogs must wear tags indicating that they are registered users of these parks. 

Pet Waste

Dog owners are expected to pick up and appropriately dispose of their pet's waste in all city neighbourhoods. Pet waste is classified as garbage and must be disposed of in garbage disposal containers. It cannot be placed in storm drains or in green bins.

Lost Pets

When an animal is lost, animal control officers take it to the Kingston Humane Society. The Society runs a shelter for animals that are injured, lost or abused. It also has a pet adoption service that finds new homes for animals (see Animal Welfare).

Backyard Hens

City residents can apply to keep up to 6 egg-laying hens in a backyard chicken coop. Persons wishing to do this must register with the City, fulfill all requirements, and pay an annual permit. See For More Information links below.

For More Information

Pet Licences
Information on pet licenses, tags, fees, and how to renew. Also includes links to the city’s pet by-laws, a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), and links to downloadable forms.

Off-Leash Dog Parks
Information about the leash-free dog areas in Kingston and maps of each park showing the off-leash area. Includes the city’s off-leash policy and dog park rules.

The Dog Owner’s Liability Act
Includes information on the Ontario pit bull ban, importing pit bulls, municipal pounds, the power of animal control officers and a frequently asked questions section.

The Kingston Humane Society
The Kingston Humane Society cares for lost, injured and ill-treated animals in Kingston, investigates claims of cruelty and educates the public about the humane care of animals.

City information on how to deal with wildlife encounters such as bats in your home; dead animals; being bitten or having direct contact with wildlife, bears; and other situations.

Backyard Hens Regulations
City of Kingston rules and registration requirements for keeping backyard hens. Includes information on bird health basics and downloadable application forms.

Responsible Pet Ownership
Information on spaying and neutering your pets, Kingston’s spay/neuter approach to feral cat colonies. Also includes information on the ethical sale and purchase of pets and how to protect your pet from becoming a threat or nuisance.

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