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I HAVE A CAT

Reminder: Guardians of a cat with a tag must let the City know about changes of address as well as the death or disappearance of their cat, or if they give away or sell their cat, within 15 days of any of these events.

Can I obtain a permit without visiting an Accès Montréal office?

Accès Montréal offices in all boroughs issue permits. In some boroughs, it is also possible to obtain a permit from an authorized dealer. (see the Obtain your permit section)

Do I need to get a permit if I adopt a cat in a shelter?

Yes. Upon proof of adoption in a shelter, your first permit will be free for the year of adoption and renewable before December 31 each year thereafter. The permit must be obtained within 15 days of obtaining the cat or following the day on which the cat turned three months old, whichever is longer.

Do I have to get a permit if my cat is microchipped?

Yes, cat guardians must have a valid permit. However, cats don’t have to wear their tag if they have a microchip whose number has been registered with the city when the permit was issued. Fees for obtaining a permit are reduced by $5 when cats have a microchip.

Guardians of cats with a microchip must advise the microchip provider of any change to their contact information within 15 days of changing this information.

Do I have to get a permit if my cat doesn’t go outside?

Yes, cat guardians must have a valid permit. It is not unusual that an indoor cat manages to get out without his or her guardian’s knowledge. Indoor cats need to wear their tag and have a microchip.

My cat just had a litter of kittens, what do I have to do?

When a cat gives birth, you can keep the kittens for three months or less. After this period, each cat must have a valid permit. Please note that it is not permitted to keep more than four pets in a housing unit, all species combined.

What do I do if I move with my cat?

Cat guardians who move from one borough to another don’t need a new permit or tag. However, you must change your address at an Accès Montréal office and all places where the cat is registered, in particular the microchip provider and the veterinarian’s office.

What do I do if I find or lose a pet?

Call 311 about stray cats; the agent will tell you how to proceed depending on the species. Each borough has an animal shelter that houses stray cats within its limits. Shelters try to identify each pet that arrives by tag, microchip or tattoo and if possible, they contact the pet’s guardian. If your pet is lost, you should contact the shelter in charge of picking up pets in your borough to see if he or she is there.

If your lost pet is not in one of the local shelters (see the Resources-Animal shelters section), a neighbour may have taken him or her in temporarily. So it is important to create a poster that lets people know you are looking for your pet. Be sure to include a photo with your contact information and put it up in public spaces and in businesses that authorize it. If you find a dead pet, call 311.

What should I do if I am visiting Montréal with my cat?

A cat that usually lives in another municipality can be within city limits without having to obtain the required permit under the following conditions:

  • The cat is within city limits for a maximum of 30 days;
  • The cat must have a valid permit from the municipality where he or she usually lives if the municipality’s legislation requires it. The cat’s guardian must, upon request from the city, show the municipality’s permit or proof of residence.

Does my kitten need a permit?

No one may be the guardian of a cat without obtaining the required licence. The licence must be obtained within 15 days of acquiring the cat or of the day the cat reaches the age of 3 months, the longest period applying.


I HAVE A DOG

Reminder: Dog guardians for whom a tag has been issued must advise the city of any change of address as well as the death or disappearance of the dog or if the dog is given away or sold, within 15 days of any of these events.

Can I obtain a permit without going to an Accès Montréal office?

You can apply by mail through most boroughs.

Do I have to obtain a permit if my dog is microchipped?

Yes, dog guardians must have a valid permit. They must ensure that their dog wears his or her tag at all times. Fees for obtaining a permit are reduced by $5 when dogs have a microchip. Guardians of dogs with a microchip must advise the microchip provider of any change to their contact information within 15 days of changing this information.

Do I have to obtain a permit if my dog doesn’t go outside often and is with me each time he or she does go out?

Yes, dog guardians must have a valid permit. It is not uncommon that a dog that usually lives inside manages to get out without his or her guardian’s knowledge. This is why it is important that dogs always wear their tags.

I have a service dog, do I need a permit?

Yes, service dogs must also have a city permit and tag. However, permits are free for service dogs if the applicant’s handicap is such that he or she needs a service dog and can present proof of his or her handicap.

Should I obtain a permit if I adopt a dog in a shelter?

Yes. Upon proof of adoption in a shelter, your first permit will be free for the year of adoption and renewable before December 31 each year thereafter. The permit must be obtained within 15 days of obtaining the dog or following the day on which the dog turned three months old, whichever is longer.

My dog just had a litter of puppies, what do I have to do?

When a dog gives birth, you can keep the puppies for three months or less. After this period, each dog must have a valid permit. Please note that it is not permitted to keep more than two dogs and more than four pets of in a housing unit, all species combined. There is an exception for guardians of three dogs who have obtained a special permit.

What are the conditions for obtaining a special permit for three dogs?

The applicant must not live in a building with three or more dwellings and does not own an at-risk or a pit bull-type. All three dogs must be spayed/neutered, microchipped and vaccinated.

What do I do if I move with my dog?

Dog guardians who move from one borough to another don’t need a new permit or tag. However, you must change your address at an Accès Montréal office and all places where the dog is registered, in particular the microchip provider and the veterinarian’s office.

What do I do if I find or lose a pet?

Call 311 about lost pets; the agent will tell you how to proceed depending on the species. Each borough has an animal shelter that houses lost pets within its limits. Shelters try to identify each pet that arrives by tag, microchip or tattoo and if possible, they contact the pet’s guardian. If your pet is lost, you should contact the shelter in charge of picking up pets in your borough to see if he or she is there.

If your lost pet is not in one of the local shelters (see the Resources-Animal shelters section), a neighbour may have taken him or her in temporarily. So it is important to create a poster that lets people know you are looking for your pet. Be sure to include a photo with your contact information and put it up in public spaces and in businesses that authorize it. If you find a dead pet, call 311.

Why do leash lengths differ between types of dogs?

The by-law controls certain types of dogs more strictly, namely with shorter leashes (1.25 m) and a muzzle for at-risk dogs and pit bull-type dogs. For other dogs, the maximum leash length is 1.85 m. As well, dogs that weigh 20 kg and more must wear a harness or a halter.

Are flexible leashes permitted?

Flexible or retractable leashes are not permitted. The maximum allowable leash length is 1.25 m for pit bull-type dogs and at-risk dogs. The maximum length is 1.85 m for all other dogs.

When should I renew my permit?

If you hold a permit issued between October and December 2016, that permit is valid until December 31, 2017. It must be renewed every year before December 31. Additional fees of $10 will be added if the permit is renewed after December 31.

A permit issued after January 1, 2017, is valid for one year from the date of issuance. It must be renewed annually at the anniversary date of its issuance. Additional fees of $10 will be added if the permit is renewed after the anniversary date of its issuance.

A new tag (silver, rosette-shaped) issued from October 1, 2017, is valid for the life of the animal, but the permit is renewable annually. If the tag is lost or damaged, a fee of $10 will be required to replace it.

What should I do if I am visiting Montréal with my dog?

A dog that usually lives in another municipality can be within city limits without having to obtain the required permit under the following conditions:

  • The dog is within city limits for a maximum of 30 days;
  • The dog must have a valid permit from the municipality where he or she usually lives if the municipality’s legislation requires it. The dog’s guardian must, upon request from the city, show the municipality’s permit or proof of residence.

Does Montréal have surveillance staff at its dog parks?

No. Guardians who go to dog parks must have their dog under control and follow applicable rules for use.If an incident occurs, depending on the type of incident, it can be reported to the city by calling 311, or to the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal by dialing 911.

However, the animal control patrol can apply municipal legislation in dog parks.

My dog weighs 20 kg, which harness or halter should I choose?

You can choose the harness or halter that is best adapted to your dog by visiting a pet store.

Does my puppy need a permit?

No one may be the guardian of a dog without obtaining the required licence. The licence must be obtained within 15 days of acquiring the dog or of the day the dog reaches the age of 3 months, the longest period applying.


I HAVE A PIT BULL-TYPE OR AT-RISK DOG

How are dogs identified as at-risk?

At-risk dogs are dogs that try to bite or attack, that bite or attack or that commit an act that compromises the safety of a person or animal.

What should I do if I have a pit bull-type dog?

As of April 1, 2017, owners of pit bull-type dogs can no longer apply for a special permit for their dog in Montréal. All pit bull-type dogs whose owners do not have a permit are prohibited within city limits.

Pit bull-type dog owners who hold a special permit for pit bull-type dogs must meet the requirements set out in the by-law.

Therefore, all owners of pit bull-type dogs, including American pit bull terriers, American Staffordshire terriers, Staffordshire Bull terriers and American bullies* must put a muzzle on their dog when outside a building. The dog must also be on a maximum 1.25 m leash, except in dog parks or closed areas with a fence that is at least 2 m high, wear a harness if he or she weighs 20 kg or more, be supervised by someone over 18, wear the city tag.

* The American bully, which is a cross between an American pit bull terrier and a Staffordshire bull terrier, is considered as a pit bull-type dog.

What happens if I have not applied for a special permit for pit bull-type dogs?

Pit bull-type dogs whose owners have not completed the process to obtain a special permit cannot have a pit bull-type dog within Montréal’s city limits. Owners are liable to a statement of offence with a minimum fine of $750 and seizure of the dog.

What happens if my pit bull-type dog is on public property without a harness, halter or muzzle?

Owners of pit bull-type dogs that weigh 20 kg and more and are not wearing a halter or harness on public property are liable to a statement of offence that carries a minimum fine of $500. For pit bull-type dogs, harnesses are better than halters because they must also wear a muzzle.

Owners of pit bull-type dogs that don't wear their muzzle outside buildings are liable to a statement of offence with a minimum fine of $500. Their special permit will also be revoked.

My pit bull-type dog has become prohibited within Montréal's city limits. What can I do?

You can ask someone who lives in a town where pit bull-type dogs are permitted to take your dog.

You can take your dog to a shelter.

My pit bull-type dog weighs more than 20 kg. Does my pit bull-type dog have to wear a halter or harness in addition to the muzzle?

Wearing a muzzle outside a building is a measure you have to follow as part of your special permit for pit bull-type dogs.

All dogs that weigh 20 kg and more have to wear a halter or harness to which their leash is attached. For pit bull-type dogs, the harness is a better choice than a halter since they must also be muzzled.

Why does my pit bull-type dog have to be muzzled in my backyard?

Despite your vigilance, your dog could escape from your backyard. To avoid unfortunate incidents from such a situation, the by-law states that your dog must be muzzled in your yard, even if your yard has a fence that is two metres or higher.

Which muzzle should I choose for my pit bull?

You can choose a muzzle that is adapted to your pet at a pet store.

Why are leash lengths different for different types of dogs?

The by-law aims to control certain types of dogs more strictly, namely with a shorter leash (1.25 m) and a muzzle for at-risk and pit bull-type dogs. For other dogs, the maximum length of the leash must be 1.85 m. As well, all dogs that weigh 20 kg and more must wear a halter or harness.

Are stretch leashes permitted?

Flexible or retractable leashes are not permitted. The maximum allowable leash length is 1.25 m for pit bull-type dogs and at-risk dogs. The maximum length is 1.85 m for all other dogs.

Where can I play outside with my pit bull-type dog?

You can play with your pit bull-type dog in dog parks without a leash. Your dog must still be muzzled

Can I take my pit bull to the dog park?

Yes, if you comply with all obligations for having a pit bull, including muzzling your dog. (See Permits section)

How was 2 metres defined as the fence height for the special permit for pit bull-type dogs?

This height was determined to ensure that the dog would not be able to jump over the fence. The chain links of the fence must be small enough so that no one could put their hand or foot through the fence.

Can I move to Montréal or visit the city with my pit bull-type dog if he or she is registered with another municipality?

Since December 1, 2016, no new pit bull-type dogs are allowed within Montréal's city limits.

How does Montréal follow up on dogs that are declared at risk?

An at-risk dog is a dog that tries to bite or attack, that bites or attacks or that a dog that tries to bite or attack, that bites or attacks, that acts so as to jeopardize the safety of a person or an animal.

It is important to report all dog bites. To do so, you must contact the nearest Montréal police station. If the situation is urgent or complex and requires police assistance, call 911.

The city makes the appropriate follow-up for all reported cases.

I have become ill and can no longer take care of my pit bull-type dog. Can I transfer my permit to a loved one? What should I do?

The special permit for pit bull-type dogs is unassignable and non-transferable, except in the event of the death of the dog's guardian and under certain conditions (see next question).

However, you could consider putting your dog up for adoption in a town where pit bull-type dogs are allowed, or take him or her to a shelter.

What happens to a pit bull-type dog if the dog's guardian dies, and the guardian has submitted a special permit application, but has not completed it on June 1, 2017?

In the event of a pit bull dog's guardian (with proof) who dies after having applied for a special permit request, the guardianship of the dog can be transferred to a person who requests it, if:

  • He or she lived at the same address as the guardian on the date of his or her death, or if he or she is a relative of the deceased, under article 655 of the Québec Civil Code, or the deceased's spouse, under article 2.2.1 of the Taxation Act.
  • He or she meets the conditions set out in aux paragraphs 3°, 5°, 6° and 7° b) of article 16 of the By-law Concerning Animal Control.

What happens if my pit bull-type dog is taken to a shelter?

Pet guardians, including pit bull-type dogs, and with the exception of at-risk, dangerous or hybrid dogs, can take their pet back from a shelter, unless the shelter has disposed of the dog in accordance with the by-law. This undertaking was made by the municipal administration as part of legal proceedings that are in progress until the final judgment is issued by the Superior Court of Québec.

Can a healthy pit bull-type dog be euthanized?

An order to euthanize a dog cannot be given unless the dog has been declared dangerous, at risk, stray, dying, seriously injured or highly contagious.

This undertaking was made by the municipal administration as part of legal proceedings that are in progress until the final judgment is issued by the Superior Court of Québec.

Is the successful criminal record check required each year?

Depending on your situation, visit the Criminal Record Check section.

A new criminal record check must be conducted each time an application is made to renew a special permit for pit bull-type dogs.

I have an attestation from a professional stating that my dog is not a pit bull-type dog. Can the city challenge this attestation?

We are confident that residents will call on a trusted professional (veterinarian, pet health technician, dog trainer, breeder, etc.) who will assess the dog in good faith. In the event of serious doubt as to the conclusions of this assessment, the city may conduct its own assessment to determine whether the dog is a pit bull-type dog as per the animal control by-law (16-060) and apply its provisions accordingly.

I have an attestation from a professional under the stating that my dog is not a pit bull-type dog under the animal control by-law. I paid $150 for my special permit. Can I get a refund?

As of June 1, 2017, it is no longer possible to get a reimbursement. However, an application for a special permit for pit bull-type dogs can be cancelled and replaced by a regular permit application under the following conditions:

  • The resident filed an application for a special permit before March 31, 2017 and paid the applicable fees.
  • The resident is able to present the attestation of a professional indicating that his or her dog is not a pit bull-type dog.
  • The resident cancels his or her application for a special permit and replaces it with an application for a regular permit, renouncing his or her rights to have a pit bull-type dog in Montréal.

This request is irreversible. You will not be able to register a pit bull in Montréal at a later date.

To learn more, see the procedure.

When I renew my special permit for pit bull-type dogs, what documents should I present?

Special permits for pit bull-type dogs can be renewed if all conditions are still met on the renewal date, if the pet still has his or her special permit from the city and the permit has not been revoked.

The following documents are needed for renewal:

  • Fees of $150
  • Photo ID
  • Proof of residence
  • Proof of rabies vaccination (up to date)
  • Successful criminal background check or certificate (up to date)

Renewal must take place in an Accès Montréal office.

How does the city identify pit bull-type dogs?

The city has a practical identification guide: Physical Characteristics of Pit Bull-Type Dogs (in French).


OTHER QUESTIONS

What should I do if a pet guardian is violating the rules in my borough?

Call 311 to report any problem or potential danger.

How is the cost of the permit determined?

Permit prices are based on animal control best practices. By offering various discounts, these prices encourage responsible behaviour such as microchipping and spaying/neutering.

How many cats and dogs are registered on the Montréal territory?

According to a survey conducted in june 2017, there are an estimated 225,000 cats and 115,000 dogs. The fact that all cat and dog guardians residing in Montréal will now be required to have a permit for their animal will ultimately enable us to obtain a more accurate picture of pets within city limits.

Where is the animal patrol deployed?

The animal patrol is deployed within city limits. It carries out its activities proactively to ensure that guardians possess a valid permit for their pets as well as abide by the rules of civility and safety in public spaces, such as the wearing of animal tags, keeping dogs on leashes and, if applicable, the wearing of a halter, harness and/or muzzle.

How should I behave around wild animals?

A number of wild animals, such as squirrels, pigeons, raccoons, groundhogs and skunks, live in urban areas. Feeding them or trying to capture them is strictly prohibited and subject to a fine. Wild animals fed by humans may become dependent on them, placing these animals at greater risk.

Even though they may not seem dangerous, wild animals are always unpredictable and, as a safety measure, it is better to keep your distance. In addition, some animals may carry infectious diseases, such as rabies, that are contagious to humans. For your safety and the well-being of these animals, avoid approaching or teasing them, and teach these rules of caution to your children as well. If you come across a dead or injured wild animal, call 311. Do not approach the animal.

How can I get rid of a wild animal on my property?

If a wild animal has settled at your home, it is because it has found food and an accessible shelter. Getting the animal to go away without taking preventive measures like blocking access to food and shelter is bound to attract other animals to take their place.

Various measures are available to scare wild animals away from your home and prevent their intrusion.

Information about these measures may be found in the 311 Database on the city's Web site, under the “Public health and safety” tab, and on the Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs website.

There are also companies that specialize in urban wildlife control that can give you appropriate advice or come to your home to take care of the problem. If you come across a dead or injured wild animal, call 311. Do not approach the animal.

Who can issue statements of offence?

The animal control patrol, staff deployed by the boroughs (patrolers and inspectors) and Service de police de la Ville de Montréal police officers.

Do patrollers work in the wintertime?

Yes, the animal control patrollers work year round.

What are the fines for violating the by-law?

Anyone who violates the by-law is liable, for a first infraction, to a fine of $300 to $600; or a fine of $500 to $750 for infractions that pose a risk to safety (bites, being without a leash or muzzle).

What should I do if I believe I was wrongfully issued a statement of offence?

It is possible to record a not-guilty plea within 30 days of the date the statement was served. On the statement, see the "Plea" and "Recording a Not-Guilty Plea" sections.

What should I do if my dog can't be spayed/neutered or microchipped?

Spaying/neutering and microchipping dogs will be compulsory on December 31, 2019.

Although the by-law does not currently require this, Montréal encourages this responsible behaviour; guardians who spay/neuter and/or microchip their pet get a discount when registering their pet.

If your pet can't be spayed/neutered or microchipped, you must provide the city with a letter from your veterinarian explaining why it is contraindicated. This information will be recorded in your file.