Posted Nov 23, 2021, 6:16PM EST.
Last Updated Nov 23, 2021, 7:02PM EST.
A Toronto councillor is making the push to have all dog kennels in the city licensed amid concerns about the quality of care being provided by a select number of operators.
“It’s really quite a logical step for us to take, particularly with so many families and others bringing dogs into their homes as cherished pets throughout the pandemic, and then when everyone starts going back to work doggy daycares are going to be proliferating in a way that we might not have seen before,” Toronto–Danforth Coun. Paula Fletcher told CityNews on Tuesday.
“It would be great to know that there’s a certain standard for dog kennels that have to be met so when you leave your cherished pet at the kennel you can be sure they’re getting the best loving care possible.”
In a letter being considered by the City of Toronto’s general government and licensing committee on Nov. 30, Fletcher called for municipal staff to investigate the creation of a regulatory plan for all kennels by the end of June.
Fletcher said she heard from some constituents who expressed concerned pets “weren’t being treated in the best way.”
“It just adds a layer of protection,” she said, adding the move could potentially create a new licence category to join the others governing various business operations in the city.
When it comes to the amount of dogs in the city, Fletcher said pre-pandemic it was estimated there were around 230,000 dogs in Toronto but it’s still unclear how many boarding facilities are in operation. However, she said she anticipates the total population of animals grew with lockdowns and work-from-home arrangements due to COVID-19.
“We recognize through the pandemic more families, seniors and singles have really sought the companionship of dogs and we want to make sure with such a growing number that we’re really looking after their needs and the needs of their families,” she said.
Fletcher’s proposal still needs to be reviewed by the committee and if adopted a report would come back to council with recommendations to either proceed or reject the idea.
If kennels became licensed, it would allow bylaw officers to inspect facilities to ensure predetermined standards are met. Under that scenario, should an operator be cited for not meeting conditions of the license, they would be required to appear before a municipal tribunal for discipline or further action.