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Who We Are

Municipal Animal Services responds to animal related public safety and nuisance issues. Enforcement and public education services are performed by municipal Animal Services staff. Sheltering services for lost and impounded pets are provided through a contractual arrangement.

What We Do

Municipal Animal Services strives to foster a safe environment where people and pets can live in harmony by:

  • Enhancing Public Awareness and Education

How Do I...?


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

On November 10, 2015, Regional Council adopted By-Law A-700 Respecting Animals and Responsible Pet Ownership. Please find below a few frequently asked questions about the new By-Law.

What opportunity was the public given to provide input into the proposed By-Law changes?
Have the powers of Animal Control Officers changed with this new By-Law?
What are the new rules regarding licensing?
Is there now a rule regarding the length of leashes?
How does the new By-Law address noise complaints due to barking?
What has been done to prevent livestock from running at large?
What are the new rules regarding the feeding of birds and waterfowl?

What opportunity was the public given to provide input into the proposed By-Law changes?
The process for adoption of a By-Law is a formal process, as required by law, for which notice of motion is given, 1st reading is given (providing all the details of the proposed By-Laws), an advertisement is placed and a public hearing is held (if required) prior to adoption of the By-law.

In regard to By-Law A-700 Respecting Animals and Responsible Pet Ownership, a Notice of Motion was given at Regional Council on October 6, 2015 which indicated the intention to adopt the new By-Law. The 1st reading of the report and by-law occurred on October 20, 2015 and notice of the Regional Council public hearing was advertised on Saturday October 24th in the Chronicle Herald. On November 10, 2015 the public hearing was held and the By-Law was adopted by Council.

It is also important to note By-Law A-700 was created in response to multiple motions of Regional Council from 2009 to 2013, requesting amendments to By-Law A-300.

Have the powers of Animal Control Officers changed with this new By-Law?
The new By-Law has not altered the powers of Compliance Officers (formerly known as Animal Control Officers). As has always been the case, these officers are not armed. The legislation simply provides the Compliance Officer with the discretion to contact other Peace Officers (i.e. Halifax Regional Police or RCMP) that have the ability/authority to assist with severe Public Safety situations.

What are the new rules regarding licensing?
The municipality now offers pet owners the option of a lifetime licence for an animal with a microchip. The one-time cost is $200, with a reduced rate of $75 for spayed or neutered animals. Seniors receive a 50 per cent discount.

Pet owners can still opt to renew pet licences annually, but the annual licence will now expire 12 months from the date of purchase rather than expiring every year at the end of March. This means there will no longer be pro-rated cost if the licence is bought throughout the year.

Is there now a rule regarding the length of leashes?
There was previously no limit on the length of a leash. With the introduction of By-Law A-700, leashes can now no longer exceed three metres (10-feet). Extendable leashes are permitted, however the walker must just ensure they only allow it to reach the three-meter limit. The leash also must be held securely by a person.

How does the new By-Law address noise complaints due to barking?
The municipality’s practise for addressing barking complaints remains the same. Animal Services will not issue tickets for complaints of one time barking. The fine amount for a noise violation has not changed from the previous legislation. It is $200, therefore the Summary Offense ticket would be $352.50.

The previous By-Law had a 20-minute provision which did not address a large number of complaints received by Animal Services (e.g. a dog barks for 15 minutes every morning at 5:30 for a 2 week period). Under the new By-Law an investigation still requires complainants to complete a “Barking Log” over a minimum period of 7 to 10 days. This log forms part of the evidence of the investigation and assists officers with determining what if any enforcement is warranted. Details of a barking complaint are provided to the dog owner and they are provided the opportunity to respond to the complaint with their own statement. The results of the review by Animal Services rarely result in proceedings towards charges or fines.

What has been done to prevent livestock from running at large?
Wherever livestock, including poultry, is currently permitted in the municipality, By-Law A-700 requires owners to ensure the animals are prevented from running at large. The legislation also gives authority to issue orders to build and or repair a structure to contain the livestock.

What are the new rules regarding the feeding of birds and waterfowl?
The new By-Law prohibits the feeding of waterfowl on lands abutting or adjacent to all lakes.

Contact Animal Services

  • by phone at 311 or 1.800.835.6428 (Toll free in Nova Scotia Only)
  • by email at Contact Us
  • by fax at 902.490.6142
  • by mail at:
    Municipal Animal Services
    P.O. Box 1749
    Halifax, NS B3J 3A5