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Animal Services
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Animal Services Agency


Common Complaint types:

Running at Large

According to the Responsible Pet Ownership By-law, running at large means that the dog is not:

  • on its owner's property;
  • on other property with the consent of the owner or occupant;
  • in a designated off-leash area;
  • securely confined in a vehicle or other enclosure; or
  • securely leashed and in the custody of someone able to control it.

Letting your pet run loose puts them and the community in danger and contributes to the already explosive pet population in Winnipeg.

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Is there a by-law about dogs running around without a leash on?
  • The Responsible Pet Ownership By-law states that dog owners must keep their dogs on a leash at all times except when on the owner's property, on the property of another person who has consented to the presence of an unleashed dog, or in a designated off-leash area. The leash must be held by a person able to control the dog. A dog found running loose is considered as "running at large".
Is there a fine if my dog is found running at large?
Does a dog have to be behind a fence?
  • No, the Responsible Pet Ownership By-law does not require that a dog be behind a fence, only that it remains on its owner’s property. If off its owner's property, it must be on a leash held by a person able to control the dog.
The dog stays on its owner's property but it isn't fenced or chained. Is that okay?
  • Yes, as long as the dog remains on its owner's property it has not violated the Responsible Pet Ownership By-law. If off its owner's property, it must be on a leash held by a person able to control the dog.
Can I let my dog run off leash in public spaces like pathways or parks if no one is around?
  • No - the Responsible Pet Ownership By-law clearly requires that a dog must be kept on a leash while off its owner's property and the leash must be held by a person able to control the dog. Dogs are only permitted off-leash in designated off-leash parks.

Barking Dogs

The Responsible Pet Ownership By-law requires the owner of a dog to ensure the dog does not bark or howl or unduly disturb the quiet of any individual.

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How do I report a barking dog?
Why can't a dog bark during the day?
  • Your dog cannot unduly disturb anyone at any time of day. There are many reasons why a dog barking might disturb someone during the day; your neighbours may be shift workers and sleep during the day or perhaps your neighbours are sick and must rest. Whatever the reason, the Responsible Pet Ownership By-law is in effect 24 hours a day.
What am I supposed to do about my dog barking? That's what dogs do.
  • Barking is the normal way a dog communicates vocally, but a barking dog can be a serious neighborhood nuisance. Some suggestions if your dog is barking and disturbing your neighbours:
    • Take your dog inside when he/she starts to bark.
    • Sometimes dogs bark when they are not getting adequate care, if they are lonely, bored or looking for attention. Being a responsible dog owner means you will provide your dog with the attention and daily exercise it needs.
    • A dog can learn not to bark. Well trained dogs are less likely to become problem barkers, so look into obedience classes for your dog.
    • Go outside with your dog.
    • Provide appropriate toys to occupy your dog's time.
    • Check online or with a pet trainer for additional tips to reduce barking.
How much is the fine for a barking dog?

Defecating / Feces

The Responsible Pet Ownership By-law states that where a dog defecates on property other than the property of its owner, the dog owner must remove the excrement immediately and dispose of it in a sanitary manner.

A dog owner who fails to clean up after their dog may face charges under the Responsible Pet Ownership By-law. The dog owner would then be required to appear before a magistrate in Provincial Court.

Other than being a nuisance, dog and cat excrement may be harmful to public health because roundworms and other diseases can be passed to humans by pet feces. Young children are especially susceptible because they play and crawl in parks. To prevent the spread of disease, Stoop and Scoop and have your pet checked regularly by a veterinarian.

The best way to Stoop and Scoop is to carry a plastic bag with you when walking your dog. Use it like an inside out mitt. Once you remove the feces, tie the bag and drop it in the nearest garbage container. Remember to wash your hands as soon as possible.

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How do I report a dog owner that doesn't clean up after their dog?
I didn't see the dog defecate, but I know it was my neighbour's dog. Can I still register a complaint?
  • It is unfair to simply make an assumption that it is your neighbour's dog that defecated. You must have seen the dog defecate off its property before an accusation can be made against the dog owner.
The dog urinates on the grass in front of my house. Is that considered defecating?
  • No, the dog urinating is not considered defecating off its property.
Can you make the dog owner come back and clean up the mess their dog made?
My neighbour won't clean up their yard and the excrement stinks. What can I do?
  • The Animal Services Agency enforces the Responsible Pet Ownership By-law which has authority only when a dog defecates off the owner's property. When a dog owner does not clean up their own property, you should contact 311.
Does the Animal Services Agency do patrols of parks where there is a problem with dog feces?
  • Yes, the Animal Services Agency will do patrols of specific areas when a problem has been identified. To register a complaint, contact the Animal Services Agency at 311.
Last update: July 10, 2023

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