Dog Owner Information

Dog owners in the City of Sarnia are required to license their dogs and are required to comply with the Regulation of Dogs and Cats By-Law.

Barking Dogs

Persistent barking is not permitted at any time.

When a complaint is received about persistent barking, the complainant is encouraged to communicate with the owner of the dog. If that fails to produce satisfactory results, the By-law Enforcement Officer will speak to the owner of the dog and if that does not improve the situation, the By-law Enforcement Officer, with written evidence will issue a Provincial Offence ticket to the owner of the barking dog or assist the complainant to lay charges, which will necessitate a court appearance by the complainant.

Running at Large

Dogs must be on-leash at all times when off their property.

Dogs running at large may result in the owner being charged and/or the dog being impounded.

Dogs on Public Beaches

Dogs are not permitted on Public Beaches in accordance with the Public Parks By-Law.

Pet Waste/Excrement

Every owner of a dog shall immediately remove excrement left by the dog and dispose of it in a sanitary manner.

Pets in Hot Cars

If you see an animal in a hot car and are concerned the animal’s life is in immediate danger, dial 911. Members of the public should not attempt to enter a vehicle in these situations.

  • Unlike humans, dogs have a very limited ability to sweat. Even a short period in a hot environment can cause suffering and distress, which could result in brain damage or death.
  • Excessive panting, drooling, listlessness, collapsing or seizures are all examples of visible signs of heat stress in animals. If you witness these signs in your pet, move the animal to a cool area and seek veterinary attention immediately.
  • Cruelty to any animal is not tolerated in Ontario. If you think an animal is in distress or being abused, call 1-833-9ANIMAL (26-4625)

Learn more about Ontario’s animal welfare system.

Pit Bull Ban

Under the Dog Owners’ Liability Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. D. 16, pit bulls are restricted in the Province of Ontario. Further information on The Dog Owners’ Liability Act and Public Safety Related to Dogs Statute Law Amendment Act, 2005 can be found online.

Cat Owner Information

Cat owners in the City of Sarnia are NOT required to license their cats. Cat owners are required to comply with the Regulation of Dogs and Cats By-Law.

Keeping Too Many Cats

No person shall keep more than 2 cats per adult on the premises.

Roaming/Running at Large

No person shall allow a cat to run at large.

Nuisance Cats

A property owner or occupier is permitted to trap any cat found trespassing on its property in a humane portable container. The cat must be kept safe by providing adequate food, water and shelter appropriate to the weather conditions for the cat.

Any person who has trapped a cat must report it to the City’s By-law Enforcement Officers, who will pick up the cat in the portable container. Cats will be picked up only when confined in humane, secure containers and the property owner must be on the premises when the cat is picked up. Cats will be taken to the Humane Society.

The City of Sarnia has traps available for use for a refundable deposit of $30.00.

Pet Waste/Excrement

Every owner of a cat shall immediately remove excrement left by the cat and dispose of it in a sanitary manner.

Animal Investigations

Ontario Animal Investigations – Neglect/Cruelty

If you’re concerned about the welfare of an animal in Ontario, call the Ontario Animal Protection Call Centre at 1-833-9ANIMAL or 1-833-926-4625. This includes animals that are injured, in pain, suffering or abused, as well as animals that lack proper care, water, food, or shelter.

Based on the location and nature of the incident, the call centre may flag the ticket for further investigation with the appropriate authorities, such as a provincial inspector or the local police.

Learn more about animal neglect/cruelty enforcement at

Dog Bite

In the event of a dog bite/attack to person or animal, complete the Contact Us form for By-Law Enforcement to investigate. Also contact Lambton Public Health as soon as possible. Seek medical attention if needed. If you attend the hospital, report the bite or attack as soon as possible after treatment is complete.

Wildlife Info

Information on wildlife and other animals, and the responsibilities.

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