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The Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw

The Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw 23M2006 enables Animal & Bylaw Services to work with Calgarians to ensure that cats, dogs, their owners and neighbours live together in safety and harmony.

Under the bylaw, both cat and dog owners are responsible for licensing their pets at three months of age and for ensuring the pets remain on the owner's property. Cats are not allowed to roam and must be restricted to their owner’s property. When off their owner’s property, dogs must be under their owner's control. All areas in Calgary are on-leash except for off-leash areas that are designated by signs.

The Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw makes it possible for Animal & Bylaw Services to:

  • Impound cats and dogs roaming or at large in the community, in violation of the bylaw. This is for the protection and safety of pets and the public.
  • Feed, shelter and provide veterinary care for the cats and dogs impounded and under our protection and care at the Animal Services Centre.
  • Adopt out cats and dogs that have not been claimed by their owners after a wait period as set out by the Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw.

What is a Responsible Pet Owner?

Animal & Bylaw Services does not advocate limiting the number of pets or breed specific legislation. This is because we believe that poor animal behaviour results from a failed relationship between pet and owner. Therefore, Animal & Bylaw Services advocates responsible pet ownership based on the following five principles:

  • License and provide permanent identification for pets.
  • Spay or neuter pets.
  • Provide training, physical care, socialization and medical attention for companion pets.
  • Do not allow pets to become a threat or nuisance in the community.
  • Procure your pet ethically and from a credibly source.

For more information, download our Responsible Pet Ownership brochure​.​

The Licensing Advantage

Under the Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw, at three months of age all cats and dogs residing in the City of Calgary must have a City of Calgary licence. Licensing fees, not tax dollars, fund the following programs and services:

  • Reunite lost cats and lost dogs with their owners.
  • Operate the Pet Drive Home program.
  • Educate cat and dog owners about responsible pet ownership.
  • Enforce the Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw.
  • Shelter and feed lost impounded cats and impounded dogs in our vet-operated facility.
  • Manage our animal adoption program.
  • Deliver public education programs.
  • Run our volunteer animal socialization program.
  • Help neighbours resolve their animal related conflicts.
  • Provide funding to veterinary clinics for emergency medical care for injured stray cats and dogs.
  • Operate the No Cost Spay/Neuter program for the cats and dogs of eligible Calgarians.
  • Provide medical care to adoptable cats and dogs in our state of the art clinic.

Contact Animal & Bylaw Services

Please see our Contact Us page for Animal Services Centre hours and contact information.​​​​​​​​​​​​​