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Kingston reviews animal by-laws, discuss pet limits

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The city is reviewing animal by-laws and will be discussing a limit on pets per household. There are contrasting opinions on whether this should happen, and if so, what that limit would look like – Jun 24, 2021

Pets are a part of the family for many Kingstonians.

Up until now, the City of Kingston hasn’t had a limit on the number of pets that can be kept per household or residence.

Tonight’s meeting of the Arts, Recreation and Community Policies Committee will see a review of the city’s animal control by-laws, including whether the city should impose a limit on pets.

Kingston and Frontenac Housing Corporation (KFHC) has been advocating for pet limit by-laws for several years.

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“We have 1,500 rental units where there’s a number of issues related to overcrowding of pets, the number of pets, whether it be exotic pets, dogs or cats, and it’s impacting the corporation and other tenants in the building,” says KFHC CEO Mary Lynn Cousins Brame. “It is causing tremendous cost to refurbish these units. And as a landlord, we can’t do anything about it.”

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As of now, the only animal limit in Kingston is on backyard hens, with six allowed with permissions of a landlord.

“We are advocating for pet limits regardless of the animal and we feel that the revisions happening to the by-law, pet limits need to be incorporated,” says Cousins Brame.

Contrarily, the Kingston Humane Society has been vocal against pet limits, saying that this will not discourage animal hoarding or hold pet owners any more responsible.

“You can be a responsible cat or dog owner and have five or six or seven different animals. But you could be an irresponsible cat or dog owner and have just one,” says Kingston Humane Society Executive Director, Gord Hunter.

Hunter goes on to say that Provincial Animal Welfare Services may be able to respond to many of the issues facing the housing corporation.

A major issue brought up by KFHC was an inability to prevent the selling of animals on their properties or ban exotic and dangerous animals.

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The Kingston Humane Society say they would support any by-laws regarding exotic animals, but believe that targeting cats and dogs won’t solve their problems.

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When the city surveyed Kingstonians about limits on pets, the results showed that 46 per cent responded in favour to a pet limit, 37 per cent were not in favour and 18 per cent were unsure.

A final version of the new draft by-law is expected by late July, ahead of an August committee meeting.

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