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Canada - Prince Edward Island (PEI)

P.E.I. Statutes. Dog Act

Statute Details
Printable Version
Citation: R.S.P.E.I. 1988, c. D-13 s.1 - 21



Last Checked by Web Center Staff: 11/08

Summary:   This set of laws comprises the Prince Edward Island (PEI) Dog Act. The Act provides that no owner of a dog shall allow his dog to run at large; any dog found at large shall be deemed to have been allowed to be at large by its owner. In addition, the owner of livestock or any enforcement officer authorized by the owner of livestock, may kill a dog that is killing or injuring the owner's livestock, except where the livestock is on property held under lease, license or permit by the owner of the dog. This Act also outlines licensing requirements for dogs as well as impoundment procedures.


Statute in Full:

s 1. Definitions

In this Act

(a) "at large" means not under control;

(b) "dog" means any male or female dog and includes the young thereof;

(b.1) "domestic animal" means

(i) any livestock, or

(ii) any companion animal, as defined in the Companion Animal Protection Act R.S.P.E.I. 1988, Cap. C-14.1;

(c) "enforcement officer" means the Minister and any person designated under this Act to have the administration or enforcement of this Act or any aspect thereof;

(d) "injuring" includes wounding, worrying, terrifying or pursuing;

(e) "justice" means a judge of the Supreme Court of Prince Edward Island, and a provincial court judge;

(f) [Repealed 2005, c. 30, s. 1(b).]

(g) "livestock" means cattle, goats, horses, mink, foxes, sheep, swine or poultry and includes a game animal designated under the Wildlife Conservation Act that is held on a game farm;

(h) "Minister" means the Minister of the Crown designated by the Lieutenant Governor in Council to have the administration of this Act;

(i) "municipality" means the City of Charlottetown, the City of Summerside or any municipality to which the Municipalities Act R.S.P.E.I. 1988, Cap. M-13 applies;

(j) "owner of a dog" includes any person who possesses or harbours a dog and, where the owner is a person under the age of eighteen years, the adult person responsible for the person's custody;

(j.1) "Provincial Court" means the Provincial Court as established in the Provincial Court Act R.S.P.E.I. 1988, Cap. P-25;

(k) "Society" means the Prince Edward Island Humane Society (S.P.C.A.).

1994, c. 59, s. 75 (Sched. 3); 1998, c. 107, s. 34; 2005, c. 30, s. 1

 

Part 1 -- Dog License

s 2.

2(1) Annual license fee

Every owner of a dog shall on or before June 1 in each year pay an annual license fee for each dog owned by him; the license fee shall be in such amount and for such types or classes of dogs as may be prescribed by regulation.

 

2(2) Payable to

The license fee shall be paid to the Minister or such other person as he may designate in writing.

 

2(3) Issue of license

Upon receipt of payment of the license fee the Minister or his designate shall issue a license for the dog.

 

2(4) Dog license defined

The dog license is

(a) a written certificate describing the dog, identifying the owner and assigning to the dog a unique number that identifies the dog and its owner; and

(b) a metal tag not less than two inches square that can be suspended from a collar around the dog's neck and that bears the unique number referred to in clause (a).

 

2(5) Period license effective

The dog license shall be in full force and effect from the date of issue up to and including June 1 of the year next ensuing.

 

2(6) Acquisition of dog in mid-year

Where a person purchases, acquires or comes into possession of a dog between June 1 in one year and June 1 of the next year, he shall forthwith pay the license fee and upon receipt of payment of the license fee the Minister or his designate shall issue a license described in subsection (4) that shall, notwithstanding subsection (5), be in full force and effect until June 1 next ensuing.

 

2(7) Use of metal tag, retention of certificate

Every owner shall upon receipt of a license suspend the metal tag referred to in clause (4)(b) from a collar that is fastened around the dog's neck, and shall

(a) retain the written certificate in his possession during the period of its effectiveness; and

(b) ensure that the metal tag remains suspended from a collar fastened around the dog's neck during the period of its effectiveness.

 

2(8) Renewal of an existing license

The Minister or his designate may in any year after the issue of a license described in subsection (4) renew the existing license by endorsement to the certificate referred to in clause (4)(a), and where a renewal is made the certificate and the metal tag remain in full force and effect for the period stated on the endorsement but in no case shall the endorsement state a period that would extend beyond June 1 of the year next ensuing.

 

s 3.

[Repealed 2005, c. 30, s. 2.]

 

s 4. Requirement for information

An enforcement officer may by notice in writing require any person to deliver to him a statement in writing of

(a) the number of dogs owned by that person, and where that person receives the notice in writing he shall comply with the requirement forthwith; or

(b) the particulars of the license of each dog.

 

s 5. Order for destruction of dog, license fee not paid

Where the license fee is not paid in respect of any dog, the owner may be summoned before a justice and where the justice is satisfied that the license fee has not been paid and will not be paid forthwith, he may order that the dog be destroyed by an enforcement officer on a specified date unless the license fee and such costs as he may allow are paid prior to that date.

 

s 6. Power to search

An enforcement officer if authorized by a warrant issued by a justice who is satisfied by information upon oath that there are reasonable and probable grounds for believing that a dog is unlicensed or that there are unlicensed dogs on a premises, may enter and search any premises to determine whether there is an unlicensed dog on the premises and for the purpose of destroying an unlicensed dog an enforcement officer may without warrant enter any premises, seize and destroy the unlicensed dog pursuant to an order of a justice issued under section 5.

 

s 7.

7(1) Funds payable to

Funds collected pursuant to this Act shall be paid to the Provincial Treasurer.

 

7(2) Enforcement officer, remuneration

The Minister may reimburse or remunerate any person who assists him in the administration or enforcement of this Act; the reimbursement or remuneration shall be in such amount and for such purposes as may be prescribed by regulation.

1993, c. 29, s. 4 (Sched.)

 

s 8. Regulations

The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations respecting

(a) the licensing of dogs;

(b) the amount or amounts of license fees to be paid under this Act;

(c) the classification of dogs for the purpose of establishing license fees;

(d) the reimbursement or remuneration of persons who assist the Minister or his designate in administering or enforcing this Act;

(e) the designation of the Society and certain of its members and employees to assist the Minister in administering or enforcing this Act;

(f) the powers and duties of the Society where it is designated under clause (e);

(g) generally for the better administration and enforcement of this Part.

 

Part II -- Dogs Running at Large

s 9. Dogs running at large prohibited

No owner of a dog shall allow his dog to run at large; any dog found at large shall be deemed to have been allowed to be at large by its owner.

 

s 10.

10(1) Killing dog permitted

The owner of livestock or any enforcement officer authorized by the owner of livestock, may kill a dog that is killing or injuring the owner's livestock, except where the livestock is on property held under lease, license or permit by the owner of the dog.

 

10(2)

[Repealed 2005, c. 30, s. 3.]

 

10(3) Liability of person who kills dog

Where a person kills a dog pursuant to this section he is not liable to the owner of the dog for general or special damages respecting the dog or the killing of the dog.

2005, c. 30, s. 3

 

s 11.

11(1) Liability of dog owner for injury caused by dog

Where livestock is killed or injured by a dog, the owner of the dog is liable to the owner of the livestock for general and special damages; where the owner of the dog and the owner of the livestock are unable to agree as to the amount of the damages or to effect recovery of damages, the owner of the livestock may make application to a justice to settle the amount of the damages or to make an order respecting the recovery of damages.

 

11(2) Certain facts not necessary to prove

It is not necessary for the owner of livestock in an action to recover damages to prove that the dog was vicious or accustomed to worry livestock.

 

s 12.

[Repealed 2005, c. 30, s. 4.]

 

s 13. Impounding dog, power to

s 13. Impounding dog, power to

Any licensed or unlicensed dog that is at large may be caught and impounded by a police constable appointed under the Police Act R.S.P.E.I. 1988, Cap. P-11 or by an enforcement officer.

Proposed Amendment -- 13

13. Impounding dog, power to

Any licensed or unlicensed dog that is at large may be caught and impounded by a police officer or by an enforcement officer.

2006, c. 16, s. 63(2)(a) [Not in force at date of publication.]

 

s 14.

14(1) Notice of impounding

Where a licensed dog is caught and impounded pursuant to section 13, the captor shall give notice by registered mail to the owner of the dog identified on the license that the dog has been caught and impounded and specifying therein the name of the captor and the place of impounding.

 

14(2) Repossession of dog

The owner of the dog may within ten days of the date of the notice take possession of his dog after paying to the person impounding the dog such fees as may be prescribed by regulation respecting the catching and maintenance of the dog, but if the owner of the dog fails to take possession of his dog within the ten days the dog shall be destroyed by the person impounding the dog.

 

14(3) Liability for fees where dog killed

Where a dog is destroyed pursuant to subsection (2) the owner of the dog is liable for the fees referred to in subsection (2) and for the costs of any action that may be necessary to recover the fees.

 

14(4) Evidence that dog was destroyed

In an action for the recovery of fees under subsection (3) evidence of the notice by registered mail and the metal tag of the dog shall be deemed to be sufficient evidence that the dog was destroyed.

 

s 15.

15(1) Unlicensed dog destroyed, owner not found

Where an unlicensed dog is caught pursuant to section 13, the dog, if the owner of the dog does not take possession of it after paying the fees referred to in subsection 14(2), shall be destroyed at any time after five days from the day of its being caught and impounded.

 

15(2) Owner identified, liability for costs

Where the owner of the dog referred to in subsection (1) is identified, he is liable for the payment of the fees referred to in subsection 14(2), and for the costs of any action that may be necessary to recover the fees.

 

Part III -- Dangerous Dogs  [Heading added 2005, c. 30, s. 5.]

s 16.

16(1) Proceeding commenced in Provincial Court

A peace officer may commence a proceeding in the Provincial Court against an owner of a dog if the peace officer believes, on reasonable grounds, that

(a) the dog has bitten or attacked a person or a domestic animal; or

(b) the dog has behaved in a manner that poses a menace to the safety of persons or domestic animals.

 

16(2) Orders under statutes

A peace officer who wishes to commence a proceeding referred to in subsection (1) shall

(a) complete a statement in the prescribed form under oath attesting, on reasonable grounds, to the existence of facts that would justify the order sought;

(b) serve a copy of the statement on the owner or owners of the dogs; and

(c) file a copy of the statement with the Provincial Court.

Proposed Addition -- 16(2.1)-(2.3)

 

16(2.1) Presumption of ownership

For the purposes of a proceeding commenced under subsection (1), the occupier of any premises where a dog was kept or permitted to live or remain at the time a dog is alleged, in a statement filed by a peace officer with the Provincial Court under subsection (2), to have bitten or attacked a person or a domestic animal or to have behaved in a manner that poses a menace to the safety of persons or domestic animals, shall be presumed to be the owner of the dog, unless the occupier proves that the occupier was not the owner of the dog at that time.

 

16(2.2) Idem

For the purposes of a proceeding commenced under subsection (1), where there are two or more occupiers of any premises let in separate apartments or lodgings, or otherwise, the occupier of that particular part of the premises in which a dog was kept or permitted to live or remain at the time a dog is alleged, in a statement filed by a peace officer with the Provincial Court under subsection (2), to have bitten or attacked a person or a domestic animal or to have behaved in a manner that poses a menace to the safety of persons or domestic animals, shall be presumed to be the owner of the dog, unless the occupier proves that the occupier was not the owner of the dog at that time.

 

16(2.3) Idem

Where the person presumed to be the owner of a dog under subsection (2.1) or (2.2) is under the age of 18 years, the adult person responsible for the person's custody shall be presumed to be the owner of the dog unless the adult person proves that the adult was not the owner of the dog at that time.

2007, c. 4, s. 1 [Not in force at date of publication.]

 

16(3) Interim order

When a proceeding has been commenced under subsection (1), the Provincial Court may, pending a determination of whether an order should be made under subsection (4), make an interim order requiring the owner to take measures specified in the interim order for the more effective control of the dog.

 

16(4) Order

If, in a proceeding under subsection (1), the Provincial Court finds that the dog has bitten or attacked a person or a domestic animal or that the dog's behaviour is such that the dog is a menace to the safety of persons or domestic animals, and the Provincial Court is satisfied that an order is necessary for the protection of the public, the Provincial Court may order

(a) that the dog be destroyed in the manner specified in the order;

(b) that the dog be neutered or sprayed, as the case may be; or

(c) that the owner of the dog take the measures specified in the order for the more effective control of the dog or for purposes of public safety.

 

16(5) Measures

Measures that may be ordered under subsection (3) or clause (4)(c) include

(a) confining the dog to its owner's property;

(b) restraining the dog by means of a leash;

(c) restraining the dog by means of a muzzle; and

(d) posting warning signs.

 

16(6) Restraint of dog

If a dog whose destruction has been ordered under clause (4)(a) is not taken into custody immediately, the owner shall restrain the dog by means of a leash and muzzle and such other means as the Provincial Court may order until the dog is taken into custody.

 

16(7) Factors

In exercising its powers to make an order under subsection (4), the Provincial Court may take into consideration the following factors:

(a) the dog's past and present temperament and behaviour;

(b) the seriousness of the injuries caused by the biting or attack;

(c) unusual contributing circumstances tending to justify the dog's action;

(d) the improbability that a similar attack will be repeated;

(e) the dog's physical potential for inflicting harm;

(f) precautions taken by the owner to preclude similar attacks in the future;

(g) any other circumstances that the court considers to be relevant.

2005, c. 30, s. 6

 

s 16.1 Order

Where, in a proceeding under subsection 16(1), the Provincial Court finds that the dog has bitten or attacked a person or a domestic animal or the dog's behaviour is such that the dog is a menace to the safety of persons or domestic animals, the Provincial Court may make an order prohibiting the dog's owner from owning another dog during a specified period of time.

2005, c. 30, s. 6

 

s 16.2 Peace officer

For the purposes of sections 16.3 to 16.8, a peace officer includes

(a) a municipal law enforcement officer or municipal bylaw enforcement officer; and

Proposed Amendment -- 16.2(a)

(a) a police officer or municipal bylaw enforcement officer; and

2006, c. 16, s. 63(2)(b) [Not in force at date of publication.]

(b) an enforcement officer.

2005, c. 30, s. 6

 

s 16.3

16.3(1) Application

Where a justice of the peace is satisfied by information on oath or affirmation that there are reasonable grounds to believe that

(a) a dog is in any building, receptacle or place, including a private dwelling; and

(b) it is not in the interests of public safety for the dog to be in that location,

the justice of the peace may issue a warrant authorizing a peace officer named in the warrant to enter any building, receptacle or place, including a private dwelling, to search for and seize the dog and any muzzle, collar or other equipment for the dog.

 

16.3(2) Public safety

Without limiting the generality of clause (1)(b), it is not in the interests of public safety for a dog to be in a location if

(a) the dog has on one or more occasions bitten or attacked a person or a domestic animal; or

(b) the dog has on one or more occasions behaved in a manner that poses a menace to the safety of persons or domestic animals.

 

16.3(3) Warrant

A peace officer who is executing a warrant under this section may be accompanied by one or more veterinarians or animal control personnel as are reasonably required to give effect to the safe and humane seizure of the dog, whether the accompanying persons are named in the warrant or not.

Proposed Amendment -- 16.3(3)

16.3(3) Warrant

A peace officer who is executing a warrant under this section may be accompanied by one or more veterinarians or enforcement officers as are reasonably required to give effect to the safe and humane seizure of the dog, whether the accompanying persons are named in the warrant or not.

2007, c. 4, s. 2 [Not in force at date of publication.]

 

16.3(4) Idem

Every warrant issued under this section shall name a date on which it expires, which date shall be not later than 30 days after the date of its issue.

 

16.3(5) Idem

Every warrant shall be executed between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m., unless the warrant otherwise authorizes.

2005, c. 30, s. 6

 

s 16.4

16.4(1) Exigent circumstances

Where the circumstances in clauses 16.3(1)(a) and (b) exist and it would be impracticable to obtain a warrant due to exigent circumstances, a peace officer may, without a warrant,

(a) enter any building, receptacle or place, including a private dwelling, to search for and seize the dog and any muzzle, collar or other equipment for the dog; or

(b) be accompanied by one or more veterinarians or animal control personnel as are reasonably required to give effect to the safe and humane seizure of the dog, whether the accompanying persons are named in the warrant or not.

 

16.4(2) Idem

In this section, exigent circumstances include circumstances in which the peace officer has reasonable grounds to suspect that entry into any building, vehicle, receptacle or place, including a private dwelling, is necessary to prevent imminent bodily harm or death to any person.

Proposed Amendment -- 16.4

16.4

16.4(1) Seizure, impoundment in exigent circumstance

Where a peace officer has reasonable grounds to believe that

(a) a dog is in any building, receptacle or place, including a private dwelling;

(b) the dog has, on one or more occasions,

(i) bitten or attacked a person or a domestic animal, or

(ii) behaved in a manner that poses a menace to the safety of persons or domestic animals; and

(c) it would be impracticable to obtain a warrant because of exigent circumstances,

the peace officer may, without a warrant, enter any building, receptacle or place, including a private dwelling, and search for and seize the dog and any muzzle, collar or other equipment for the dog.

 

16.4(2) Idem

A peace officer who enters any building, receptacle or place, including a private dwelling, under subsection (1) may be assisted by one or more enforcement officers as are reasonably required to give effect to the safe and humane seizure of the dog.

 

16.4(3) Idem

A peace officer who seizes a dog under subsection (1) shall ensure that the dog is delivered promptly to a shelter operated by the Society.

 

16.4(4) Exigent circumstances

In this section, exigent circumstances include circumstances in which the peace officer has reasonable grounds to believe that entry into any building, receptacle or place, including a private dwelling, is necessary to prevent imminent bodily harm or death to any person or domestic animal.

2007, c. 4, s. 3 [Not in force at date of publication.]

2005, c. 30, s. 6

 

s 16.5

16.5(1) Seizes of dog

A peace officer may seize a dog in a public place if the peace officer believes, on reasonable grounds that,

(a) the dog has on one or more occasions bitten or attacked a person or a domestic animal;

(b) the dog has on one or more occasions behaved in a manner that poses a menace to the safety of persons or domestic animals;

(c) an owner of the dog has on one or more occasions failed to exercise reasonable precautions to prevent the dog from

(i) biting or attacking a person or a domestic animal,

(ii) behaving in a manner that poses a menace to the safety of persons or domestic animals; or

(d) there is reason to believe that the dog may cause harm to a person or domestic animal.

 

16.5(2) Idem

Subsection (1) shall not be interpreted to restrict seizure of a dog in a public place if the seizure is otherwise lawful.

2005, c. 30, s. 6

 

s 16.6 Force as necessary

A peace officer may use as much force as is reasonably necessary to execute a warrant issued under section 16.3 or to exercise any authority given by section 16.4 or section 16.5.

2005, c. 30, s. 6

 

s 16.7 Shelter

A peace officer who seizes a dog under section 16.3, 16.4 or 16.5 shall promptly deliver the seized dog to a shelter operated by the Society.

2005, c. 30, s. 6

 

s 16.8 Obstruction

No person shall obstruct, impede or assault a peace officer, or any person assisting a peace officer, while the peace officer is exercising his or her authority or performing a duty under this Act or the regulations, and no person shall aid or assist any person in obstructing, impeding or assaulting a peace officer.

2005, c. 30, s. 6

 

s 16.9 [Proposed Addition -- 16.9-16.93] -- Owner to prevent dog from attacking

16.9 [Proposed Addition -- 16.9-16.93] -- Owner to prevent dog from attacking

Every owner of a dog shall exercise reasonable precautions to prevent the dog from

(a) biting or attacking a person or a domestic animal; or

(b) behaving in a manner that poses a menace to the safety of persons or domestic animals.

2007, c. 4, s. 4 [Not in force at date of publication.]

 

s 16.91 [Proposed Addition -- 16.9-16.93] -- Offence and penalty

16.91 [Proposed Addition -- 16.9-16.93] -- Offence and penalty

Every owner of a dog who fails to comply with section 16.9 is guilty of an offence and is liable, on summary conviction, to a fine of not less than $200 and not more than $10,000.

2007, c. 4, s. 4 [Not in force at date of publication.]

 

s 16.92 [Proposed Addition -- 16.9-16.93]

16.92 [Proposed Addition -- 16.9-16.93]

16.92(1) Liability of owner

The owner of a dog is liable for damages resulting from a bite or an attack by the dog on another person or domestic animal.

 

16.92(2) Where more than one owner

Where there is more than one owner of a dog, the owners are jointly and severally liable under this section.

 

16.92(3) Extent of liability

The liability of an owner of a dog does not depend upon knowledge of the propensity of the dog to bite, attack or behave in a manner that poses a menace to the safety of persons or domestic animals, or on the fault or negligence on the part of the owner, but the court shall reduce the damages awarded in proportion to the degree, if any, to which the fault or negligence of the plaintiff caused or contributed to the damages.

 

16.92(4) Contribution by person at fault

An owner who is liable to pay damages under this section is entitled to recover contribution and indemnity from any other person in proportion to the degree to which the other person's fault or negligence caused or contributed to the damages.

2007, c. 4, s. 4 [Not in force at date of publication.]

 

16.93 [Proposed Addition -- 16.9-16.93]

16.93(1) Application of Occupiers' Liability Act

Where damage is caused to a person or a domestic animal as a result of being bitten or attacked by a dog on the premises of the owner of the dog, the liability of the owner shall be determined under this Act and not under the Occupiers' Liability Act R.S.P.E.I. 1988, Cap. O-2.

 

16.93(2) Protection of persons or property

Where a person is on any premises with the intention of committing, or in the commission of, a criminal act on the premises and the person incurs damage caused by being bitten or attacked by a dog on the premises, the owner of the dog or the owner of the premises is not liable for damages under section 16.92 unless the keeping of the dog on the premises was unreasonable for the purpose of the protection of persons or property.

2007, c. 4, s. 4 [Not in force at date of publication.]

 

Part IV -- General  [Heading amended 2005, c. 30, s. 7.]

s 17.

[Repealed 2005, c. 30, s. 8.]

 

s 18. Procedures not in strict conformity

The times and procedures set forth in this Act shall be deemed to be directory and a proceeding that is in substantial conformity with this Act is not open to objection on the ground that it is not in strict compliance therewith.

 

s 19. Regulations

The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations for the better administration and enforcement of this Act and to carry out the intent and purpose of the Act, and without limiting the generality thereof

(a) defining words or phrases for which no or an imperfect definition is given;

(b) respecting the taking and impounding of dogs;

(c) respecting the duties, powers and liabilities of the Minister and any person designated, appointed or employed by him to administer or enforce this Act;

(d) prescribing fees for catching, impounding, feeding and maintaining dogs; and

Proposed Amendment -- 19(d)

(d) prescribing fees for catching, impounding, feeding and maintaining dogs;

2007, c. 4, s. 5(a) [Not in force at date of publication.]

Proposed Addition -- 19(d.1)

(d.1) prescribing the fine or range of fines that a person is liable to, on summary conviction, where the person is found guilty of an offence for contravening a provision of this Act or the regulations; and

2007, c. 4, s. 5(b) [Not in force at date of publication.]

(e) prescribing such forms as may be necessary for carrying out the provisions of this Act.

2005, c. 30, s. 9

 

s 20.

20(1) Application

Part I and Part II of this Act do not apply to any municipality.

 

20(2) Idem

Part III and Part IV of this Act apply to municipalities and areas of the province not within municipalities.

2005, c. 30, s. 10

 

s 21. Offences and penalties

Every person who fails to comply with this Act or an order made under subsection 16(4) or section 16.1 is guilty of an offence and liable upon summary conviction to a fine of not less than $100 and not more than $5,000.

Proposed Amendment -- 21

21. Offences and penalties

Every person who fails to comply with this Act, the regulations or an order made under subsection 16(4) or section 16.1 is guilty of an offence and liable upon summary conviction, if no specific penalty is provided for the offence in this Act or the regulations, to a fine of not less than $100 and not more than $5,000.

2007, c. 4, s. 6 [Not in force at date of publication.]

1994, c. 58, s. 6 (Sched.); 2005, c. 30, s. 11

 

 



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