Burlington considers regulating dog kennels and pet boarding


Published March 28, 2023 at 6:27 pm

Burlington wants to adopt rules that regulate kennels and facilities where pets are boarded.

Currently, kennels generally operate without oversee by the City, unlike other municipalities in the area.

In presenting a motion to adopt new rules, Ward 3 Councillor Roy Nisan said licensing should be in place to ensure the humane treatment of pets and other animals. Although the City can now be involved in certain instances, Nisan believes current regulations are not strong enough to control those who operate.

“Residents may be surprised to learn that Burlington is the only municipality in Halton which does not regulate kennel/pet boarding facilities through a licensing regime,” Nisan indicated in a report presented to a Burlington committee this week. “As a result, we cannot properly ensure that pets are cared for appropriately with their health and safety needs met. With the significant increase in the number of pets in our
community, a trend that began during the pandemic, Council needs to ensure the humane treatment of these animals.”

In his presentation, Nisan said he wants to see new rules to make sure that pets boarded overnight are kept in safe and sanitary conditions that take into account the Canadian Veterinarian Association’s Code of Practice for Canadian Kennel Operations. He also wants operators to meet all zoning and bylaw requirements in order to receive a license.

Burlington officials will now look into the matter and design appropriate regulations, pending approval by City Council.

Some requirements that Burlington will consider in its regulations include:

• Distance of structure from the property line
• Requirements for inspections by the fire department, a bylaw officer and a
zoning officer
• Conforming with the Ontario Building Code
• Conforming to the provisions of the zoning bylaw
• That the building is not attached to any building being used for human habitation
• Impermeable floor with proper drain opening
• Sanitary and clean conditions
• Windows that can be opened
• Proper climate control
• Outside area for dogs’ use with a two-metre high fence
• Animals kept in adequately sized cages allowing animals to fully stretch
• Adequate feeding and watering of animals, kept free from vermin and disease
• Licensee must not have been convicted under the Criminal Code of animal
• Dogs must be kept in individual enclosures unless owner requests open setting;
cats in individual closures except kittens or by specific wish of the owner
• Outside exercise facilities must be provided for dogs and each dog must be
allowed access to outside facilities twice per 24-hour period (except in extreme
weather where they may not be placed outside) and facility must be cleaned of
waste between animals
• Staff must be knowledgeable in animal care
• Maintain a training manual
• Provide sufficient number of employees
• Have hot and cold water
• Have electric heating
• Have a food preparation area
• Impermeable materials for cages/enclosures

Because kennels and boarding facilities are not regulated by the City, there is no official record of how many operators there are in Burlington. A quick check on Google shows at least 15 locations where such services are offered.

During the discussion at the committee meeting, some councillors said they have never received any complaints from the public about kennels. However, others said the move to license is long overdue.






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