Animal Care and Control By-Law

The Town of East Gwillimbury (EG) has approved a consolidated animal control by-law. The new by-law covers provisions for kennels, rules related to pigeons and wildlife, backyard hens, setback requirements for livestock buildings, animal care provisions and more. See the new Animal Care and Control By-Law #2020-085 for more details.

Key areas of the new Animal Care and Control By-law

  • Animal care provisions which require that animals be provided with a clean, sanitary environment and adequate care, including food, water, shelter and veterinary care.
  • For animals kept on a tether (chain, rope or other restraint), the tether must be at least three meters (9.84 feet) of length and meet the needs of the animal, providing unrestricted movement and cannot cause injuries.
  • Working/Livestock Guardian Dog exempt from the dogs running at large restrictions when actively engaged in their duties. These working dogs are an effective way for farmers to manage predator prevention reducing livestock losses.
  • Addition of Kennel and Animal Day Care Centre Licence outlining requirements including the care and housing of animals, number of animals permitted and licensing requirements.
  • Keeping of no more than 4 cats in any dwelling unit. If more than 4 cats are owned on the date of the passing of the by-law the owner shall be permitted to keep those cats until they pass or are relocated. The additional cats must be registered with the Town by January 20, 2021.
  • Keeping of Pigeons, limit of six (6) on lands zoned residential, and up to thirty (30) on lands zoned residential provided the owner is a member in standing of a recognized pigeon club, provides for set back requirements and the removal of pigeon droppings and disposal in a sanitary manner.
  • List of permitted animals
  • Feeding of wildlife prohibited, excluding songbirds.
  • Addition of backyard hens and apiary regulations.
  • Addition of setback requirements for livestock buildings.

Animal control

Please note in a residential area, there is a maximum of three dogs allowed per home.

Currently, the Town of East Gwillimbury does not have a requirement to licence cats.

If you have concerns regarding dogs running at large, please call Animal Control at 1-888-644-5634.

If you have a concern regarding wild animals, please contact the Ministry of Natural Resources at 905-713-7400. 


Wildlife Animal Services

To report injured or sick wildlife please call 1-877-979-PAWS or send an email.


Concerns about animal distress or abuse can be reported to the Ontario Animal Protection Call Centre at 1-833-9-ANIMAL (1-833-926-4625). See the Government of Ontario page on Animal Welfare for more details.

2023 Dog licences

Dog licences are $40.20 per dog or $29.70 per dog for seniors 65 and older. Licences must be purchased by February 28 of each year.

To buy your licence(s), please visit the Civic Centre during regular business hours or purchase your dog licence(s) online

As per the Town of East Gwillimbury's "Animal Care and Control By-law #2020-085", every owner of a dog must purchase a dog tag for the current year and be affixed to the dog's collar when not on their property. Dog tags are valid for one calendar year and must be purchased prior to February 28th of that year.

Guide/assistive/therapy dogs are required to have valid dog tags however, there is no fee for these tags. Proof of designation as a guide/assistive/therapy dog will be required at the time of obtaining a dog tag.

In the event of a dog tag being lost, a replacement tag may be purchased for $8.20.

If a dog is found to be without a current dog tag, the owner or person in possession of the dog could be liable to a fine of $350.00. All dogs must be leashed when off their owner's property. If a dog is found to be off leash it may be deemed “Running at Large” and charges may be laid on the owner or person who the dog is in the care of.

Off-leash dog area

The Town does not maintain any off-leash dog areas. However, York Region has an off-leash area at their Bendor and Graves Tract at 17858 McCowan Road in East Gwillimbury.

Visit the York Regional Forest page for more details.


Find information on coyotes, what to do if you see one and how to prevent them from hanging around your property.

Pound keeper

The Pound Keeper shall impound any horse, bull, ox, cow, sheep, goat, pig or other cattle, geese or other poultry, for unlawfully running at large or for trespassing and doing damage, delivered to him or her for that purpose by any person resident in the Pound Keeper's division.

See The Pounds Act, 1990 for more information regarding Pound Keepers.

Please contact the Clerks' Office at 905-478-4282 x3821.

Livestock valuation

In the event of livestock being killed or injured by coyotes, wolves, or wild dogs, contact the Clerks' Office at 905-478-4282 x3821. Do not remove the carcass until a Town appointed Valuator has attended your property to assess the loss. The Livestock Valuator will file a report with the Town. For more information, contact Customer Service at 905-478-4282.