This is an official version.
Copyright © 2000: Queens Printer,
Revised Statutes of Newfoundland 1990
AN ACT RESPECTING THE KEEPING OF DOGS
1. This Act may be cited as the Dog Act.
1975-76 No13 s1Back to Top
2. In this Act
(a) "dog" means a dog, male or female, and includes an animal which is a cross between a dog and a wolf;
(b) "injured" and "injuring" include injuries caused by wounding, worrying, terrifying or pursuing;
(c) "island" means the island portion of the province and includes all of the islands forming part of the province that are located either wholly or partly south of Cape Bauld;
(d) "livestock" means horses, cattle, sheep, goats, swine, fur bearing animals raised in captivity and poultry;
(e) "minister" means the Minister of Forestry and Agriculture;
(f) "municipal authority" means the St. John's Municipal Council, the Corner Brook City Council, the Mount Pearl City Council or the council of a town, community or region constituted or continued under the Municipalities Act;
(g) "municipality" means an area where a municipal authority has jurisdiction;
(h) "owner", when used with reference to the ownership of a dog, includes a person who has custody, charge or possession of a dog or who is the owner of a house or premises or part of premises where a dog is kept or permitted to live or remain, except where that person proves to the satisfaction of a Provincial Court judge that he or she was not, at the time in question, the owner of the dog; and
(i) "peace officer" means a member of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Force stationed in the province and a municipal police officer employed by a municipal authority.
1975-76 No13 s2; 1979 c33 Sch C; 1979 c49 Sch B; 1989 c18 Sch BBack to Top
Dogs to be penned up
3. (1) An owner of a dog shall keep it safely tethered or penned up at all times.
(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), a dog need not be tethered or penned up, where
(a) it is held on a leash by a person capable of restraining its movements;
(b) it is being used by a person for the purpose of lawful hunting;
(c) it is being used by a person to work in a lawful manner with sheep; or
(d) it is kept or used for another purpose and under the conditions prescribed in the regulations.
1975-76 No13 s4Back to Top
Authorization to destroy dogs
4. (1) The minister may in writing authorize a person to destroy dogs found at large in the province, or kept in the province whether at large or not, contrary to this Act or the regulations.
(2) A dog found at large in the province contrary to this Act or the regulations may be destroyed by a peace officer or by a person generally or specifically authorized by the minister under subsection (1).
1975-76 No13 s5Back to Top
Dogs native to Labrador
5. (1) A person shall not bring into or keep on the island a dog either wholly or partly of the breed native to Labrador, commonly known as Eskimo or Husky, unless he or she has obtained from the minister or from an official of the Department of Forestry and Agriculture authorized by the minister a permit issued in accordance with the regulations.
(2) A person who brings into or keeps on the island a dog contrary to subsection (1) is guilty of an offence.
(3) A dog brought into or kept on the island contrary to subsection (1) may be destroyed by a peace officer or another person generally or specifically authorized by the minister.
1975-76 No13 s6; 1979 c49 Sch BBack to Top
6. The minister may appoint or designate inspectors, officers or other persons for the proper carrying out of this Act and the regulations.
1975-76 No13 s7Back to Top
Dogs may be destroyed
7. (1) A person may shoot or otherwise destroy a dog that is found killing, maiming or worrying human beings or livestock.
(2) A court of summary jurisdiction may take notice of a complaint that a dog is dangerous and not kept under proper control or has bitten or attempted to bite a person or has injured, worried or chased livestock, and where it appears to the court that the dog is dangerous or has done the things referred to, the court may order the owner of the dog to destroy it.
(3) A person who fails to comply with an order made under subsection (2) is guilty of an offence.
1975-76 No13 s8Back to Top
Liability of owner
8. (1) The owner of a dog is liable for damages or injury done by it to a person or livestock or goods or property.
(2) It shall not be necessary for the plaintiff in an action taken in respect of damage or injury done by a dog to show a previous mischievous propensity in that dog or the owner's knowledge of that previous propensity or to show that the damage or injury was attributable to neglect on the part of the owner of the dog.
1975-76 No13 s9Back to Top
9. A person authorized to destroy a dog under this Act or the regulations may destroy it or may complain to a Provincial Court judge who, upon verification of the authorization, may make an order directing the owner of the dog to destroy it.
1975-76 No13 s10; 1979 c38 s7Back to Top
10. The owner of a dog who fails to comply with an order made under section 9 is guilty of an offence.
1975-76 No13 s11Back to Top
11. Subject to the approval of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, the minister may make regulations
(a) providing for the seizure and destruction of dogs;
(b) regulating the use of dogs in areas frequented by wild life during both open and closed seasons;
(c) regulating the transfer of dogs from Labrador to the island;
(d) providing for the issue of permits to persons bringing into or keeping on the island a dog either wholly or partly of the breed native to Labrador;
(e) prescribing the duties and powers of inspectors appointed or designated under this Act; and
(f) generally, to give effect to the purpose of this Act.
1975-76 No13 s12Back to Top
12. (1) The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may by proclamation prohibit the keeping of dogs within an area of the province described in the proclamation, and from the date on which the proclamation takes effect, a person shall not keep or have a dog within that area.
(2) The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may, in a proclamation made under subsection (1) or in an amending proclamation, provide exceptions permitting a class of persons or all persons to keep or have 1 or more dogs of a particular kind or suitable for a particular purpose in the area described in the proclamation or a part of that area for a prescribed period or without limit of time, subject to those conditions that may be prescribed in the proclamation.
(3) Subject to an exception made under subsection (2), a dog found in an area where the keeping of dogs is prohibited by a proclamation made under this section may be destroyed by a peace officer or other person generally or specifically authorized by the minister.
(4) Subject to an exception made under subsection (2), a person who keeps a dog in an area where the keeping of dogs is prohibited by a proclamation made under this section is guilty of an offence.
(5) Upon the conviction of a person for an offence under subsection (4), a Provincial Court judge may, where the dog has not been destroyed under subsection (3), order the owner to remove it to an area where it may be lawfully kept or destroy it, before the expiration of a period, not less than 24 hours, to be prescribed in the order.
(6) Where a person fails to comply with an order made under subsection (5), he or she shall be liable to a penalty not exceeding $5 for every day during which he or she fails to comply.
1975-76 No13 s13; 1979 c38 s7Back to Top
Proceedings and recovery of costs
13. Where a Provincial Court judge makes an order under this Act directing the owner of a dog
(a) to remove it to an area where it may be lawfully kept; or
(b) to destroy it,
and that order is not complied with within the time specified in the order, or, where no time is specified, within 24 hours after service of the order, the Provincial Court judge may make another order directing another person to destroy the dog and for that purpose to enter where necessary upon the property of the owner, and that other person may proceed in accordance with that order and may recover, by civil suit before a Provincial Court judge, all reasonable costs and expenses of the destruction and disposal of the dog from the person to whom the 1st order was directed.
1975-76 No13 s14; 1979 c38 s7Back to Top
Offence and penalty
14. (1) A person who contravenes this Act or the regulations or an order made under this Act or the regulations and who in respect of that contravention has not been declared guilty of an offence by another provision of this Act is guilty of an offence.
(2) A person who is guilty of an offence under this Act is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $200, and in default of payment of the fine to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 months.
(3) Section 736 or 737 of the Criminal Code shall not be applied in disposing of a prosecution for an offence under this section or in imposing punishment for an offence.
1975-76 No13 s15; 1979 c35 Sch B; 1981 c82 s4Back to Top
Act to prevail over municipal Acts
15. (1) Where a provision of this Act or the regulations conflicts with a provision of the City of St. John's Act, the City of Corner Brook Act, the City of Mount Pearl Act or the Municipalities Act or with a regulation made under either of those Acts, or an Act or regulation substituted for 1 of them, the provisions of this Act and the regulations shall prevail.
(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), nothing in this Act shall be considered to affect the powers of a municipal authority to make regulations
(a) providing for the licensing and registration of dogs in the municipality where it exercises jurisdiction and the renewal of licences and the period of validity of those licenses and registrations;
(b) prescribing the form of the licences and the kind of licence tags to be issued with the licences;
(c) prescribing the fees to be paid for licences and licence tags;
(d) providing for the appointment of licensing officers in the municipality;
(e) prescribing the allowance to be paid to licensing officers for licensing dogs and collecting and forwarding the fees to the municipal authority and providing for the payment to licensing officers of the cost to them of remitting the fees in addition to an allowance;
(f) providing for the impounding of dogs running at large, prescribing impounding fees to be charged for impounding and providing that an animal may be sold, destroyed or otherwise disposed of if it is not claimed within the time fixed in the regulations;
(g) prohibiting, restricting or regulating the roaming at large of dogs; and
(h) providing for the seizure and destruction of dogs found at large,
in accordance with the City of St. John's Act, the City of Corner Brook Act, the City of Mount Pearl Act, the Municipalities Act or an Act substituted for 1 of those Acts.
1975-76 No13 s16; 1978 c27 s1; 1979 c33 Sch C
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