Individuals who owned a pit bull prior to August 29, 2005 are able to keep them provided they comply with the requirements set out in the amendments and regulations of the Dog Owners' Liability Act. Pit bulls kept legally after the ban are to be known as "grandfathered" or restricted pit bulls.
Provincial Dog Owners' Liability Act
On August 29th, 2005 the Provincial governments, Dog Owners' Liability Act, which restricts Pit Bulls, came into effect.
A Pit Bull by definition as defined within the provincial governments Dog Owners' Liability Act includes:
- A pit bull terrier
- A Staffordshire bull terrier
- An American Staffordshire terrier
- An American pit bull terrier
- A dog that has an appearance and physical characteristics that are substantially similar to those of dogs referred to in any of clauses (a) to (d)
Requires all owners of Pit Bulls as defined within the Dog Owners' Liability Act:
- To have their Pit Bulls spayed or neutered;
- That Pit Bulls are leashed and muzzled while in public places; and
- Those owners of a Pit Bull comply with any additional requirements set by municipalities.
For more requirements read the following information from the Ministry of the Attorney General regarding Grandfathered/Restricted Pit Bulls - Owners' Responsibilities.
Provincial Penalty Provisions
Provincial penalty provisions allow for jail sentences of up to six months for individuals who own dangerous dogs that bite, attack or pose a threat.
Municipal By-law 93-2015
Chatham-Kent Municipal By-law 93-2015, provides for the regulation, restriction, and prohibition of the keeping and the running at large of dogs in the Municipality of Chatham-Kent. Effective August 29th, 2005 additional requirements for Pit Bull owners came into effect under this by-law.
- Keeping of “restricted dogs” (which is defined within the Dog Owners' Liability Act as "pit bull")
- A restricted dog must be licensed with a current year Chatham-Kent dog tag;
- A restricted dog must be confined and under effective control when it is on the premises of the owner;
- A restricted dog must be under the effective control of an adult person and under leash or otherwise contained when away from the premises of the owner;
- Anyone owning a restricted dog must provide the Municipality with the new address and telephone number within seven (7) days of moving the restricted dog or transferring the dog to a new owner;
- To advise the Municipality of Chatham-Kent within seven (7) days of the death of a restricted dog; and
- To advise the Municipality of Chatham-Kent forthwith if the restricted dog is running at large or has bitten or attacked any person or animal.
Municipal Penalty Provisions
Municipal penalty provisions include fines of $400.00 for failing to comply with each provision listed above.