Pit Bulls

Pit bulls born after 2005 are prohibited pit bulls, and cannot be licensed by the Municipality, as they are illegal to own in Ontario.

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.

Municipal Animal Control Service is responsible for enforcing the Provincial legislation, the Dog Owners' Liability Act which restricts pit bulls in Ontario. Additionally, Animal Control Service enforces Chatham-Kent's Responsible Animal Ownership By-law.

Provincial Dog Owners' Liability Act

A Pit Bull is defined in the Act as follows:

  • 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)

Provincial Requirements

Requires all owners of restricted/grandfathered pit bulls as defined within the Dog Owners' Liability Act to have their pit bulls:

  • Spayed or neutered
  • Leashed and muzzled while in public places
  • Comply with any additional requirements set by municipalities

For additional 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.