Our mission: To protect and enhance the quality of life for domestic, farm and wild animals in B.C.

The Foundation of a Safe, Humane Community

The BC SPCA's 2007 review of animal bylaws in 43 B.C. municipalities found them to be generally inadequate to create safe, humane communities, although some progressive bylaws had been enacted in a few communities. The 2015 review of all municipalities and regional districts across the province demonstrated a number of significant positive changes, building humane communities that will help prevent animal abuse. The BC SPCA continues to work with municipalities across the province towards building communities based on mutual respect and care for human and animal welfare.

In 2015, the BC SPCA updated our Model Animal Responsibility Bylaws, which provide municipalities with easy-to-adopt bylaws, based on existing successful legislation from throughout BC and across Canada. Read a summary of our 2015 B.C. municipal bylaw review.

The keeping of companion animals creates challenges and opportunities for those who are responsible for the care and control of these animals, as well as for other members of the community. Management of companion animals in a municipality is important not only for public health and safety, but also for the welfare of the animals themselves. Bylaws should form the foundation of effective community animal management by enabling regulatory control of certain activities, and by facilitating programming that encourages responsible companion animal ownership.

A review of existing bylaws in British Columbia's 43 largest municipalities conducted by the BC SPCA in 2015 indicated that many BC municipalities are lacking adequate bylaws for the regulation of:

  • Dangerous dogs

  • Identification of companion animals

  • Ownership, sale, and exhibition of exotic or wild animals

  • Basic requirements for animal care

  • Companion animal population control

  • Kennel and cattery licencing

  • Pet store licencing

For this reason, the BC SPCA has developed a Model Animal Responsibility Bylaw as a resource for municipal governments. These bylaws focus on the root causes of animal aggression and pet overpopulation, which are strongly linked to the factors that may compromise the well-being of animals in a community.

The BC SPCA Model Animal Responsibility Bylaws include background information and sample bylaws on the following topics:

  • Animal Control, including licensing and identification of dogs and cats, control of dangerous dogs, basic standards of animal care and prohibition of exotic species.

  • Licensing of Kennels and Catteries used for Breeding and Boarding

  • Licensing of Pet Stores

  • Management of Pet Overpopulation, Including Implementation of Low-Income Spay/Neuter Funds

The BC SPCA strongly encourages all municipalities in BC to consider adopting these model bylaws as part of the comprehensive approach needed to address companion animal issues in any community. We will provide any municipality in BC with one complimentary copy of the Model Bylaw. Additional copies may be accessed by request. The BC SPCA is also available to provide limited consulting services to local government where additional assistance may be required.


printer-friendly version Printer Friendly version

Imagine Canada Accreditation

Join the conversation; follow us online: