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FAQs

Girl with Pets 1. Where can I get a licence for my pet?
See the Pet Licence page for more information.

2. Why do I need a dog licence if my dog is already microchipped?
A microchip provides permanent identification if your dog loses its licence. A veterinarian, Animal Services or the Humane Society can scan your pet and read your contact information. A dog licence is clearly visible and identifies that your pet has an owner. It’s the law that all cats and dogs residing in Thunder Bay be licensed within 14 days of ownership.

3. Why do I have to license my pet?
Your pet licence, which is non-transferrable, allows Animal Services to:

  • Provide food and shelter to impounded dogs and cats
  • Provide emergency medical care for injured dogs and cats
  • Operate a successful adoption program
  • Educate pet owners about responsible pet ownership
  • Help neighbours resolve their pet-related problems
  • When possible, immediately drive lost dogs and cats home to their grateful owners
  • Enforce the Responsible Pet Owners By-law
  • And, most importantly, should your pet accidentally become lost, that tiny metal tag provides your pet with a safe ticket home!

4. What should I do if I lose my pet's licence?
Lost dog or cat licences can be replaced at the Animal Services Centre for a $5.00 fee.

5. What should I do if I have lost my pet?
If you have lost your pet, contact the Pet Locator Line at 345-4156 to see if your pet has been picked up by Animal Services. This recorded listing of stray animals is updated daily with the exception of Sundays and holidays, so call again each morning. If it sounds as if your pet is at the Centre, go down immediately to identify it. If your pet is not at the Centre, leave a full description and post a recent photo.

6. What should I do if I find a dog or cat?
If you have found a stray dog or cat and it appears friendly, confine it if possible. Check the pet for a pet licence and contact our office at 684-2156 with the year and tag number. If the dog or cat you have found is not wearing a City tag, please bring the animal to the Animal Services Centre and/or contact the Centre to have the animal picked up.

7. What happens to a stray dog or cat when an Animal Services Officer picks it up?
If a dog or cat is wearing a City tag or has a microchip and can be safely scanned, the Animal Services Officer will immediately give the pet a free ride home (first time offenders only). If the pet is not wearing a City tag and/or is not microchipped, it will be transported to the Animal Services Centre where it will be cared for.

8. How long do you keep the animals?
Under the Animals for Research Act, we are required to keep stray animals for a minimum of 3 days, excluding the day the animal was impounded.  All stray animals turned in to the Animal Services Centre are held for 5 days, unless they are extremely ill or in some cases, cats are too wild.  During this period the animal is scanned for a microchip, checked for identification and a tattoo. Every attempt is made to reunite these animals with their owners. At the end of the animal's redemption period a decision is made as to whether the animal is suitable for adoption or not. This decision is based on the animal’s age, medical condition and temperament.

9. How do I adopt a pet from the Animal Services Centre?
See the Cyber Kennel for a current list of animals up for adoption. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that the animals displayed on the website will still be available for adoption when you visit the Centre. 

Before you call or visit the Animal Services Centre, take some time to carefully consider the kind of pet you would like including size of animal, the time commitment required for pets, patience needed for puppies and kittens, costs associated with veterinary care, food and licensing and whether or not the pet will be compatible with children.

Once you have decided on a suitable pet, bring your family down to the Centre to view the pet. If you already have a dog at home, we recommend you bring your dog with you to meet the new pet to ensure they get along.

10. How long do you keep the animals for adoption?
An adoption animal will usually be kept until they are adopted, as long as they remain healthy and friendly and as long as we have the space to keep them.

11. How much does it cost to adopt an animal?
Altered dogs and puppies are $220, plus applicable taxes and a licence. Altered cats and kittens are $200, plus applicable taxes and a licence. The adoption fee includes the sterilization procedure, a veterinarian check up,six-week pet insurance, vaccinations (excluding rabies), deworming, a parasite treatment and a microchip. When you adopt a sterilized pet that has a microchip, your pet qualifies for a lifetime licence for only $15.  

12. Are there any parks in the City where my dog can run off-leash?
The City has three off-leash parks: the Hillyard Lands between Memorial Avenue and 8th Avenue, the former ball diamond at Port Arthur Stadium, Neebing Playfield on the corner of Neebing Avenue and Mary Street West and Centennial Park off Arundel Street.

13. I can no longer keep my cat - whom should I call?
Unfortunately, Animal Services cannot take in owner-surrendered animals. You should make every attempt to find a suitable home on your own. Talk to friends, neighbours and/or place an ad in the local newspaper. You may contact the Thunder Bay & District Humane Society at 475-8803. If space permits, they may be able to take your pet.

Woman with Dog 14. Are there any volunteer opportunities with Thunder Bay Animal Services?
Visit the Volunteer Program page for more information.

15. Does Thunder Bay Animal Services accept donations?
Visit the Make a Donation page for more information.

16. Whom do I call to report a problem with dogs or cats running at-large, dog bites, dog barking, etc.?
Visit the Report a Problem page for more information.

17. Is there a limit as to the number of dogs or cats that I can own?
There is no limit as to the number of dogs and/or cats that a Thunder Bay resident can own; as long as all of the pets have current City licenses and the pet owner is in compliance with the City By-laws.

18. I am having a problem with a wild animal (bears, skunks, pigeons, etc.) - whom should I call?
Visit the Urban Wildlife Control page for more information.

24 Hour Pet Locator Line