The Town of Yarmouth strives to foster a safe environment where people and pets can live together under our Dog By-Law. Pet owners are responsible for licensing their dogs and ensuring that they don't cause a disturbance. Here's a quick guide to animal issues in Yarmouth, including dog licensing, lost pets, and how to register a complaint.
The Nova Scotia SPCA, Yarmouth Branch has a contractual agreement with the Town to respond to animal-related public safety and nuisance issues. They also monitor and enforce our Dog By-Law and provide the necessary sheltering services for lost and impounded pets. By-Law enforcement only pertains to dogs in non-emergency situations.
To contact the SPCA:
298 Hardscratch Road
Phone: (902) 742-9767
Shelter Hours of Operation: Tuesdays to Saturdays, 11AM–4PM
Dog By-Law Enforcement Hours of Operation: 9AM–9PM
Note: Shelter Staff only checks phone messages during Open hours.
Our Town Dog By-Law requires all owners to license their dogs annually by April 1. The licensing year runs from April 1 to March 31. See Schedule A – Licence Registration and Impound Fees in the by-law for more details.
As an owner, you're required to apply for a license within 10 days of acquiring a dog. If you obtain your dog before September 30, you must pay the full licensing fee. If you obtain your dog after September 30, your fee will be reduced by 50 percent.
You can licence your dog in person at:
Main Floor Reception Desk
400 Main Street
Yarmouth, NS B5A 1G2
Hours: 8:30AM–4:30PM, Monday to Friday, closed on statutory holidays.
The owner of any dog classified as a "dangerous dog" must license their dog as a dangerous dog in the municipal registry each year. (You can find more details in section 25 and Schedule A – Licence Registration and Impound Fees in the by-law.)
Violating the Regulations
Pet owners found to be in violation of Dog By-Law regulations will be liable for penalties and subject to penalty costs as outlined in Schedule B – Penalties. Be safe, be sure, and register your dog!
Registering a Complaint
To register a complaint regarding a violation of the Dog By-Law, contact the Animal Control Line at (902) 742-3147. Here's what you need to know about filing a complaint:
- You may have to provide a witness statement for Animal Control to proceed with an investigation. If you're not willing to provide a statement and appear in court, Animal Control may not be able to act on your concern.
- You should be aware that all information provided to Animal Control is subject to Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy legislation (FOIPOP) and legal disclosure. During the investigation, complainant and witness information is kept confidential. However, if the matter proceeds to prosecution, all information relating to the investigation, including the identity of complainants and witnesses must be shared with the defense.
- Details are important. The more detail you can provide, the easier it will be to act on your complaint. Depending upon the nature of your complaint, you may be required to provide specific information about the pet, its owner, and the incident.
Lost Your Pet?
If your pet goes missing, there's a whole community of people ready to help. Here's what to do:
- Be prepared to give a detailed description of your pet, including distinguishing markings, tattoos, license tag number, and/or microchip number.
- Look around your neighborhood and ask your neighbors if they have seen your pet.
- Contact the Yarmouth SPCA to file a lost pet report if you cannot locate your pet. Their staff will review the report and call you if any animal at the shelter matches your pet's description. Check back frequently and please let them know if your pet has been found.
- Contact local veterinary clinics.
- Post notices, preferably with a picture of your pet, at local pet stores, veterinary clinics, and drugstores. Always ask permission before posting a notice.
- Place an ad in the lost-and-found section of local newspapers.
- Contact local radio station CJLS to run a lost pet classified ad.
Found a Lost Pet?
If you find a lost pet, you should:
- Not approach the animal if it's showing signs of aggression. Take note of the animal's appearance, including any distinguishing markings, and the location and time you saw the animal. Call the Animal Control line at (902) 742-3147 to report an aggressive animal at large.
- Approach the animal only if it appears friendly and you feel comfortable doing so. If you're able to catch the pet, keep it in a safe, secure place. Take note of the animal's appearance including any distinguishing markings, tattoos, or license tag number. Contact the Animal Control line at (902) 742-3147 to file a found pet report.
- If the lost pet is a stray dog, a stray other animal, or a prohibited animal, contact the Animal Control line at (902) 742-3147.
- Ask people in the area if they are familiar with the animal.
- If the pet is wearing a collar with a rabies tag, contact the veterinary clinic that issued the tag.
- Place an ad in the lost and found section of local newspapers.
- Contact local radio station CJLS to run a found pet classified ad.