Toronto may create public list of ‘dangerous’ dogs after string of attacks in the city

The city’s economic development committee will consider a report on Tuesday addressing serious dog attacks with recommendations that include publicizing a list of known “dangerous dogs,” enforcing standardized signage on properties where the owners of these dogs reside, and a rolling out a public education campaign on the matter.

The recommendations follow reports of multiple dog attacks in the city over the last few years. Most recently, a woman was left with life-altering injuries after a Feb. 7 attack in Etobicoke, which police say is “a common story” for people in the area.

Particularly, Toronto-Danforth’s Ward 14 councillor, Paula Fletcher, is concerned that the city’s response is lacking.

“Dangerous dogs and maulings are serious community safety issues. The city’s response to dog mauling and reports of dangerous dogs must be immediate and coordinated,” reads a media release by Fletcher, obtained by CP24. “Proactive monitoring, enforcement and communication are needed to keep residents and other dogs safe.”

Last summer, after a dog attack left a women in East York hospitalized, Fletcher called for the staff review.

She requested staff recommendations for proactive enforcement of dangerous dog orders, expedited removals of animals responsible for serious attacks, and strategies to inform and educate residents.

One recommendation, to be considered on Tuesday includes requesting up to $500,000 from the 2025 budget to implement a communication strategy, as well as a public education campaign with the goal of reducing dangerous dog incidents. This would be in addition to an increase in funding approved by council earlier this week to hire more bylaw and animal control officers.

In addition, city staff recommend that the public record of dangerous dogs includes listing the first three digits of a dog owner’s postal code, the dog’s name, breed and colour, and the date of attack.

A third recommendation includes a request to amend the Dog Owner’s Liability Act (DOLA) to the Ford government in order to expedite DOLA hearing proceedings.