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Old 07-07-04, 08:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Can they do anything if...?

Okay, my mom has told me that a complaint was submitted to the by-law enforcement. I don't know the exact reason for it but my belief is it has something to do with my animals (frankly, it can't be anything else). Well, I checked the By-laws online, and I see nothing regarding my pets or any type of by-law against me having them out publicly. http://oakville.ca/Residents/res_bylaws.htm

Check for yourself in case I am wrong. But if I am not wrong, could they do anything like a fine or something if they do not state any by-laws regarding them? Or perhaps if the by-laws did not exist? Thanks for the help,

Aidan
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Old 07-07-04, 08:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You may want a second opinion, but to my knowledge, if a by-law officer comes to your house, tell them to screw off and that's it.. They can't come in unless you let them.. That's what a couple of people have told me before, but you'll definately want to make sure first heh.. If your animals aren't by-lawed, you have nothing to worry about.
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Old 07-07-04, 09:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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those appear to just be the most frequently asked about bylaws
I'd write the email address on the page and ask for a copy of the bylaws pertaining to animals, not just limited to cats and dogs.
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Old 07-07-04, 11:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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dont' you have court?

if the po-lice harassed me for something that wasn't illegal they'd have serious problems

don't let them try to muscle you
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Old 07-08-04, 08:49 AM   #5 (permalink)
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They have to have a warrant to enter your home. They can't a warrant without good reason. If you tell them not to come in and they force their way in withput a warrant you can sue.
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Old 07-08-04, 11:21 AM   #6 (permalink)
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The Bylaw police can enter your home with a Warrant, which they'll get with reasonable doubt if you deny them access. Know your bylaws.
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Old 07-08-04, 11:22 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Not letting them in for an inspection can also bring about trouble... It is your legal right to refuse, but it can bring more problems... A pissed off city official might not be the best idea right now...

I would check into it deeper like Lisa suggested. I've read through a few of the sections and DID find something that can be used against you:


In the original property standards by-law 1991-111:

(XXIV) "Health Hazard" means:

1. A condition of a premises,
2. A substance, thing, plant or animal other than man or,
3. A solid, liquid, gas or combination of any of them

that has or is likely to have an adverse effect on the health of any person in the opinion of the Medical Officer of Health for the region of Halton or a public Health Inspector appointed to administer the Ontario Health, Protection and Promotion act.

I haven't read through all the articles and only the beginning of the one that I quoted above.

I would strongly suggest that you temporarily move any animals that can be considered dangerous, i.e. scorps, tarantulas, very large snakes... Let them come and inspect and once they are gone you can have you animals back.

I wouldn't try to argue with them... Chances are you won't be able to convince them that all your inverts are "safe".

Anyhoo, you definitely have to research your by-laws more. I wouldn't be surprised if there was more to be found in them about your predicament...

I wouldn't chance much in your shoes. Better not have my critters for a little while than have problems with the city that could continue for longer than just this incident.

Having certain animals out publicly is never the best idea. You never know who will see you and how they will react. I know that most of the "general" population does not like knowing that their neighboor has inverts or reptiles... I would suspect that some neighboor seeing one of more of your exotic animals called the city and lodged a complaint...

good luck,
Pixie
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Old 07-08-04, 11:50 AM   #8 (permalink)
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If there was a complaint submitted, they will provide you with paper or visit regarding the nature of the claim.

Until you know for sure what the nature of the claim is, don't stress out about it.

Simply don't put your animals within line of sight of the door or any windows that can be seen from public land.

If you have well built enclosures, and no hacked-together cages, if they do come through your place that's in your favor.

Should by-law enforcement press the issue, tell them you will fight the issue as far as you can and contact legal aid. Make a point of letting the city know that you will cost them a considerable amount of time and money if they continue to harass you.

Look for every case you can find of violent or threatening dogs not being dealt with by the city. St. Thomas has by-laws regarding aggressive dogs, but they refuse to enforce it unless the dog actually bites. If Oakville has the same policy I would use that as a counter to their biased position on "dangerous" pets.

DON'T move all your pets to another location, despite the advice given previously.

The moment those animals pass through your door they are considered to be in public, and fall under the "at large" bylaws. Ridiculous as it seems, transporting a snake/invertebrate/reptile in a vehicle on the road falls under that as well, and lets them prosecute you as easily as if you took it to the mall and let it go (at least under the interpretation of the law, it all depends on if the judge's mood that morning).

Don't give in without a fight, either way.
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Old 07-08-04, 02:35 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Cruciform,

You have some good points but you have to take into account some of the inverts that Aidan keeps.

No matter how well caged, a black widow and venomous scorps wont sit well no matter how well they are kept... Also, the millipede is an illegal animal period...

I would strongly suggest the temporary removal of these specific animals if an inspection or visit from a city official is expected. Why bother even trying to fight it when there are easier solutions?

I don't know of many cities that would tolerate a black widow as a pet...

Just my 2 cents,
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Old 07-08-04, 02:48 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The difference is that the second he steps out of his home with them they can seize them.

As long as they remain in the home out of sight of the public, there is little the control officer can do. Unless they have a habit of breaking down doors for pets in that town, there is very little chance they will show up with a warrant to search.

And to flog the issue again, *this* is why there needs to be an organization of pet owners in Canada who can stand up for responsible owners. As long as the animals are properly contained why should they be treated any differently than other pets. We need the numbers to say that if these by-laws are in place, the cities cannot arbitrarily enforce them on a complaint by complaint basis. They either need to provide better guidelines, regulations, or dispose of them altogether.
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Old 07-08-04, 05:37 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Hey everyone,

Thank you very much for your concern. I recently spoke with the by-law commissioner about the matter. I was able to argue myself out of a $200.00 fine.

I explained the nature of the animals (roseys, emps, cornsnake) and the fact they are never used to threaten or harm anyone, they are almost always in my room, and they are within escape proof enclosures.

He said that in order to not recieve a fine I would need to remove them from theh property. Well, I am moving to Toronto on sunday, so there is no problem there. The animals will not be in the house anymore (that house at least).

The by-law commissioner said that if a good number of us more educated members in herpology and exotic pets were to organize and plead our case, there is no reason why many exotic animals would remain banned in areas.

Thank you everyone for your concern and your help, it is much appreciated.

Aidan
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Old 07-08-04, 07:53 PM   #12 (permalink)
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<< The by-law commissioner said that if a good number of us more educated members in herpology and exotic pets were to organize and plead our case, there is no reason why many exotic animals would remain banned in areas. >>

*** This is an excellent idea. We are all concerned with the bylaws that are being passed, many times without public knowledge. I'm not sure about other areas, but there have been several bylaws passed in the Lower Mainland of B.C. that were sort of "snuck" in or passed without much opposition.
Perhaps herpers who live close to each other can get together and perhaps approach their local city council BEFORE these laws get passed and maybe help them to create bylaws that are REASONABLE. There is one bylaw now for New Westminster, B.C. that says all "venomous pythons" are illegal! This is utterly rediculous!
Bylaws restricting "exotic" animals are being passed more and more often and many times these laws are drafted by uneducated people who really have NO idea what they are talking about. Perhaps with some education and diplomacy, we can start getting these laws changed or put reasonable bylaws into effect that actually make sense and are beneficial to BOTH the herpers and the general public.
Anyways... that's my two cents... LOL
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Old 07-09-04, 02:54 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Congrats on getting out of your fine, and how do you have an unsexed black widow? Isnt the difference pretty easy to tell?

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Old 07-09-04, 11:23 AM   #14 (permalink)
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That one died, I believe it was a female. However I just obtained three more and they are no bigger than 1 mm, therefore, I cannot sex it yet.

Aidan
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Old 07-09-04, 11:47 AM   #15 (permalink)
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heres a lot of ontario laws. www.ontarioherpers.org/laws . if you have ilegal animals, you just dont let the bylaw officers in. they are like a vampire, can only come in if they are invited. you invite them in, they suck your blood... check out the laws if your worried about it.

Hint: Dont keep any crocs or hots near your front doors or windows, if you live in TO.

Take care!

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