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Essex Dog Park sign with rules

The Town regulates the keeping of dogs within the Town of Essex through By-law 1236 (passed November 18, 2013).

Animal Care and Control By-law

The Animal Care and Control By-law includes the following four new provisions:

  • a ban on tethering or chaining an animal for more than 12 hours a day;
  • a ban on driving with a dog loose in the back of an open pickup truck;
  • a ban on leaving an animal in a car when the temperature is too hot or too cold; and
  • new provisions on animal welfare standards for pet owners.

The by-law also requires dogs and dog kennels to be registered and licensed and sets out how dogs will be controlled within the Town of Essex. Four of the key points are:

  • A maximum of three dogs per household;
  • Dogs are not allowed to run at large;
  • All dogs and dog kennels within the Town of Essex must be licensed;
  • The set fine schedule (Schedule C of By-law 1236) includes a $125 fine for not obtaining a licence or harbouring more than three dogs, and a $200 fine for allowing a dog to run at large.

Applicable licence fees for dogs and dog kennels are outlined in the table below. Please note that licences must be purchased annually and are generally purchased during the first three months of the year. If licences are not purchased between January 1 and March 31, the licence fee will double in cost from April 1 to June 30, and will triple in cost from July 1 to December 31.

Dog and Dog Kennel Licence Fees
If Purchased:January 1 to March 31April 1 to June 30July 1 to December 31
Dog Licences   
Spayed or Neutered$15.00$30.00$45.00
Not Spayed or Neutered$25.00$50.00$75.00
Guide DogNo chargeNo chargeNo charge
Kennel Licences   
 1 to 10 dog tags$100.00$200.00$300.00
11 to 20 dog tags$120.00$240.00$360.00
More than 20 dog tags$140.00$280.00$420.00

How do I purchase a dog tag?

There are a variety of ways to purchase dog tags:

  • In person at:

Essex Town Hall, 33 Talbot Street South, Essex
(Monday to Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm)

The Computer Centre, 45 King Street East, Unit 2, Harrow (Monday to Friday 9:00am to 6:00pm and Saturday 9:00am to 5:00pm)

  • By mail to:

Essex Town Hall
33 Talbot Street South
Essex, Ontario N8M 1A8

  • By drop box located at:

Essex Town Hall
33 Talbot Street South, Essex

Harrow O.P.P. Detachment
44 King Street East, Harrow

Dog tags for purchases made by mail or drop box will be mailed to residents upon receipt of payment.

Enjoying the outdoors with your dog

When enjoying the outdoors, please keep your dog on a leash and observe the Poop n' Scoop provisions of By-law 1236.

An off-leash dog park is available for public use in Essex Centre. Located at the old outdoor pool house near the Essex Centre Sports Complex (60 Fairview Avenue West), this temporary dog park consists of an enclosed and grassed area with an additional fenced entrance that allows handlers to leash their dogs before exiting the park.

The dog park is self-policed but guidelines are clearly posted. To use the park, dogs must have up-to-date vaccinations and dog tags and must be under constant supervision and voice control. Puppies under four months old, dogs in heat, and sick or aggressive dogs are prohibited from using the park. Handlers are limited to three dogs each.

Spay and Neuter Voucher Program for owned dogs

Please visit our page outlining the details on the Spay and Neuter Voucher Program.