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Please curb your dog sign

Please curb your dog sign


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Please curb your dog sign in Toronto, Canada”

“Dogs are not allowed” in “The Pines,” a tree-lined cul-de-sac just north of Queen’s Park in Toronto.

And one of the Toronto signatories to an online petition on the city’s website, asking that dogs be kept off of the street, is the Canadian Consulate General, which is responsible for ensuring all laws are followed on Canadian soil.

The online petition, which has more than 7,000 signatures, also asks the federal and provincial governments to enact laws agnst pit bulls, a breed commonly seen in Toronto’s pit bull-related attack statistics.

On Wednesday, Mayor John Tory agreed to look into the city’s animal bite-related injuries and deaths. He also acknowledged a need to examine the city’s animal control services and “make sure they’re performing their duties in a way that makes us all safe.”

Animal Services staff will now undertake a “root cause analysis,” sd staff spokesman Brendan Elliott. This will be a “year-long analysis,” he sd, and it will be finished in 2017.

Elliott acknowledged that while dog bite-related injuries and deaths are on the rise, so too are incidents involving cats and squirrels.

In a video statement released on YouTube Wednesday, the Canadian Consul General in Toronto sd the online petition had “no basis in fact or in law.”

The Toronto Star spoke with the consul general at his Toronto office and asked if the city’s laws were sufficient to protect residents.

“The laws in place in Toronto are comprehensive,” he sd.

On Wednesday, Elliott, from the city’s Animal Services, sd animal control officers are on the front lines of enforcing legislation and protecting animals.

While he cannot comment specifically on the petition, Elliott stressed the city is making it a priority to educate residents and pet owners.

“We are constantly looking at ways we can better inform our community and the wider community about important animal welfare issues,” he sd.

While there were 1,818 reported cases of dog bites in Toronto in 2016 — a year that saw at least 15 pit bull-related dog attacks and deaths, including one at a Scarborough elementary school — numbers have been rising over the last several years.

In 2015, the number was 1,527. In 2014, the number was 1,466.

In 2012, there were 931 dog bites.

As of June 2017, more than 800 reports of dog bites have been made to the city’s 311 reporting system.

In 2017, more than 250 dogs have been seized as pit bulls and classified as dangerous. More than 200 dog-bite victims have been treated in Toronto hospitals.

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Most of the incidents occur on the west side of the city, with an area bounded roughly by Highway 401 and Finch Avenue to the north, Eglinton Avenue to the east, Yonge Street to the south and Victoria Park Avenue to the west.

That is where the majority of dog owners live, according to Elliott.

“Toronto, and even the west side of Toronto in particular, is becoming increasingly aware of the dangers posed by pit bulls,” he sd.

He noted a recent dog-bite fatality on Eglinton Avenue — the last in a series of six deadly dog attacks in the area over the past five years.

“These fatal attacks are not random and we will continue to work to protect families agnst this emerging public health crisis,” Elliott sd.

The City of Toronto’s dog bylaw, which requires dogs to be kept on a leash at all times, has been amended to prohibit people from allowing their dogs to run at large.

In 2015, Mayor John Tory signed an order to ban Toronto from purchasing or importing any animal over eight weeks of age from other countries if the animal was going to be bred for profit. This ban applied to all dogs, not just pit bulls, as it currently stands.

The order was introduced in response to a spate of dog attacks in 2015 that killed two people and injured 16 others. At the time, the Mayor’s office also sd it was considering ways to address the “unacceptable public health” problem.

Toronto dog owners are required to microchip their animals.

The city’s dog-bite fatality statistics include cases that may have occurred prior to Toronto’s adoption of the bylaw. While not all are necessarily the fault of the animal’s owner, they are included because they are captured on the local crime information system.

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More than 1,000 dog bites were reported to Toronto police in the first six months of this year.

In Toronto, fatal attacks by dogs killed nine people in 2014 and 2015, while a total of 16 died in 2014 and 16 in 2015 in the rest of the province.

Dogs also killed 15 people in 2016.

Statistics on fatal dog attacks outside Toronto are not kept by the police service, the Canada Border Services Agency or other federal authorities.

However, B.C. police noted “unusual” dips in dog-attack deaths in 2016 and 2017.

With files from David Rider

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