Helpful Halifax
Phone Numbers —

Halifax Humane in Nova Scotia

ANIMAL CRUELTY
888-703-7722

CLEAN NOVA SCOTIA
420-3474

ECOLOGY ACTION CENTRE
429-2202

ENVIRONMENT CANADA WEATHER
426-9090

FOOD BANK METRO
457-1900

HALIFAX REGIONAL LIBRARY, reference desk, Spring Garden branch
490-5710

HRM LOST & FOUND
490-5152

METRO ANIMAL EMERGENCY CLINIC
468-0674

NS HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
424-4111

NS SPCA
902-835-4798

POISON INFORMATION CENTRE
428-8161

POLICE (non-emergency)
490-5020

POWER OUTAGE
877-428-6004


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Halifax Humane Resources

The NAIA Model Animal Control By-Law

The National Animal Interest Alliance, or NAIA, is a charitable organization founded in 1991 to support and promote responsible animal ownership and use. Its members are pet owners, dog and cat clubs, obedience clubs and rescue groups as well as breeders, trainers, veterinarians, research scientists, farmers, fishermen, hunters and wildlife biologists.

The NAIA’s mission is to promote the welfare of animals, to strengthen the human-animal bond, and safeguard the rights of responsible animal owners and professionals through research, public education, and sound public policy.

Here is their Model Animal Control Law. The first of its kind, this prototype is intended as a conceptual guide to be adapted to local and regional needs; hence it can be used in whole or in part to redesign or amend animal control ordinances. This model challenges many of the assumptions that underlie failing animal control ordinances. Note especially the definition of "dangerous dog" in the model law.

Be sure to see the NAIA guide to animal control ordinances. And to find other resources from the NAIA, go to naiaonline.org.

HRM By-Law A-300 Respecting Animals and Responsible Pet Ownership

In April 2008, the Halifax Regional Council passed a new animal control law to replace an older By-Law D-100. 

You can read By-Law A-300 here, and compare it to the NAIA model law above.

The new law was the result of years of debate in the Council. It was written by a by-law enforcement officer on the staff of the regional police force. Within a few weeks of its passing, public complaints mounted about the new law's provisions about cats. The law required licenses for cats and penalized owners for cats that defacated on private or public property. By mid-June, the Council amended the law to remove these provisions. (Some, however, were simply moved to nuisance by-laws.)

Prior to its passing, many local animal advocates had raised concerns about other parts of By-Law A-300. Among other things, they were concerned about the law's definition of "dangerous" in section 2, and the power given to animal control officers to seize and euthanize, in section 8. Some predicted that this would lead to an unfair seizure of a dog that is not really dangerous.

Their prediction came true on July 24, 2008, when two AC employees seized an Eastern Shore dog named Brindi. Brindi had had a few scrapes with other dogs when she protected her property, but she had never bitten a human. No serious injuries resulted either. A muzzle order had been issued unde somewhat questionable circumstances, and this was used as grounds to take her and order her to be destroyed. 

Brindi's owner collected many letters from people who knew her dog, including her vet, groomer, and a kennel owner. But she was not able to convince HRM authorities to release her dog. She ended up hiring a lawyer to go to the Nova Scotia Supreme Court. He was successful in quashing Section 8(2)d granting powers to the animal control staff, along with the euthanasia order. But he made his case too narrow and ultimately failed to get Brindi released. Her owner has been struggling to get a court to release her ever since.

The Regional Council is reported to be willing to change the by-law to make it more fair - but not until Brindi's case is over.