Where the SPCA Responds to By-law Calls

By-law calls are responded to by seriousness of complaint, much like the police force, if the by-law officer deems laws have been broken, charges are laid and/or a ticket will be issued.

The Nova Scotia SPCA is responsible to enforce by-laws in the following communities.  You can file a complaint in those areas by calling the numbers listed below. In all other areas please contact your local municipality directly.

  • Municipality of Argyle: (902) 307-5075
  • Municipality of Yarmouth: (902) 742-3147
  • The Town of Yarmouth: (902) 742-3147
  • Municipality of Kings County: (902) 678-3647
  • The Cape Breton Regional Municipality: (902) 539-7722 Option 1
  • Membertou: (902) 539-7722 Option 1
  • Glooscap First Nations: (902) 678-3647


Examples of By-law infractions

Stray, roaming or barking dogs complaints are managed by Municipal Animal Control Personnel.

Dog at Large (owner unknown)

If a dog is running through a neighbourhood this is considered “running at large”. Owners are responsible for keeping their pet under their control at all times while out in the community. Dogs will be impounded if found. The owner is then responsible for obtaining their pet from local pound services or SPCA branch and charged a fine before the pet is released back to them. If unable to apprehend the dog, officers do their best to follow the animal home and will educate owners to ensure it does not happen again.

Fierce and Dangerous

This typically applies to dogs that have bit someone in the community, or in the case of an animal with a history of aggression that has attacked in the past.


Dogs will be dogs, but excessive barking is a by-law infraction in the majority of municipalities. Pet owners who leave their dog outside for long or sometimes even short periods of time are driven to bark to gain attention of their owners. This can become a serious issue for neighbours, especially in tight quarters such as apartment buildings or condos.

Poop and Scoop

Picking up after your pet is easier than ever before. Many parks and public places provide doggy pick up bags throughout dog friendly areas for you to take care of the ‘doo-doo’. Officers patrol dog friendly areas to ensure that public property is maintained and free from unwanted waste.

Dog Tags/ Registration

Many of our SPCA branches make available to adopters and members of the general public city dog tags. By-law officers will issue tickets to owners of dog not registered with the city according to the local by-laws in place.

Kennel License

By-law officers approve and inspect Kennels for adequate hygiene, comfort and healthy operation.  A kennel license is then issued.

Female in Heat

All females in heat must be housed properly until the heat cycle is complete. Females cannot be staked out in yards, or anywhere that the scent will overly attract the male dogs.

When a Complaint is Received, there are specific protocols and rules that all of our enforcement officers follow to ensure that our communities and the animals in our communities are safe. When a complaint is received by our officers we gather the following:

  • Complainants name, address and phone number.
  • All information concerning the complaint.
  • All times and results

The dispatcher then gives the information to an officer in the designated area.