Mississauga aims to release the hounds after new tethering bylaws passed


It was raining cats and dogs last Saturday but that didn’t put a damper on the Mississauga Humane Society pet fair and walkathon.

“This is an annual event,” said society president Lily Chen. “The walkathon started almost 10 years ago, then we changed it to a pet festival two years ago”

This event is the humane society’s biggest fundraiser.

Everyone is getting ready for the big walk

Everyone is getting ready for the big walk

The non-for-profit organization announced during its presentation it has succeeded in getting a law passed to limit the amount of time an animal can be left outside or tethered. Mississauga is the first city in Ontario to have such a law.

“In January, we started a petition to change the bylaws,” said Chen “Many years ago when I would see the dogs in my neighbourhood tied up 24/7, and I felt so bad for them because they are there day in and day out until they die. They didn’t have freedom.”

The new bylaw makes it illegal to have a dog tied up or tethered outside for more than four hours a day. It also prohibits dog owners from keeping their pets outside during extreme weather conditions.

Newborn kitten waiting for someone to love it

Newborn kitten waiting for someone to love it

Ward 9 Councillor Pat Saito was on hand to mark the passing of the new regulation.

“When Lily and the Mississauga Humane Society came to council and raised the issue of the chaining and tethering 24/7, quite honestly it was a no-brainer because no dog should be abused in that way,” said Saito. “It is very hard to get bylaws like that passed because it is very, very hard to enforce.”

According to Saito the citizens of Mississauga are the first line of defence for endangered animals.

“We will be able to take some action but it’s going to require neighbours seeing this happen and I think we’re going to get it, because we want to make sure every animal leads a safe, healthy and happy life,” she said.

This new bylaw was voted on last council meeting and is currently in effect.

Kitten hoping to get a forever home.

Kitten hoping to get a forever home.

The pet fair also included a demonstration from the St. John’s Ambulance therapy dogs.

During the exhibition, one canine named Angus performed tricks such as finding his owner’s keys, playing dead and fetching a box of tissues when someone sneezed.

Kittens waiting for a home

Kittens waiting for a home

The therapy dog program at St. John’s is where dogs and their owners visit places such as hospitals, nursing homes, and schools to help comfort and bring joy to the patients.

“This is to help give friendship to shut-ins,” said unit coordinator Shelagh Saunders. “It also helps lower blood pressure when you pat a dog, so it gives comfort to people and it distracts them from pain and loneliness.”

St. John’s Ambulance currently has 88 teams of dogs and owners and for a dog to be certified it just needs to be friendly and pass an entrance test.

After the 20-minute walk around Port Credit Memorial Park led by Rosie the Clown and Councillor Saito, the Mississauga Humane Society introduced some of their foster parents to tell their animal’s stories.

Then the event closed with a raffle and silent auction.