Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

To view the Animal Control Bylaw, please click here.

If you have any questions about the new Animal Control Bylaw, please phone the Town Office during regular office hours from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday at 403-783-4431.

Under the new Bylaw, all dogs and cats aged six months and older that reside in the Town of Ponoka must be licensed annually by their owners and comply with all other provisions outlined in the Bylaw.

Other provisions in the new Bylaw include:

  • A maximum limit of five cats and dogs in total per residence is permitted in the Town of Ponoka (unless the property is occupied and operated by a licenced kennel operator in accordance with a development permit under the Town's Land Use Bylaw). See Part 5, #19.
  • A grandfathering licence may be applied for between April 1 to August 31, 2021, for each dog or cat that exceeds the five-animal-per-residence limit under the new Bylaw. Upon application and payment, those animals would be grandfathered under the new Bylaw. Applications for a grandfathering licence will not be accepted past August 31, 2021. Grandfathering licences are not transferrable to another dog or cat. See Part 2, Section 1.
  • Regulation and licencing of cats, owners have until September 1 to purchase licences before enforcement of this requirement under the Bylaw begins. Licences purchased this year will not expire until December 31, 2022, giving cat owners an extra six months of licensing coverage in the first year of the new Bylaw. After December 2022, cat licences will need to be renewed annually.
  • A new Aggressive Dog Definition, regulations, and licencing requirements. See Part 2e; Part 4; and Part 6. 
  • A new definition for Exotic Pets which are regulated by federal and provincial legislation. See Part 2j; and Part 5, #29. The Town of Ponoka allows Exotic Pets unless they are restricted by provincial or federal legislation.
  • Cat trapping requirements that must be followed under the Bylaw. See Part 7, Page 6; and Schedule D.
  • New fee and fine schedules that were last updated in 2007. See Schedule A and Schedule C.

The new Animal Control Bylaw took effect on September 1, 2021.

To view the new Animal Control Bylaw, please click here.

An animal control licence is your pet’s ticket home and helps ensure they can more easily be returned home safely by the Town’s Animal Control Contractor who would have an up-to-date record of how to contact the pet’s owners.

Licensing also saves pet owners added cost if your animal accidentally escapes your property, which can result in a fine for failing to licence your cat or dog.

It’s mandatory under Animal Control Bylaw to have your pet licenced. Learn more by visitng the Animal Control Bylaw page

Under the new Bylaw, all cats and dogs must be licenced annually. Even if your pets are always kept indoors, there is a chance they can accidentally escape your property. A licence helps ensure that your pet can more easily be returned home safely by the Town’s Animal Control Contractor who will have an up-to-date record of how to contact the pet’s owners. 

Licensing also saves pet owners added cost by avoiding the fines for failing to licence your cat or dog if they are caught running at large.

Dog owners must:

  • Include documented proof their dog has been spayed or neutered to be eligible for the altered licence fee. This includes an official letter from your veterinarian or a receipt from the procedure.
  • Complete an Animal Licensing Form
  • You can then send the completed form along with documented proof of spay or neuter and payment:
    • By mail to the Town Office (#200, 5604 50 Street, Ponoka, AB, T4J 1G5).
    • By email with credit card information to pets@ponoka.ca.
    • In-person at the Town Office during business hours or using the dropbox just inside the doors on the west side of the Ponoka Civic Centre from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday (except on statutory holidays).

Dog licences will expire and require renewal by December 31, 2021. 

The early bird rate applies to pet owners who licence their dogs between October 1 to December 31 prior to each renewal year. The early bird rate also applies to:

  • New Ponoka residents who own a dog and/or cat as of October 1, 2021; and 
  • First-time animal owners of a dog and/or cat as of October 1, 2021.

Cat owners must:

  • Include documented proof their cat has been spayed or neutered to be eligible for the altered licence fee. This includes an official letter from your veterinarian or a receipt from the procedure. 
  • Complete an Animal Licensing Form
  • You can then send the completed form along with documented proof of spay or neuter and payment:
    • By mail to the Town Office (#200, 5604 50 Street, Ponoka, AB, T4J 1G5).
    • By email with credit card information to pets@ponoka.ca.
    • In-person at the Town Office during business hours or using the dropbox just inside the doors on the west side of the Ponoka Civic Centre from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday (except on statutory holidays).

Licences that have been purchased this year will not expire until December 31, 2022, giving cat owners an extra six months of licensing coverage in the first year of the new Bylaw. Early-bird prices do not apply to existing cat owners who owned their pet prior to October 1, 2021. After December 2022, cat licences will need to be renewed annually and will be eligible for early bird pricing.

The early bird rate does apply to:

  • New Ponoka residents who own a dog and/or cat as of October 1, 2021; and 
  • First-time animal owners of a dog and/or cat as of October 1, 2021.

To purchase a licence, please fill out the Animal Licensing Form.

 You can then send the completed form along with documented proof of spay or neuter and payment:

  • By mail to the Town Office (#200, 5604 50 Street, Ponoka, AB, T4J 1G5).
  • By email with credit card information to pets@ponoka.ca.
  • In-person at the Town Office during business hours or using the dropbox just inside the doors on the west side of the Ponoka Civic Centre from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday (except on statutory holidays). 

Please note: Cat licences purchased in 2021 will not expire until December 31, 2022. After December 2022, cat licences will need to be renewed annually, similar to dog licences. Dog licences purchased for 2021 will expire and require renewal before December 31, 2021. 

You can view a complete list of the Town of Ponoka's Annual Animal Licensing Fees - Schedule A. The annual animal licensing fees for pet owners are:

Early Bird Rate (between October 1 and December 31 prior to the renewal year)

  1. Spayed/Neutered (Altered) Animal
  2. Unaltered Animal

 

a. $15

b. $30

Spayed/Neutered (Altered) Animal

$45

Unaltered Animal

$60

Spayed/Neutered (Altered) Aggressive Dog

$125

Unaltered Aggressive Dog

$150

To be eligible for the altered animal rate, pet owners must include documented proof of spay or neuter, such as an official letter from your veterinarian or a receipt from the procedure, when submitting the completed animal licensing form.

A new Early Bird licensing rate applies to pet owners who licence their spayed or neutered dogs between October 1 to December 31 prior to each renewal year. Documented proof of spay/neuter is required for discounted altered animal rate. This includes an official letter from your veterinarian or a receipt from the procedure.

The early bird rate applies to:

  1. Dog owners who renew their dog licence between October 1 to December 31, 2021;
  2. New Ponoka residents who own a dog and/or cat as of October 1, 2021; and
  3. First-time animal owners of a dog and/or cat as of October 1, 2021.

Cat licences purchased this year by residents with cats owned prior to October 1, 2021 do not expire until December 31, 2022. Early-bird prices do not apply to existing cat owners who owned their pet prior to October 1, 2021. After December 2022, cat licences will need to be renewed annually and will be eligible for early bird pricing.

The Town of Ponoka allows Exotic Pets unless they are restricted by provincial or federal legislation. Under the Town’s Animal Control Bylaw, exotic pets have a new definition and are regulated by provincial and federal legislation. For more information, see Part 2j; and Part 5, #29.

A limit on the maximum number of pets per household is common among Animal Control Bylaws in municipalities.

A maximum limit of five cats and dogs in total per residence is permitted in the Town of Ponoka (unless the property is occupied and operated by a licenced kennel operator in accordance with a development permit under the Town's Land Use Bylaw). See Part 5, #19.

A grandfathering licence may be applied for between April 1 to August 31, 2021, for each dog or cat that exceeds the five-animal-per-residence limit under the new Bylaw. Upon application and payment, those animals would be grandfathered under the new Bylaw. Applications for a grandfathering licence will not be accepted past August 31, 2021. Grandfathering licences are not transferrable to another dog or cat. See Part 2, Section 1.

A Grandfathering licence may be applied for between April 1 to August 31, 2021, for each dog or cat that exceeds the five-animal-per-residence limit under the new Bylaw. Upon application and payment, those animals would be grandfathered under the new Bylaw. Applications for a grandfathering licence will not be accepted past August 31, 2021. Grandfathering licences are not transferrable to another dog or cat. See Part 2, Section 1.

The former Town Bylaw was dated and only addressed the licensing of dogs. Cats were added to the new Bylaw in response to concerns expressed by citizens over the years which were echoed widely during an extensive public consultation process held in late 2019 and 2020.

Enforcement of the Town of Ponoka’s Animal Control Bylaw is carried out primarily on a complaint-driven basis by Old MacDonald Kennels, which operates under contract for the Town. Enforcement of the Bylaw is also provided by the Town’s Bylaw Enforcement Officer and by the Ponoka RCMP detachment as appropriate.

To report a concern under the Town’s Animal Control Bylaw, please contact Old MacDonald Kennels at 403-783-7447.

The Town of Ponoka's Animal Control Bylaw is carried out primarily on a complaint-driven basis by Old MacDonald Kennels, which operates under contract for the Town. Noise is subjective. Therefore, residents are required to fill in documentation for an consecutive number of days.

To report a concern under the Town's Animal Control Bylaw, please contact Old MacDonald Kennels by calling (403) 783-7447 or visiting its website.

If your cat or dog refuses to wear a collar, you may want to consider getting them microchipped or tattooed by your veterinarian. This can help the Town’s Animal Control Contractor identify your pet’s owners to help return your pet home safely. The Town’s Animal Control contractor can also use the identity information offered by the microchip or tattoo to confirm if your pet has a valid dog or cat licence.

To see the new fee and fine schedules, please read Schedule A and Schedule C.

The new Bylaw defines ‘Aggressive Dog’ as any dog that has been designated as such by the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) in accordance with the Bylaw or has been made the subject of an Order under Alberta’s Dangerous Dogs Act.

To view the aggressive dog definition, regulations and licencing requirements, please See Part 2e; Part 4; and Part 6 of the Animal Control Bylaw.

The cat trapping requirements and regulations can be found in the Bylaw: see Part 7, Page 6; and Schedule D.