Animal Responsibility

Courteous Pet Ownership

The City of Fernie is promoting our NEW modernized Animal Responsibility Bylaw No. 2436, 2021 that was adopted June 14th, 2021. The NEW Bylaw promotes responsible, courteous pet ownership and behaviours. The Bylaw was based on the BC SPCA’s model bylaws and has a tiered, progressive approach towards aggressive, vicious, and dangerous dogs. The Bylaw is designed to better protect the citizens, wildlife, and animals of our beloved community.    

NEW Animal Responsibility Bylaw

Licensing your Dog

Licensing your dog with the City helps us return your lost dog faster! 

Should your dog happen to get out, if the dog is wearing a collar with a CoF dog tag, Bylaw Services can quickly reunite the dog with the owner and help get them home safely.

To apply for a license, fill out the Dog License Application form and submit it to City Hall along with the annual fees.

Dog License Application Form

Licenses are:

  • Valid from January 1 to December 31 each year
  • For sale at City Hall (501-3rd Avenue) and cost:
    • $15.00 for spayed or neutered dogs
    • $35.00 for unspayed or unneutered dogs.
    • Special license fees apply for certain breeds of dogs.

All dogs 4 months or older require a dog license. The fine for not having a dog license is $50.00 for the first impoundment, $75.00 for the second and $100.00 for the third and subsequent impoundments.

Dog Off-Leash Parks

The Off-Leash Railyard Dog Park is located at:

95 Ridgemont Avenue

NEW regulations as a part of the New Animal Responsibility Bylaw include rules for the Off-Leash Dog Park:

  • Carry a leash
  • Always keep the dog in view
  • Keep the dog under control
  • Immediately leash the dog if he or she is demonstrating aggressive behaviour
  • Remove the dog’s excrement and dispose of it in a sanitary manner

 The Railyard Dog Park is managed by the Fernie Pets Society. The Fernie Pet Society is a volunteer-run charity dedicated to animal welfare and creating a pet-friendly and safe environment.

For more information, how to donate, or how to get involved visit their website at

Dog Restricted Areas

There are certain areas in Fernie where dogs are not permitted, whether on leash or not.  Dogs are not allowed to be in the following restricted areas:

a. Rotary Park
b. The grounds of all schools
c. Ridgemont Park

Responsible Pet Ownership

The associated fines and penalties for the bylaw regulations have been increased to encourage responsible, accountable, pet ownership so all members of the community can feel safe. Fernie has lots to offer throughout the trails, parks, and shared spaces of our beloved mountain town, but not everyone is comfortable with dogs, want to be approached, or may be training their own reactive dogs.

A dog’s behaviour is the responsibility of their owner. Being mindful and considerate of others' varying comfort levels with dogs will benefit our entire community.

  • Keep your dog on-leash unless at the City's designated Off-Leash Dog Park
  • Carry a plastic bag to scoop up and properly dispose of dog poop
  • Help your dog be a considerate neighbour. Control excessive barking (no more than 15 mins)

Animal Welfare Regulations

The NEW Animal Responsibility Bylaw has improved rules and regulations in place that help better protect the animals of our community. Ensuring pets have proper basic care provided, outdoor shelter standards, are only tethered for a maximum of one (1) hour,  have adequate ventilation when confined, and are being transported properly in a motor vehicle are all regulations in place now to keep animals free from harm and injuries.

For the complete set of rules and regulations that were designed with animal wellbeing in mind, please review:

Part 14-CARE OF ANIMALS of the Bylaw 

Aggressive, Vicious, and Dangerous Dogs

A dog’s behaviour is the responsibility of the owner!

 Every Owner shall ensure that their dog does not:

  • Display aggressive behaviour
  • Cause a minor injury towards a person or domestic animal
  • Cause a serious injury towards a person or domestic animal

The Animal Responsibility Bylaw No. 2436, 2021 has new regulations, requirements, and fines and penalties for dogs that have been deemed aggressive, vicious, or dangerous.

For example, the owner of a dog that has been delivered a notice designating their dog as an Aggressive Dog must:

(a)        secure the dog by a collar and leash that is a maximum length of (1) meter when not on the owner’s property;

(b)        ensure that the dog is not at large within the City at any time;

(c)        keep the dog muzzled when in an off-leash area;

(d)        not leave the dog unattended at any time when not on the owner’s property, whether or not hitched, tied, or fastened to a fixed object;

(e)        within thirty (30) calendar days of being delivered the notice: 

i.          ensure the dog has permanent identification;

ii.          provide the identification information to the Bylaw Enforcement Officer;

iii.         obtain a City of Fernie Aggressive Dog license for the dog; and

iv.        pay the applicable fees established in Schedule A.

For the complete set of regulations that must be followed for Aggressive, Vicious, or Dangerous dogs review, Part 7, Part 8 & Part 9 of the Bylaw

Report a Lost Dog or Dog Off-Leash

Contact Bylaw Services immediately to report a lost dog or a dog off-leash wandering with no owner. Please leave a voicemail, as Bylaw Services typically has 7 day/week coverage and will respond to Dogs at Large if you leave a description of the dog, the last seen location, and contact information.

Bylaw Services
(250) 423-2244