Information sessions to inform community of animal well-being best practices and city bylaws

Guelph, Ont., September 7, 2017 – The City of Guelph, in partnership with the Guelph Humane Society, will be hosting City and the Beasts, an animal information sessions, on Thursday, September 21 to highlight changes to the Animal Control Bylaw.

In December 2016, City Council directed staff to work with stakeholders to develop outreach materials that address wildlife conflicts within the City. The City’s Bylaw department and the Guelph Humane Society have worked collaboratively to bring Guelph citizens information sessions on four domestic and wild animal species: cats, dogs, coyotes and wild birds. The goal is to increase resident knowledge of animal welfare best practices.

“We have a great variety of topics that we’ll be covering during City and the Beasts workshops, which reflects many of the questions that the City’s Bylaw office receives over the course of the year,” says David Wiedrick, manager of Bylaw Compliance. “Guelph has over 4,000 pets registered in 2017; that’s 4,000 good reasons to talk about animal well-being.”

Four information sessions will run simultaneously at City Hall from 7–7:45 p.m. and again from 8–8:45 p.m.. The presentations are:

Striking a balance: Being a good dog owner and neighbour
Dr. Lee Niel from the Department of Population Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College will present on  dog behaviour and responsible dog ownership.  Lee holds the Colonel KL Campbell Chair in Companion Animal Welfare, a tenure track position at the University.  This lecture will include information highlighting the current bylaws as they relate to dogs including licensing, controlling of dogs both on- and off-leash, and animal welfare.

Enriching your indoor cat’s environment
Dr. Shane Bateman, a University of Guelph Associate Professor with the Ontario Veterinary College, will be presenting on cats.  The session will address the risks to cats being outdoors, valuing cats, creating enriched indoor environments and providing ideas for safe outdoor supervised play.

Attracting wild birds
Val Wyatt of Wild Birds Unlimited will address how to attract songbirds, how to avoid attracting other species, and how to be a responsible bird feeder.

Co-existing with Coyotes
Lesley Sampson from Coyote Watch Canada. will share how residents of Guelph can co-exist with coyotes, the basic biology of the species, such as why Coyotes are able to live in urban areas, how to deter them from your residence, and safety measures to take should you encounter them.

There will also be information booths set up in the lobby at City Hall to provide resources to participants. Booths include the Guelph Humane Society, where participants can licence their cats and dogs, Cats and Birds, City of Guelph Bylaw, Wild Birds Unlimited, Coyote Watch Canada and Songbird Only Avian Rehabilitation (SOAR).

“We’re thrilled to be co-hosting an event that focuses so much on harmonizing members of our community,” says Lisa Veit, Associate Director of the Guelph Humane Society. “For pet owners and non-pet owners alike, there is something for everyone at City and the Beasts, whether its learning about coyote safety or how to create an enriched environment for your cat indoors. Our entire community can contribute to animal well-being.”

Participants can register online  at or in person at City Hall’s Service Guelph desk in the main lobby. Space is limited and spots will be given on a first come, first serve basis. Questions can be directed to or ask a Service Guelph staff person. For accessibility accommodations prior to the event, please contact David Wiedrick at 519-822-1260, extension 3475 or at

Related resources

Guelph bylaws pertaining to animals
Pet ownership tips
City wildlife
Animal licensing
Guelph Humane Society

For more information about City and the Beasts

David Wiedrick, Manager, Bylaw Compliance, Security and Licensing
Operations Department
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 3475

Lisa Veit, Associate Director
Guelph Humane Society