Caring for companion animals

  • Community dog care initiative
  • Community dog spay fund
  • Report dangerous or uncontrolled dogs
  • Domestic animals running 'at large'
  • Neglected or abused domestic animals

  1. Community dog care initiative

    The community dog care initiative supports Yukon communities to:

    • develop tools to improve dog care; and
    • reduce problems with dogs.

    Each Yukon community has different issues and needs regarding dogs and dog care. The Government of Yukon will work with a Yukon community to help:

    • improve dog care; and
    • increase public safety.

    We can help communities address issues such as:

    • reducing the number of unwanted dogs in the community;
    • improving access to veterinary services;
    • protecting people from uncontrolled dogs; and
    • working together to improve awareness and education.

    For more information, read the fact sheet about the community dog care initiative.

    How do you start a dog care initiative in your community?

    1. Community leaders complete a community dog care initiative request form.
    2. Submit the form to the Animal Health Unit.
      Fax: 867-393-6263

    The animal protection officer will respond to you and start working with your community to address dog-related concerns.

    All community members can contribute by:

    • participating in a community workshop;
    • developing a plan to address priority concerns;
    • helping put the plan in place; and
    • assessing whether the plan is working.

    Community leaders can contact the animal protection officer to learn more about this initiative. Email or phone 867-667-5600, toll free in the Yukon 1-800-661-0408, extension 5600.

  2. Community dog spay fund

    As of July 19, there are funds for 40 spay surgeries remaining.

    The community dog spay fund provides $300 (effective April 1, 2023) for 1 dog per owner in 1 year in rural Yukon communities to help:

    • offset the cost of travel for residents of rural communities;
    • reduce the threat to public safety from dog fights caused by female dogs in heat;
    • reduce the number of unwanted puppies born in Yukon communities;
    • improve animal welfare; and
    • reduce the demand on Yukon humane societies.

    Funding is available on a 1st-come, 1st-served basis for a maximum of 115 dogs a year.

    Some local governments may provide additional funds to supplement this fund or to cover costs that the dog spay fund does not pay for like:

    • neutering male dogs; or
    • sterilizing cats.


    You can get funding if:

    • you live in a rural Yukon community;
      • this means your postal code does not start with Y1A;
    • you have a female dog; and
    • you have not used the fund already in the past year.

    How to access the fund

    1. Choose a veterinarian and make an appointment for a spay surgery.
    2. Discuss all optional services and costs with the veterinarian. Your total bill will depend on what you choose to have done.
    3. Complete the form with the veterinarian.
    4. Pay the veterinary clinic. Your receipt will show the $300 credit from the fund.
    5. After the surgery, the veterinarian will sign and submit this form to the Animal Health Unit.

    Learn more about the community dog spay fund

  3. Report dangerous or uncontrolled dogs

    Dogs posing a threat to livestock

    The Dog Act covers livestock harassed by dogs. If a dog pursues, stresses, injures or kills livestock, the dog can be captured and euthanized.

    1. If you see:
      • a dog posing a threat to livestock; or
      • a dog threatening your livestock.
    2. Contact:
      • the local bylaw office if you're in a municipality; or
      • the local RCMP detachment if you're in an unincorporated community.

    Dogs posing a threat to public safety

    The animal protection officer will assist RCMP, First Nations and bylaw officers when dogs pose a threat to public safety. The animal protection officer can also investigate issues that are reported directly to them.

    Phone the animal protection officer at 867-667-5600 or toll free in the Yukon 1-800-661-0408, extension 5600 or email

    Until a formal charge is laid and is made public through disclosure, the Animal Health Unit will not comment in order to maintain the integrity of the investigation.

    If a dog bites you

    You are not legally required to report dog bites to a hospital or community health centre but it's a good idea to do it. When you report a dog bite incident, they'll assess the case and determine:

    • if the victim needs additional treatment; or
    • if the animal needs to be observed or tested.

    Always treat bite wounds

    Anyone bitten by an animal should seek medical attention right away. Bite wounds can result in infection.

    A health care provider will:

    • wash away contamination from saliva, bacteria or viruses;
    • prescribe antibiotic drugs if bacterial infection is a concern;
    • provide a booster tetanus vaccination if it's needed; and
    • provide directions for at-home wound care, as well as what to do if there's swelling, redness or an increase in pain.

    See the wildlife health page section on rabies and read the fact sheet on animal bites and rabies.

  4. Domestic animals running 'at large'

    Domestic animals are "at large" when:

    • they are not under the control of their owner; and
    • they're off the private property of their owner.

    These animals are often a nuisance and can be a danger to themselves and others. They may:

    • be injured by traffic or cause accidents;
    • threaten confined pets or livestock;
    • prey on wildlife or be prey that attracts wildlife; and
    • damage the environment through their actions.

    People who own domestic animals need to care for their animals. This means being responsible for keeping their animals under control.

    The Pounds Act deals with control of livestock. The Yukon legislative framework for control and protection of all animals is currently under review. The Animal Protection Actand Dog Act are the laws that currently govern how Government of Yukon officials can respond to concerns about animal care and control. We'll provide updates on the review process as we make progress.

    Responsibility for domestic animals

    The animal protection officer gives advice based on current Yukon laws to people who have concerns about animals at large. In general, the responsibility for domestic animals that are not under control is as follows.

    • In Yukon communities, dog control is the responsibility of municipal or First Nations governments.
    • In unincorporated Yukon areas, the RCMP lead the response to complaints about roaming dogs.

    The animal protection officer does not have authority to seize dogs running at large. In some of the larger towns and in Whitehorse there are bylaws that regulate control of pets. Apart from those situations, domestic animals are not prohibited from being at large except for dogs.

    Regulations under the Dog Act prohibit dogs running at large in:

    • Beaver Creek; and
    • Ibex Valley.

    Dogs are not permitted to run at large in these areas where the First Nation government has primary responsibility for animal control:

    • Carcross; and
    • Ross River.

    Other regions may be listed in the regulations under the Dog Act. When bylaws have been enacted, these supersede the Dog Act.

    Until a formal charge is laid and is made public through disclosure, the Animal Health Unit will not comment on complaints in order to maintain the integrity of the investigation.


    For livestock, see Report livestock at large or welfare concerns.

  5. Neglected or abused domestic animals

    The animal protection officer investigates reports of neglected or abused domestic animals under the Animal Protection Act. Neglected or abused animals may need:

    • proper care;
    • food;
    • water; and
    • shelter.

    In some cases, the animals may be injured or suffering.

    The officer can take action that may relieve an animal’s distress or may seize an abandoned animal.

    Report a neglected or abused animal

    Report incidents to the animal protection officer if you know or have reason to believe that an animal in the Yukon:

    • is being neglected;
    • is being abused; or
    • has been abandoned,

    Phone 867-667-5600, toll free in the Yukon 1-800-661-0408, extension 5600 or email

    Until a formal charge is laid and is made public through disclosure, the Animal Health Unit will not comment in order to maintain the integrity of the investigation.