Animal Control

The SPA de l’Estrie is responsible for enforcing Austin’s regulations respecting animals. Please contact them directly to report an errant dog, a lost or found pet or an act of negligence or cruelty to an animal:

145, rue Sauvé,
Sherbrooke, QC
J1L 1L6
819 821-4727
819 823-1573

Business hours :

Office:          Monday to Friday              10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Shelter:        Monday to Saturday         10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Useful Information

Number of animals permitted

The total combined number of dogs and cats allowed is four. Exceptions :

  • On a farm, the number of cats is not controlled.
  • When a dog or cat gives birth, the pet owner has 120 days to give or sell the the puppies or kittens.


To help reduce the cat population and prevent homelessness for both cats and dogs, citizens are highly encouraged to have their animal neutered. Moreover, the custodian of more than one domestic cats must have all but one of them sterilized.

Exceptions :

  • The animal is less than 4 months old or over 10 years old.
  • A veterinary has proscribed sterilization because of the animal’s state of health.
  • The cat is registered with the Canadian Cat Association.

Mandatory Dog Tag

A dog custodian or owner is responsible for registering his dog(s) with the SPA de l’Estrie (does not apply to visiting dogs who already have a tag issued by another city or municipality).

Annual licence cost:

  • Sterilized dog: $40
  • Unsterilized dog: $50

The Municipality will reimburse 100% of the dog tag cost, for every dog in a residential unit, for the year 2021, and 50 % of the cost in 2022. Afterwards, the custodian/owner will be responsible for 100% of the cost.

Leash Requirements

• The dog must be on a leash when outside property limits.
• Maximum leash length: 1.85 m.
• Halter or harness for a dog weighing 20 kg or more.

Dangerous Dog

The By-Law Respecting the Control and Responsible Care of Animals was adopted in 2020 to integrate the new responsibilities conferred unto municipalities by the provincial Regulation respecting the application of the Act to promote the protection of persons by establishing a framework with regard to dogs.

The Municipality can declare a dog to be dangereous in one or the other of the following situations:

  • It has bitten or attacked a person, causing the person’s death;
  • It has bitten or attacked a person, inflicting a serious physical injury that could lead to the person’s death or cause serious physical consequences;
  • Following an examination by a veterinary surgeon.

Examination by a Veterinary Surgeon

The Municipality can order the examination of a dog that has bitten a person or another animal, when the bite has caused skin lacerations requiring medical care, and as soon as it has reasonable grounds to believe that the dog poses a risk to public health or safety.

The custodian of the dog for which an examination is required must comply with the order and pay for the cost of the examination.

Dangerous Dog

Based on the examination results, the Municipality may declare a dog to be dangerous and order that it be euthanized, or require the custodian to comply with one or both of the following measures:

  • the custodian must get rid of any other dog in his custody;
  • the custodian is prohibited from owning, acquiring, keeping or breeding a dog for a determined period of time.

Potentially Dangerous Dog

Based on the examination results, the Municipality may declare a dog to be potentially dangerous. In that case, the dog:

  • must be up to date with rabies vaccination, unless a veterinary deems it inadvisable;
  • must be sterilized, unless a veterinary deems it inadvisable;
  • must be microchipped, unless a veterinary deems it inadvisable;
  • cannot be kept in the presence of a child aged 10 years or younger, except when under the constant supervision of a person aged 18 and up;
  • must, on a private property, be kept within property limits by means of a fence or other device;
  • must, on a private property, have its presence disclosed by means of a sign posted in a visible spot;
  • must, in a public place, wear a basket muzzle at all times;
  • must, in a public place, be held on a leash whose length does not exceed 1.25 metre, except when in a dog park.

To find out more about the municipality’s regulations respecting animals, please read the Bylaw Respecting the Control and Responsible Care of Animals (in French only).