A Toronto pet-owner took to the internet yesterday to express their concern over whether or not they could get fined for bringing their cat to the beach. They posted a photograph of their leashed cat next to a sign that says, “No dogs allowed on the beach”. The post sparked a conversation amongst users who may have uncovered a glaring loophole in Toronto by-laws that allows you to bring your cat to the beach.
According to Toronto’s Municipal code, dogs are not permitted on beaches. However, there are two exceptions. Dogs are allowed to swim on beaches between November and March, due to cold weather and significantly reduced beach populations. Service animals are also exempt from the rule, as they're permitted in all areas.
Here is the City of Toronto by-law for bringing dogs to the beach:
Although there is no official bylaw about cats roaming the beach, many Redditors were concerned that allowing felines on Toronto's beaches could turn them into one big litter box. “I grew up near this park that had sand, and they had to shut it down because all the neighborhood cats used it as a litter box,” wrote one user.
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Other users simply could not get over the fact that there are actually people in this city who take their cats for a walk:
“Do you get weird looks while walking with your cat? Mine looks like a raccoon, and I'm never self-conscious about anything. But somehow this is my line. Who knew?” Wrote one concerned Redditor.
The publisher offered them some sound advice, “we definitely get a lot of attention. But it's mostly fascination, like "that's so cool!", and not negative judgement. I just the negative people would judge me silently, but who cares.”
Since cats are not usually considered outdoor pets, it’s not a complete shock that the city’s code would leave them out of specific restrictions. However, it stills feels like a tiny bit of injustice is being done upon our canine friends - and I, for one, sympathize with them.