Keep dogs on leashes and away from sick or dead wildlife

Person walking dog on a path on a leash

Vaughan Animal Services is responding to avian influenza in the community


With more geese returning to the community, the City of Vaughan is reporting a significant number of birds that have died or are infected with avian influenza (H5N1), also known as bird flu, throughout the community.


As is always recommended by the Public Health Agency of Canada, you should not handle sick or dead wild birds or other wildlife, as they may be infected with diseases that can spread to humans.


Pets should be kept away from sick or dead wild birds and animals and on leashes when outside.


Here are other tips from the Canadian Wildlife Services for pet owners:


  • Limit interactions between pets and wild birds.
  • Do not feed pets any raw meat from wild birds or poultry.
  • Consult with your veterinarian for more information on avian influenza in pets.


Please report any dead or ill geese to Vaughan Animal Services at 905-832-2281 or and staff will respond. Please do not touch the birds.


Vaughan Animal Services continues to discourage the use of birdfeeders and recommends removal of existing ones to limit the transmission of the virus. As well, cats should be kept indoors, and birdbaths should be removed.


According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, wild birds in Canada and throughout the world are natural carriers of avian influenza viruses. Although some wild birds may get sick and die, others can be infected and still appear healthy. Avian influenza can spread to domestic poultry and can sometimes spread to mammals, such as foxes, skunks and mink, who may eat infected birds. Rarely, avian influenza may also spread to people. While the likelihood of becoming infected with avian influenza virus is low, individuals should still be cautious when handling infected wild birds or other wildlife because avian influenza has the potential to cause severe disease in people.


If you have any questions about your property, please contact Vaughan Animal Services at 905-832-2281 or


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