Shazia Mawani, a resident at an apartment building near Bloor Street and Spadina Avenue, said she believes her neighbour Bill McIntyre has up to eight puppies, in addition to kittens, in his home.
"I just feel like it's inhumane to have so many dogs in an apartment,” she said.
Another user on the website Reddit also posted this week and said they have seen a man in their apartment pushing "a baby stroller full of kittens and puppies."
Under city bylaws, residents can have no more than six cats and three dogs.
McIntyre dismissed the neighbours’ concerns as assumptions. He said his puppies are healthy; they have been vaccinated and checked by veterinarians.
“My puppies are very well cared for, have never been in a cage or crate in their life, and can sleep anywhere they want — including on my bed,” he told CBC News in an email statement.
“By any definition of a puppy mill — I don’t think I qualify.”
'Soon be in compliance'
McIntyre has posted some 400,000 photos of puppies he has raised over the past 15 years on his website Perfect Poms. He said his puppies have been very popular among buyers.
“As you can see from my website, I’ve spent a lot of time with them out in the park taking many photos of them.”
When asked by CBC News, McIntyre did not say how many animals he currently has, but said he no longer has the male father dog, so he won’t have any more puppies born in the future.
“I should soon be in compliance with Toronto bylaws about the number of dogs I am allowed to keep," he said.
The Toronto Humane Society, McIntyre said, has looked into his case previously when a customer who bought a puppy complained that the pet's ears were dirty.
“That puppy was a poodle Pomeranian mix, so its ears drooped over and this is a common occurrence with that breed for dirt to build up in the ears,” he said.
The Humane Society found his puppies to be in good health, he said.
City officials would not say if they have looked into McIntyre's case.
Coun. Glenn De Baeremaeker, who sits on the licensing and standards committee, said city inspectors will stop those who violate city bylaws.
"If you think you're helping dogs by having ten or fifteen dogs in your house you're not and if you're maybe running a business on the side by having dogs come in and out of your house, that's not good for the animals, it's not good for the neighbours, it's not good for anybody and our city inspectors will stop them."