Animal Cruelty generally falls into one of two categories: neglect or intentional cruelty. Neglect is the failure to provide adequate water, food, shelter, or necessary care. Examples of neglect include: starvation; dehydration; inadequate shelter; parasite infestations; failure to seek veterinary care when an animal is in need of medical attention; allowing a collar to grow into an animal’s skin; confined without adequate light, ventilation, space or in unsanitary conditions; and failure to trim hoofs or nails resulting in excessive growth (i.e. hoofs curling upwards). In some cases, neglect is a result of the owner’s ignorance, and can be rectified by law enforcement authorities, like the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Ontario SPCA), educating the owner and issuing orders to improve the animals living conditions.
WHAT IS DISTRESS?
The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (OSPCA Act) R.S.O. 1990, Chapter 0.36 gives a definition: ‘Distress’ means the state of being in need of proper care, water, food or shelter or being injured, sick or in pain or suffering or being abused or subject to undue or unnecessary hardship, privation or neglect. Click here to visit the Ontario SPCA website.
WHAT IS A CRUELTY INSPECTOR OR AGENT?
Animal cruelty investigations by the Ontario SPCA are governed by provincial legislation called the OSPCA Act. Inspectors and Agents appointed under the Act have the authority of police officers when enforcing laws pertaining to the welfare of, or the prevention of cruelty to animals.
Inspectors and Agents may enter private property to relieve animals from their distress. As well, they are authorized to serve the animals’ owner/custodian with OSPCA Act orders which outline remedial action to relieve the distress.
Inspectors and Agents also have the authority to remove animals from the owner/custodian in some cases, and lay charges under the Criminal Code of Canada and the OSPCA Act.
HOW CAN I HELP?
The public plays a crucial role in reporting cases of suspected cruelty. Report animal abuse by calling the Kitchener-Waterloo Humane Society at (519) 745-5615, or your local Ontario SPCA branch affiliated Humane Society, or police. Ignoring the problem or not getting involved is not a solution.
Click here for contact information for the Ontario SPCA branches and affiliates.
The toll free phone number for the Ontario SPCA, Newmarket ON is 1-888-668-7722.
The Kitchener-Waterloo Humane Society is under contract to the Cities of Kitchener and Waterloo to provide animal control, dog licensing, shelter services and by-law enforcement. Animal Protection Officers are municipal law enforcement officers empowered to enforce municipal animal bylaws. They can issue Provincial Offence Notices (tickets), summons to appear in court (charges), or designate an animal as potentially dangerous, dangerous, restricted or prohibited.
CALL ANIMAL PROTECTION SERVICES
- to report bylaw violations (except barking dogs – see below)
- to report stray animals
- to report a lost pet
- to report a found pet
- to report injured animals
- to purchase a dog license
- to report a dog bite
- to report a dead domestic animal
- to report dead wildlife (dead wildlife on public property is collected at no charge)
Barking dogs are considered a noise violation, and are handled by municipal by-law enforcement or the police. Call the appropriate number and state that you wish to make a noise complaint.
City of Kitchener: (519) 653-7700 (Waterloo Regional Police)
City of Waterloo: (519) 747-8785
The KWHS does not permit the employees of the KWHS to attempt to rescue any animal confined in a tree, or a hydro pole carrying power, that would endanger the life or limb of said employees.
If you are in need of information about wildlife control, please contact Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control.
Did You Know?
- Renewing your license annually keeps your contact information and address up-to-date so your pet can be returned should they ever be lost
- 100 per cent of missing dogs that are found and have a license are returned to their homes
- The majority of stray dogs found without a dog license are put up for adoption and are not returned to their families
- Owners are required to have a dog license within 30 days of ownership.
- Any dog owner found owning an unlicensed dog can be fined $200-$5000.