April 5, 2019 (GUELPH, ON) – The Guelph Humane Society (GHS) is happy to continue providing protection to animals in Guelph and Wellington County. This is thanks to an agreement between the Ontario SPCA (OSPCA) and the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services that was announced on April 1st. This transitional period will ensure that GHS is able to continue enforcing the Ontario SPCA Act at least until June 28, 2019.
On March 4, the Ontario SPCA announced that it would end its work in investigating and enforcing animal cruelty laws. This decision came as a shock to GHS, who enforces the provincial animal welfare legislation in Guelph and Wellington County. This change would have removed authority from OSPCA agents as soon as April 1, 2019, had the provincial government not accepted a 3-month transition period offered by the OSPCA.
Under the current enforcement framework, OSPCA agents in Guelph and Wellington County are employed through Guelph Humane Society and their authority is appointed to them by the OSPCA. Under the Ontario SPCA Act, only OSPCA agents and police officers have the authority to investigate and enforce animal cruelty laws.
GHS remains concerned about the future of animal welfare enforcement in Ontario and will continue its advocacy campaign over the next 3-months and beyond. GHS is in regular contact with local MPPs and the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, Sylvia Jones, but there is still uncertainty about new legislation and enforcement models in Ontario. Community members are encouraged to follow GHS on social media or through their website to stay up to date on this issue.
Last year alone GHS investigated over 350 cases of cruelty and neglect. One of those cases involved a young puppy (pictured), who was found starving in a home due to severe neglect by an owner. A caring citizen reported the situation to GHS, and OSPCA Agents, employed by the GHS, investigated and charged the owner with cruelty. The neglectful owner was convicted under the OSPCA Act, including receiving a 2-year ban on owning dogs. Essie, as she was named by GHS staff, was adopted and now enjoys a life filled with love, family, and care.
“The Guelph Humane Society is committed to helping ensure that no animals fall through the cracks during this transition in provincial animal welfare legislation,” says Adrienne McBride, Executive Director of the GHS. “We are working closely with our community partners, including the Guelph Police Service and Wellington County OPP to continue protecting all animals in Guelph and Wellington County.”
McBride notes GHS staff have highly specialized knowledge that includes assessing animal welfare and identifying distress, as well as strong knowledge of the animal protection laws. In addition, GHS is already connected with the health, social services, veterinary, and policing agencies within the community they serve. Citizens with concerns about animals in Guelph and Wellington County are still encouraged to call GHS at 519-824-3091 in order to report the situation.
About the Guelph Humane Society
The Guelph Humane Society advocates for all animals, and in particular those animals whose lives it can influence, through care, education, community support, protection, and leadership. Founded in 1893, the Guelph Humane Society provides care and shelter for approximately 3,000 homeless, stray, injured and abused animals each year in Guelph and Wellington County. GHS is a registered charitable, non-profit organization that does not receive government funding. Visit www.guelphhumane.ca to discover more.
Photo Credit: GHS
Guelph Humane Society
More information and FAQs on this topic please visit: https://guelphhumane.ca/the-impact-of-ospca-changes-on-ghs/