Animal Abuse

Changes to authorities for the Ontario Society for the Protection of Animals in early 2019, as handed down by the provincial courts, had impact on how police and other agencies would respond to complaints about animal abuse.

As the province sorted out who would respond to which incidents, police were requested to attend and then notify the Ministry of the Solicitor General.

Our OPS team worked with City ByLaw and our external partners to sort out who would be notified or would respond in specific cases. It was later determined that police would respond to animal in distress calls (locked in a car, or being hurt), and refer the casework to the Ministry.

Internally, OPS conducted training for Communications Centre agents and police reporting centre agents, as well as frontline officers on animal welfare regulations. Training for investigators were conducted that November. This training also became part of the new recruit education process.

An external education campaign was also initiated to help residents understand who to contact when they encountered issues with animals.