- Animal Protection Services of Saskatchewan now enforces Saskatoon’s animal protection rules, although they don’t answer calls on the weekends or in the evenings.
- As a result, the Saskatoon SPCA informed the City and the Province that they would no longer be in charge of The Animal Protection Act’s enforcement.
- The Ministry of Agriculture reportedly got in touch with Saskatoon Police to see if they might temporarily take up the assignment.
Saskatoon’s animal protection laws are now enforced by Animal Protection Services of Saskatchewan (APSS), but they don’t return calls on the weekends or evenings.
As of July 1, according to city council papers, the Ministry of Agriculture designated APSS to enforce animal cruelty laws for the City of Saskatoon.
“On working days, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, any animal welfare complaints from city citizens contacting the City’s animal services phone line are now routed to APSS triaging numbers. On the APSS website, there is also the possibility to submit concerns about animal care online.
Because there is no weekend or evening service, no one is available to react to allegations of animal cruelty after business hours.
Previously, the Saskatoon SPCA was in charge of the City’s animal shelter, pound, and protection services. A short-term grant from the City and donations were used to pay for the animal protection activities.
A council report said that “the grant was not intended to reflect the cost of providing the services, but rather to simply provide support to the SPCA, which is similar to other grant programs offered by the City.”
According to the investigation, the SPCA submitted a letter to the City requesting additional cash and indicating they were experiencing some financial difficulties.
They also sent a funding request to the Ministry of Agriculture. The Ministry, however, rejected the request, stating that “the size of the financing request was a hurdle to reaching an agreement,” the report stated.
The Saskatoon SPCA told the City and the Province as a result that they would no longer be handling The Animal Protection Act’s enforcement. The organization’s enforcement function terminated on April 1, although it still maintains a city pound and offers adoption services.
“About animal cruelty investigations, the City is aware of the value of these services and the requirement for these types of inquiries. The Animal Protection Act, 2018, a provincial law, governs these investigations; however, the City has not been given authority to conduct these investigations under this law, according to the report.
According to the report, the Ministry of Agriculture contacted Saskatoon Police to see if they might temporarily assume responsibility for the task. At the same time, workers were being employed and trained to do so.
Even though municipal police officers are allowed to serve as APOs [Animal Protection Officers] under the Act, the Service told the Ministry that they were unprepared to take over this task.
The Ministry hired two former conservation officers to serve as APOs in Saskatoon during the transition period until APSS was ready to employ and train staff for Saskatoon enforcement, scheduled to start in July 2022, as the SPCA will no longer be responsible for Act enforcement as of April 1, 2022.
The study states that there are no plans to provide weekend or after-hours services.
According to the agency, the SPCA looked into 865 animal cruelty or neglect complaints in 2021.
Source: CTV News