Talks Underway to Fill Saskatoon SPCA Animal Welfare Enforcement Gap, No Resolution Yet – Saskatoon


With the Saskatoon SPCA set to end animal welfare law enforcement, Saskatchewan’s top vet isn’t sure if a solution will be forthcoming any time soon.

As first reported by Global News, the Saskatoon SPCA Board of Directors voted last week to end the agency’s enforcement of the animal welfare law. This means that starting April 1, Saskatoonians may no longer have an animal welfare agency to call to report animal abuse or neglect.

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Dr. Stephanie Smith, Saskatchewan’s chief veterinarian, told Global News she doesn’t know if a new enforcement model will be in place by April 1.

“Enforcing animal welfare is a priority for me, for the Department (of Agriculture) and the City of Saskatoon,” Smith said in an interview.

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“None of us want to see animals left in distress because there is no one available to answer those calls.”

Discussions are now underway between the Department of Agriculture and the City of Saskatoon to fill the void left by the SPCA in a “fair, consistent and affordable” manner, Smith said.

There is no consistent model for animal welfare enforcement across Canada, according to Smith.

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The provincial government has never funded the protective services offered by the Saskatoon SPCA or the Regina Humane Society. A request for funding from the organizations was denied last year, according to a press release from the SPCA.

“Nothing (is) set in stone at this point. We’re still in discussions with the City of Saskatoon to make sure we’re looking at all available models,” Smith said.

Saskatchewan Animal Protection Services, which is funded by the province, handles animal welfare enforcement outside of Saskatchewan’s two largest cities.

Animal welfare is not a municipal responsibility, but the City of Saskatoon still approved a $172,600 grant for these services to the SPCA in 2022. During budget discussions in November, the city council voted against 50 $000 in monthly emergency funding for the SPCA.

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Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark told Global News he was unaware the SPCA had funded his app through donations.

“We want to do our part, but we don’t want to take on the jurisdiction of the provincial government,” Clark said.

A similar situation in January 2019 resulted in the law enforcement work of the Edmonton Humane Society being taken over by the City of Edmonton. Two years later, the city continues to enforce the Animal Welfare Act.

If a replacement organization is not established by April 1, animal welfare enforcement may fall to another animal agency or the Saskatoon Police Department (SPS).

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In a statement, SPS spokeswoman Kelsie Fraser said the force had been involved in early discussions, “but is not currently in a position to assume responsibility for the full spectrum of child protection services. animals”.

“As in the past, the SPS continues to be prepared to respond to emergency issues where animals are injured, sick or dangerous,” Fraser said.

Despite the end of the application of the Animal Protection Act, the Saskatoon SPCA will continue to offer its services of shelter and municipal pound.

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Click to play video: 'Saskatchewan SPCA Craftsmanship Standards to Ensure the Welfare of Rescue Animals'

Saskatchewan SPCA Craftsmanship Standards to Ensure the Welfare of Rescue Animals

Saskatchewan SPCA Craftsmanship Standards to Ensure the Welfare of Rescue Animals – November 2, 2021

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