Cruelty and Neglect
The Protection and Investigations Department
Our Peace Officers respond to all complaints of animal cruelty and neglect. The majority of the concerns the department investigates are easily resolved matters where the Peace Officers use the opportunity to educate people on animal protection laws. In severe circumstances, the animals can be seized and/or the owner criminally charged.
Calgary Humane Society vs. City of Calgary Animal Services
Animal Services is a department of the City of Calgary. Their officers enforce an extensive set of bylaws relating to animals (dogs at large, barking, biting, licensing, nuisance cats, etc). Generally speaking, it can be said that Animal Services protects people from animals and CHS protects animals from people. To report a concern relating to an animal bylaw call: City of Calgary Animal Services at 311. To report an act of cruelty outside the Calgary city limits contact the Alberta SPCA at 1.800.455.9003.
What is Cruelty and Neglect?
The Protection and Investigations Department enforces animal protection laws that pertain to cruelty and neglect.
The Protection and Investigations Department responds to over 2,000 concerns each year involving:
- Lack of adequate shelter
- Lack of adequate food/water
- Abandoned animals
- Beaten/Abused animals
- Pets left in hot vehicles
- Dead animals
- Grooming concerns
- Lack of medical care
- Dirty conditions/Overcrowding
- Emergency calls
How do I Report Animal Abuse?
If you witness an act of animal cruelty or animals being deprived of adequate food, water, shelter or care, you can make a confidential complaint by calling 403-205-4455. If the Humane Society is closed or if your the call is in regards to the poisoning of pet, please call Calgary Police Service at 403-266-1234.
What are the Laws?
Calgary Humane Society Peace Officers enforce two separate pieces of legislation that pertain to animal cruelty and neglect.
The Animal Protection Act of Alberta
This provincial statute outlines that it is an offence to allow your animal to be in distress. The Act defines distress as:
Being deprived of adequate food, water, care or shelter
Injured, sick, in pain, or suffering,
Abused or subjected to undue hardship, privation, or neglect
If found guilty of an offence under the APA, a person may face a fine of up to $20,000 and a lifetime prohibition from owning any animal. Each province has their own Animal Protection Act legislation.
The Criminal Code of Canada
Certain sections of the Criminal Code of Canada relate to animal protection. In the Criminal Code is it is written that “everyone commits an offence who”:
- Wilfully causes, or permits to be caused, unnecessary pain, suffering, or injury to an animal
- Abandons (an animal) or willfully neglects or fails to provide suitable and adequate food, water, shelter or care for it.
If found guilty of such a Criminal Code offence, under an indictable offence a person can be fined up to $10,000 and/or imprisoned for up to 5 years. If found guilty under a summary conviction a person can be fined up to $10,000 and/or imprisonment for up to 18 months. The sentence may also include up to a lifetime prohibition from owning an animal and if found guilty can be ordered to pay restitution.