Animal Welfare - The OSPCA

The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) Act and regulations authorize the OSPCA to enforce animal welfare laws in Ontario.

With support from the Province of Ontario, the OSPCA has strengthened animal protection through:

  • Improved province-wide coverage, including enhanced responsiveness to animal welfare complaints from rural and northern communities;
  • A 24-7 call centre to ensure effective response to calls from anywhere in the province;
  • A team of specially trained investigators whose responsibilities include cracking down on puppy and kitten mills;
  • Expanded specialized livestock training for investigators in the agricultural sector;
  • Regular inspections of zoos and aquariums to ensure the health and safety of animals, and a registry of those facilities to support the inspection process.

The OSPCA is an independent, charitable organization that receives annual funding from the province to support its enforcement of animal welfare laws.

Visit the OSPCA website to read more about the organization’s roles and responsibilities.

Other components of the OSPCA Act:

  • Creates standards of care applicable to all animals.
  • Requires veterinarians to report suspected animal abuse or neglect.
  • Clarifies that, in the event of a conflict between the OSPCA Act and a municipal by-law, whichever provision affords the greatest protection takes precedence.
  • Gives the OSPCA the authority to inspect premises where animals are kept for the purposes of exhibit, entertainment, boarding, hire or sale.
  • Identifies the adult responsible where a minor is the owner or custodian of an animal.
  • Establishes how penalties may apply to a corporation and its directors and officers.