Ministry of the
Solicitor General

Responding to Animals Left in Motor Vehicles Training E-Module

Communiqué du commissaire des incendies


Communiqué 2021-06

July 8 2021

Ontario’s Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act, 2019 (PAWS Act) came into effect on January 1, 2020 and allows police, First Nations constables and provincial animal welfare inspectors to enter motor vehicles to remove animals in critical distress. In accordance with the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997 (FPPA), municipal councils set the levels of fire protection services which may include the rescue of animals in motor vehicles. The FPPA provides authority for firefighters to enter motor vehicles to rescue and remove animals in distress.

To support firefighters in exercising this rescue function, the Ministry of the Solicitor General has developed a new voluntary, training e-module for fire services on responding to animals left in motor vehicles. The training e-module is available at the following link:  If prompted, users should log in as a guest.  

The module includes information related to:

  • The risks of an animal being left in a motor vehicle, and where the ministry directs the public to report these incidents;
  • Authorities and protections under the FPPA related to rescuing animals left in motor vehicles;
  • How to assess whether an animal in a motor vehicle is in distress, guidance on handling of the animal and immediate steps that can be taken to relieve the animal’s distress; and,
  • Who to contact when an animal has been removed from a motor vehicle.

In addition to this Communiqué, a letter is being sent to municipal councils and a copy of this Communiqué is attached to that letter.

For further information, please contact your local Fire Protection Adviser.