Cruelty Laws

Ontario’s animal welfare sector has been in flux recently. Many people have heard about changes happening and new ones coming January 1, 2020.

Since 1926, the Windsor/ Essex County Humane Society has been protecting animals in our community. For 93 years we have been a haven for homeless or abused animals. Our dedicated team of staff and volunteers have provided exceptional care for animals who need it most.

The WECHS has also remained committed to animal welfare through animal protection and cruelty investigations. In March of this year, the Ontario SPCA decided to withdraw animal protection services and ended its government contract. For years before that, WECHS was subcontracted to provide these protection services locally. In June, the Ontario government launched a new, temporary system to protect animals in Ontario after the OSPCA declined to accept the responsibility any longer. WECHS notified the Solicitor General’s office that we wanted to be part of the solution for animals and we have worked diligently over the last six months to ensure no animals fell through the cracks during this transition.

On January 1, 2020 enforcement powers will revert to the province and new animal protection legislation will come into effect.  On that date, primary responsibility for conducting cruelty and welfare investigations transfers from humane societies like ours to government inspectors.  The WECHS will work with and support the government enforcement team to provide a seamless transition for the future. Our goal remains the same — ensuring no animal falls through the cracks.

In addition to supporting the government enforcement services through sheltering abused animals in need, WECHS will continue to offer all the other services we always have to our local community. We will continue to shelter homeless pets and provide them with care, veterinary treatment, and behaviour rehabilitation. We will continue educating the public about proper care of animals and provide support to the community.  We will also continue to operate our low-cost spay-neuter veterinary clinic. We remain committed to working with government inspectors and local police to ensure animals remain protected.

It is important for the general public to know and understand that when they support the Windsor/ Essex County Humane Society with their donations, those funds make a difference in our community — Windsor and Essex County.  For 93 years our community has supported our work saving lives. Our commitment to animals and animal welfare in our community will continue.

Members of the public who wish to report an animal that they suspect is being neglected or abused are asked to make a report to the government enforcement service at 1-833-9-ANIMAL (264625).