Report Cruelty

Report suspected abuse or neglect of animals in Windsor or Essex County

We investigate every complaint that is received.  You may make an anonymous complaint, however if we are unable to locate the situation or require more information and cannot contact you, the complaint may not be able to be addressed.  

Please send an email with your concerns to investigations@windsorhumane.org.  Please include the nature of your concern, the name and address (if available) of the owner, and any other information that many assist our investigators.  All complaints will be kept confidential, and the person being investigated will not be told who contacted us.

You can also notify the Windsor/Essex County Humane Society by phone at 519-966-5751.  To reach our investigators, dial ext 16.  Please note that you will most likely have to leave a message at this extension, as our officers are normally out on the road investigating complaints and helping animals.  Please ensure that you leave a detailed message with the address you are concerned about, as well as your phone number to allow us to call you back with any questions.  

We investigate all concerns received, but don’t routinely contact complainants back with updates.  However, you are welcome to call or email for an update and we may be able to provide you with a brief outline of the outcome of the investigations. To receive an update please email investigations@windsorhumane.org with the address of the concern as well as your name and phone number.  Due to privacy and legal issues we are not able to provide you with all the details of an investigation.

We are obligated to treat each complaint as serious. As investigators, we are legally required to issue specific notices and give the owner of the animal an opportunity to rectify the situation. Under provincial law, we have the authority to order the owner of the animal to provide veterinary care, food, or water, and if it is not provided within a reasonable time frame, to remove the animal and provide the required veterinary or other care at the owner’s expense.

The current legislation is problematic in that it is either restrictive or weak when it comes to prosecuting animal cruelty complaints. Although the provincial animal welfare laws have been improved they are still weak in some areas, and the federal (Criminal Code) animal cruelty provisions are desperately out of date and in need of improvement.  We are pleased that the government is currently reviewing the provincial law and planning updates in the near future.

Inspectors are empowered to alleviate distress of animals, however, it is also vital that we protect the owner’s legal rights during any investigation.  All persons are assumed innocent until proven guilty of committing a crime. That crime must be proven in a court of law and is based on concrete evidence gathered during the investigation.

Taking matters into your own hands may be illegal and very often may make it impossible for us to hold the owner of the animal responsible.  The evidence required to take legal action may be contaminated or no longer available or the owner’s rights may have been ignored which would cause a case to be thrown out of court.

Anyone who becomes aware of animal cruelty, abuse or neglect is asked to notify the Windsor/Essex County Humane Society at 519-966-5751 or e-mail investigations@windsorhumane.org.  For a situation of immediate physical abuse (for example, someone is on the street kicking their dog) please call local police if you are not able to immediately reach us.  Animal welfare concerns can be reported to our investigations department at 519-966-5751, ext 0 (main line) or ext 16 (investigations line). After hours, please leave a voice message or follow prompts to reach our emergency after hours officer.

Province-wide, you can report animal welfare concerns to 1-833-9ANIMAL and they will be directed to the appropriate agency in that area.

If you have a concern about the conduct of a cruelty investigation, or about our organization’s delivery of these investigations services on behalf of the government of Ontario, please contact our Executive Director at melanie@windsorhumane.org. Please include details of the complaint, as well as the nature of your concerns about the investigations. All reports will be reviewed and you will receive an update on the response to your concern within 10 days.