FREDERICTON (GNB) – April is Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month, and New Brunswickers are reminded of the importance of ensuring animals are safe from abuse and neglect.

Local Government and Local Governance Reform Minister Daniel Allain said New Brunswick has strong animal protection laws that are effectively enforced throughout the province by the New Brunswick Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).

“We know how important pets are in our everyday lives, and that is why we continue to strengthen our animal protection laws,” said Allain. “We all have a role to play, from New Brunswickers who report animal cruelty, to the animal protection officers who investigate and take appropriate actions to handle these cases. We thank the society for its continued efforts to ensure that abuse and neglect cases are investigated, and that appropriate actions are taken.”

More than 58 per cent of Canadian households reported owning at least one dog or cat in a 2020 survey conducted by the Canadian Animal Health Institute.

The New Brunswick SPCA has been providing animal protection services since 1881. It enforces the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and provides inspection and licensing of pet establishments, as well as the new certificate of health, which is required for all cats and dogs sold in the province.

“In 2021 alone, officers investigated more than 2,000 complaints of animal cruelty in New Brunswick,” said New Brunswick SPCA board president Robert Hunt. “This is a difficult but incredibly important job that helps to keep animals safe.”

The society works closely with other law enforcement agencies, veterinarians, Crown prosecutors and 13 independent local animal shelters. Its officers take neglected or abused animals to shelters, which then work to rehabilitate the animals and find them permanent homes.

“The New Brunswick SPCA and its officers are integral to ensuring that animals in New Brunswick are protected and taken to safety when the situation arises,” said Oromocto SPCA general manager Tracy Marcotullio. “We are incredibly proud to be a part of this important team. Our staff work closely with the officers, no matter the time of day or night.”

To report suspected abuse or neglect of domestic animals, call the New Brunswick SPCA’s toll-free line: 1-877-722-1522.