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Guelph Humane Society to enforce animal protection laws only until June 28

OSPCA to back away from enforcing animal cruelty laws
WATCH: Ontario's animal welfare agency says enforcement will no longer be their mandate. The agency cites a number of reasons including a lack of resources and concern for the safety of their officers.

The Guelph Humane Society says it will continue to enforce animal welfare laws for only another three months.

This comes after an agreement between the Ontario SPCA, whose contract expired last week, and the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services.

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Under the current framework, OSPCA agents in Guelph and Wellington County are employed through the Guelph Humane Society.

The government had asked the OSPCA to carry on its duties until new legislation is introduced, but the organization said it would not enforce laws past June 28.

Their policing powers came into question in January when an Ontario court found those powers to be unconstitutional.

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The OSPCA is expected to shift into a support role in animal cruelty investigations while providing shelter and veterinary services.

The Guelph Humane Society said they’re concerned about the future of animal cruelty enforcement and the uncertainty about new legislation, which isn’t expected until January 2020.

After June 28, the responsibility of enforcing relevant laws would fall directly on local police services until changes are made at the provincial levels.

“We’re working closely with our community partners, including Guelph police and Wellington County OPP, to continue protecting all animals,” said executive director Adrienne McBride.

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A Guelph police spokesperson said they’re expecting an increase in animal cruelty calls, but they are still trying to determine what the impact will be.

The Humane Society said concerns about an animal’s welfare should still be directed to them at 519-824-3091.