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Animals rescued by OSPCA doubles in five years

Newmarket, ON – The Ontario SPCA is alarmed by the steady, significant increases in its investigations statistics. Among the most disturbing is that the number of animals rescued by investigators more than doubled between 2000 and 2004 – with 3,095 animals rescued in 2000 and 7,267 rescued in 2004. Also alarming is that the number of animal cruelty charges laid by the Ontario SPCA and its affiliated humane societies under the Criminal Code of Canada and provincial legislation increased seven-fold between 2000 and 2004 – 97 and 695 charges, respectively.

“The majority of cases we prosecute involve neglect – often severe neglect – of individual animals,” says Ontario SPCA Chief Inspector Michael Draper. “But more and more we are seeing cases involving large numbers of animals. This past year alone included: 80 seriously neglected golden retrievers removed in Lanark County; 60 Labrador retrievers rescued from the Quinte area; 50 dead farm animals found on a property in the Town of Georgina; 31 abandoned horses removed from a farm in Peel Region; and 27 cats rescued from a St. Thomas residence – just to name a few.”

Other statistics compiled by the Society are also showing significant increases: the number of search warrants executed have more than quadrupled in the last five years and the number of Orders issued (requiring improvements in care or medical treatment, for example) has almost tripled in the same time period.

“We don’t know for sure if these statistics mean that animal cruelty is on the rise, or if people are just more comfortable reporting abuse because of high profile cases in the media over the last several years. But the bottom line is that there is an overwhelming need for animal protection, care and sheltering in this province,” says Draper. “It is a constant struggle to keep up with the need.”

The Ontario SPCA is a charitable organization mandated by legislation to enforce animal cruelty and welfare law in Ontario. The majority of the work of saving animals’ lives is made possible by the wonderful support of donors and fundraising initiatives. “We are extremely appreciative of this support and need it more than ever,” says Draper.

To help the animals make a donation by calling 1-888-ONT-SPCA (668-7722) extension 322, visit www.ospca.on.ca and click on “Donate Now,” or contact your local Ontario SPCA branch or humane society.

To report suspected animal abuse call the Ontario SPCA at 1-888-ONT-SPCA (668-7722) extension 1, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), your local Ontario SPCA branch or affiliated humane society, or police.

For media enquiries, please call: Mike Draper, Ontario SPCA Chief Inspector at 1-888-ONT-SPCA (668-7722) extension 317. You can reach him by electronic mail at: mdraper@ospca.on.ca.

A word about the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Ontario SPCA): The Ontario SPCA, with 27 Branches and 31 affiliated humane societies and SPCA’s, is unique amongst animal welfare organizations in Ontario: the Ontario SPCA Act mandates the Society to enforce animal cruelty laws and provides Society investigators with police powers to do so. The Society is a registered charity, relying on donations to fund animal protection, care and rehabilitation for all animals, government and industry advocacy and public education. The Ontario SPCA is a member of the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies (CFHS) and is affiliated with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA). Charitable Business Number 88969 1044 RR0002.

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