FREDERICTON (GNB) – The Department of Environment and Local Government is increasing the annual funding allocated to the New Brunswick SPCA by $500,000.

“We know how important animal welfare is for New Brunswickers,” said Local Government and Local Governance Reform Minister Daniel Allain. “That’s why we must make sure we have the tools to keep animals safe and healthy by combating abuse and neglect.”

The annual grant increased from $100,000 to $600,000 to assist in fulfilling the group’s legislative requirements to enforce the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

When someone reports a potential case of animal abuse or neglect, it is investigated by the enforcement staff at the SPCA. Animal cruelty complaints have increased by nearly 20 per cent over the past two years. The increased funding will help address ongoing operational cost pressures such as investigations, enforcement, follow-ups, and salaries for staff and animal protection officers.

“This is a very important increase to our animal protection services, year in and year out, which will allow us to continue to provide a high level of professional animal protection service across the province,” said Lesley Rogers, executive director of the New Brunswick SPCA. “Animal welfare is at the heart of everything we do and this substantial increase in provincial core funding will provide a strong foundation for us to deal with the increased volume and complexity of complaints we have been receiving.”

While the Department of Environment and Local Government has no purview over operational issues or board governance, it is in regular communication with the New Brunswick SPCA when stakeholder concerns are brought forward.

New Brunswick is also the only province that licenses pet establishments, which includes breeders, pet stores, overnight dog boarding facilities and animal shelters. This process acts as the first level of animal protection for dogs, cats and other pets. All establishments are inspected yearly by the SPCA. This ensures that pets are bred and raised in a safe and healthy environment.

The provincial government further strengthened the General Regulation for the act in January 2021 to mandate that a Veterinary Certificate of Health be required for all cats or dogs being sold in New Brunswick. This ensures that the animal’s state of health has been recorded. The New Brunswick SPCA Code of Practice for the Care of Dogs was also added to the regulation, providing animal protection officers with another important tool in investigations.

To report a suspected case of animal abuse or neglect, call 1-877-722-1522.