Animal Protection Officers could face an even heavier workload under the new animal cruelty legislation, according to the Saskatchewan SPCA.

“The job of an Animal Protection Officer is demanding and potentially dangerous,” Frances Wach, executive director of the Sask. SPCA, said in a news release, adding that she is pleased with the intent of the new legislation.

“In order for animal protection legislation to be truly effective, all APOs must be provided with the resources they need to do their job properly, including consistent, ongoing training.”

Animal Protection Officers, which include RCMP and municipal police, have the authority to investigate reports of suspected animal neglect or abuse. Under the new rules, APOs have the ability to inspect a broader range of animal care facilities.

The SPCA also notes other improvements in the Animal Protection Act and Regulations, which was proclaimed in September:

  • More clarity about what constitutes an acceptable level of animal care
  • Updates to the list of codes and guidelines for the care of livestock and companion animals
  • Animal Protection Orders can be issued, outlining specific actions owners must take to improve the care of their animals
  • The definition of an “abandoned animal” has been expanded
  • Increased fines for individuals convicted of repeat animal cruelty offenses
  • Veterinarians are now required by law to report situations of suspected animal cruelty