Animal Protection Line


Defining Distress

Alberta SPCA Peace Officers enforce the Animal Protection Act (APA) which makes it an offence to permit an animal to be in distress, however, Albertans may have a their own perceptions of what distress is. Our team must follow the language of the APA when making their decisions on how to deal with an animal that may be suffering.

The Animal Protection Act

The Act states that an animal is in distress if it is 
(a) deprived of adequate shelter, ventilation, space, food, water or veterinary care or reasonable protection from injurious heat or cold
(b) injured, sick, in pain or suffering, or 
(c) abused and subjected to undue hardship, privation or neglect.

Animal Care Duties

The Act delineates the duties that must be carried out by anyone who owns or looks after an animal – i.e., they must:

(a) ensure that the animal has adequate food and water, 
(b) provide the animal with adequate care when the animal is wounded or ill, 
(c) provide the animal with reasonable protection from injurious heat or cold, and 
(d) provide the animal with adequate shelter, ventilation and space.

Peace Officer Stevenson with Valour, a horse she helped save in 2017

Peace Officer Karen Stevenson joined the Alberta SPCA in August of 2014. She has extensive knowledge of all domestic animals, and is also a registered veterinary technician

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