ANIMAL cruelty is a crime, no matter whether the victim is a pet, a farm animal, or a service animal. People who are close to animal abusers often know about it, but are reluctant to report a friend, neighbour or family member, says Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers.
And it is urging anyone with any information about animals being abused to report it anonymously on its tip lines (1-800-222-8477 or 1-855-448-8477), on Crime Stoppers’ “P3” anonymous crime reporting app, or online at solvecrime.ca. When reporting your tip on the P3 app, “Animal Cruelty” is one of the many offenses found in the list of reportable crimes.
The information will be passed to the BC SPCA which is the sole animal welfare organization authorized under BC’s Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act to investigate reports of animal cruelty with the same autonomy as the police.
Animal cruelty usually results from:
* Neglect – the failure to provide an animal with the most basic of requirements: food, water, shelter and veterinary care. Neglect may be due to unintentional ignorance on the animal owner’s part. The owner is typically required to correct the situation.
* Intentional cruelty – when an individual purposely inflicts physical harm or injury on an animal. This may include maiming, torturing or killing animals, dog and cock fighting, and deliberate denial of basic necessities of care such as fresh water and food or shelter.
“Every year, our Cruelty Investigations Department conducts more than 8,000 animal cruelty investigations,” says Shawn Eccles, Senior Manager of Cruelty Investigations for BC SPCA. “Our 30 full-time Special Provincial Constables are trained to carry out these investigations, care for animals in distress and recommend charges to Crown Counsel for the prosecution of those who inflict suffering on animals. If anyone wants to report animal abuse and remain anonymous, we urge them to provide the information to Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers”.
“Crime Stoppers collects anonymous tips 24/7 on any crime and passes it to the relevant authority responsible for investigating them,” says Linda Annis, Executive Director of Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers. “We certainly welcome any anonymous tips about animal cruelty and will pass them directly to the BC SPCA. Your anonymity is guaranteed, you won’t be called back, you will not be asked to go to court, and you may be eligible for a cash award of up to $5,000.”
The “Dog” Days are here
With the arrival of warmer summer weather, the BC SPCA also warns pet owners not to leave pets locked up in vehicles. Anyone witnessing an animal in distress from the heat should consider it an emergency and is urged to report it directly to local police or the BC SPCA.