After the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) ceased their animal cruelty enforcement services in the province of Ontario on Friday, June 28, 2019, a “significant hole” was left in animal welfare, according to Kingston Humane Society (KHS) Executive Director Gord Hunter.
“We’re now dependent on municipal police forces, OPP, and other law enforcement agencies to oversee animal welfare,” said Hunter. “They’re already overworked and under resourced, as many municipal law enforcement organizations are.”
When the province changed laws to allow for a chief inspector to be appointed by the Solicitor General’s office, KHS was able to apply and receive funding to hire an interim animal welfare enforcement agent.
Hunter said that, while the animal welfare enforcement business was not something KHS had ever wanted to get into, “We knew that animals were going to suffer, we knew they wouldn’t get attended to in a short period of time like they would if somebody was specifically just responsible for animal welfare.”
Hunter went on to describe the dedication of his fellow staff members, stating that “the men and women that work here, 28 full- and part-timers, they’re the most committed people I’ve ever come across in terms of their care for animals.”
Until Tuesday, December 31, 2019, the KHS animal welfare enforcement agent will be able to respond to animal welfare concerns in the area.
The animal welfare enforcement agent will also have a new, specialized tool for responding to calls of pets left in hot vehicles. The “Flow of Life” kit, which transfers air conditioning from one vehicle to the vehicle in which a pet has been left, gives KHS the ability to temporarily alleviate a pet’s suffering while waiting for police to arrive.
“Some people think that if they leave a window open a crack, that its fine to leave a pet in the car,” Hunter said. “It’s not. The temperature in those vehicles can raise very high, very quickly.”
Hunter demonstrated the “Flow of Life” kit on two of the KHS vans. By hooking up a tube to the air conditioning vent of one van and threading the flexible end of the tube into the cracked window of the other van, the device was able to blow cold air onto canine volunteer Horace.
The kit also came with special shields that goes over the windows to deflect heat, as well as a specialized funnel through which they can provide the dog inside, in this case, Horace, with a bowl of water.
Horace, a six year old husky mix, is available for adoption at the KHS. He is part of the “VIP member program” and has a reduced adoption fee.
To inquire about adopting, fostering, or sponsoring Horace or other pets, apply on the Kingston Humane Society website at https://kingstonhumanesociety.ca or visit them at 1 Binnington Court between 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends.
To report animal abuse or cruelty, please call the 24-hour Ontario Protection Call Centre at 1-833-9ANIMAL.