To report animals in distress (companion, wildlife, and farm animals), the public should call the BC SPCA Provincial Call Centre at 1-855-622-7722. If it is an emergency and outside of standard operating hours, the local police department or RCMP should be contacted.
The call centre operates seven days per week from: 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The centre is closed on Statutory Holidays.
Investigations & Enforcement
In 2019, Cruelty Investigations program accounted for 13% of the BC SPCA’s organizational spending, approximately $2.5 million per year. The BC SPCA relies on service revenue, fundraising, and donations to operate. There are thirty-four full time officers responsible for investigations. Officers employed by the BC SPCA are appointed as Special Provincial Constables under the Police Act and can enforce provincial and criminal code laws related to animals.
Dr. Holly Tillotson is located in Port Alberni and is working on obtaining certification in veterinary forensic science. Dr. Tillotson works out of Pacific Rim Veterinary Hospital, a private veterinary practice. In addition to her veterinarian practice, Dr. Tillotson assists the BC SPCA in cases of cruelty and neglect and in search and seizures.
The BC SPCA also works with a number of other veterinarians and animal behaviour specialists with forensic experience, including Dr. Rebecca Ledger, Dr. Adrian Walton, Dr. Ken Langelier, and Dr. Karen Harvey.
Alexandra Janse – Crown Counsel
Regional Animal Cruelty Administrative Crown for the Interior and Kootenays.
Has worked on the Animal Cruelty Resource Counsel for British Columbia since 2011.
Has prosecuted more than 100 animal cruelty cases and is a frequent speaker at the Canadian Animal Cruelty Prosecution Conference. In 2016 her presentation was titled “Prosecuting Animal Cruelty – Back to the Basics.”
401-455 Columbia St.
Kamloops, British Columbia V2C 6K4
Rebeka Breder – Animal Lawyer – Vancouver
Founding lawyer at Western Canada’s first law firm to focus exclusively on animal law.
Founded the first Animal Law Section of the Canadian Bar Association.
Founder and current Chair of the Animal Law Section, B.C. Branch.
Sits on the Board of Directors of the Vancouver Humane Society. Cases have included “dangerous” dogs, pet custody, wildlife protection, veterinary malpractice and dog bite issues. Rebeka has presented at the National animal welfare conference.
401 – 73 Water Street
Vancouver, British Columbia V6B 1A1
Monica Fras – Crown Prosecutor
Prosecutor from Kamloops, British Columbia.
Began assisting the animal cruelty prosecutions team in 2014.
Spoke at the Canadian Animal Cruelty Conference in 2016 on animal cruelty prosecutions and The Charter.
Volunteers with animal welfare organizations, including the SPCA and the British Columbia Wildlife Park.
401-455 Columbia St.
Kamloops, British Columbia V2C 6K4
Lesley Ruzicka – Crown Counsel Victoria, BC
Crown Counsel in Victoria. Provides litigation support to prosecutors facing Charter challenges in their cases.
Has spoken at the 2016 National Centre for the Prosecution of Animal Cruelty on animal cruelty prosecutions and The Charter.
940 Blanshard St 3rd Floor
Victoria, BC V8W 3E6
Phone: (250) 387-4481
Victoria Shroff – Animal Lawyer and Adjunct Professor of Animal Law, Shroff & Associates, Vancouver Animal Law Firm
Animal law lawyer with more than twenty years experience and has presented at the National Animal Welfare Conference.
Works with clients in all areas of animal law, including:
- pet/animal liability
- dangerous dog cases
- pet custody
- pet issues in strata and tenancy
- animals in transportation
- service animals, guide dogs, comfort animals, seeing-eye dogs, companion animals, emotional support animals, human rights, discrimination, animals and mental health issues
- lab animal issues
- working animals
- tainted pet food
- cat and dog hoarding
- a serious dog bite or dog attack
- veterinary malpractice
- urban and not-so-urban wildlife
- pet insurance
- horse, pig and bird cases
- breeder cases
- groomer cases
- kennel and boarding cases
- animal advocacy
- animal rights and animal welfare issues.
Human-Animal Wellbeing and Supports
The BC SPCA provides emergency shelter, community outreach, a checkups and medical treatment program, and humane education and advocacy (in addition to animal protection and cruelty investigations services). The organization operates 36 branches that provide sheltering services for displaced animals, three animal hospitals, two spay/neuter clinics, a wildlife rehabilitation centre, a provincial call centre, a provincial office for animal cruelty investigations, and advocacy and education for youth.
Established in 2011, PAWS for Hope Animal Foundation is a registered charity operating in Maple Ridge BC. The organization is governed by a Board of Directors and receives no government funding. The Foundation supports vulnerable people and animals with a program named Roxy’s Relief. The program works with social service agencies in Vancouver, New Westminster and North Vancouver to support homeless and low-income pet guardians by offering free animal health clinics and veterinary assistance and outreach.
In addition to Roxy’s Relief, the Foundation operates the Spay Aid BC, a program inspired by Spay Aid PEI. It partners with veterinary hospitals to provide spay and neuters for low-income earners. PAWS for Hope Animal Foundations also operates seven additional programs, including assisting with emergency funding for animal charities, funding for trap, neuter and return, and educational campaigns.
Registered in 2016, Elder Dogs Canada aims to keep seniors together with their pets as long as possible and volunteers will help provide care and assistance. Free services offered include:
- Support with acquiring food and feeding
- Assistance with animal hygiene and care
- Minor grooming such as nail clipping or help with brushing
- Transportation to and from vet or groomer
- Temporary care during hospitalization
The organization has three locations in BC:
The shelter focuses on providing low-barrier services for homeless individuals by granting beds to those who have pets. Other barriers are considered for individuals, including those experiencing addictions. The shelter is staffed 24/7 with mental health and outreach professionals who also work to find longer-term housing.
The Salvation Army in Prince George accepts pet food as part of its food bank.
The Canbrook Pet Food Bank is a not-for-profit founded in 2016 and provides pet food supplies to the surrounding areas of East Kootenays. It collects and disperses donated pet food, treats, and pet supplies to those in financial need.
The Animal Food Bank services areas from the North Okanagan to South Okanagan-Similkameen region. It transfers supplies to surrounding communities if there is a demonstrated need. The Animal Food Bank does not require proof of income for access. The purpose is to collect and disperse donated pet food to homeless animals, pets with homeless guardians, low-income pet guardians, and pet guardians experiencing financial hardship.
The Regional Animal Protection Society (RAPS) is a registered charity that operates the City of Richmond Animal Shelter and operates an animal food bank. Donations are received from the community, retailers, and wholesalers.