One of the most important ways to help fight animal cruelty is by staying informed.

Read the documentation below to learn more about what you can do.


One of the most important ways to help fight animal cruelty is by staying informed. Read the documentation below to learn more about what you can do.

Animal protection





Animal Protection

Make a meaningful difference.

Animal Protection

Make a meaningful difference.

Report Animal Cruelty:

Each of us has the power to make a meaningful difference in the lives of neglected and abused animals. By reporting cases of suspected or known animal cruelty and neglect, you are offering defenseless animals protection and a second chance. You may also be helping other current and future victims. Knowledge and your voice are two of the most powerful tools you can use to stop animal cruelty. By educating yourself about animal cruelty, including understanding common signs of abuse, animal cruelty laws, and ways you can protect your own pet, you can play a key role in the promotion of animal welfare and the prevention of animal cruelty.

All complaints of suspected or known animal cruelty and neglect should be reported to the NBSPCA hotline at 1 (877) 722-1522. This hotline is open 24/7. Help the investigating officer by providing as many details as possible, including a description of the animal involved, the type of cruelty witnessed, the date of the incident, where it took place, and who was involved. All information remains confidential, including the person who made the complaint.


The New Brunswick SPCA maintains a staff of both full time and part time Animal Protection Officers and Inspectors who investigate allegations of animal cruelty and neglect. Animal Protection Officers have the same authority as police officers when enforcing legislation, particularly the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (1997, C.27, S.1) and the Criminal Code of Canada.

The NBSPCA Animal Protection Officers provide frontline protection for animals across New Brunswick by responding to nearly 4,000 animal cruelty and neglect complaints each year. Actions taken after investigating a call are progressive, from providing education initially, to issuing a compliance notice, to seizing an animal, to laying charges where circumstances warrant.

Court Process:

Below is each step of the court process for an NBSPCA Animal Protection Officer in prosecuting an animal neglect or cruelty charge:
Collecting the Evidence: When a New Brunswick SPCA Animal Protection Officer receives a complaint that an animal is being neglected or abused; he or she sets out to examine the situation and if necessary, relieve the animal of its distress. An investigation may involve having to obtain an Entry Warrant to enter the premises and the Animal Protection Officer must proceed only as authorized by the legislation. When the Animal Protection Officer has sufficient evidence to pursue a charge under the NB SPCA Act, or the Criminal Code of Canada, he or she must present the evidence (in the form of a Crown Brief) to a Crown Prosecutor.
Laying the Charge: The Crown Prosecutor will decide whether there is sufficient evidence to warrant laying a charge. Once a charge is laid, the accused is served with a Summons to appear in court to enter a plea.
In the Courts: At the first appearance date, the accused enters a plea of “guilty” or “not guilty”. The court may set the matter down to a future date to allow the accused more time to consult with a lawyer. If the accused enters a guilty plea, details of the offence will be presented to the judge and he or she will impose a sentence. If the accused chooses to enter a “not guilty” plea, a date will be set for a trial, at which time witnesses will be subpoenaed to provide their evidence to the court. After all evidence has been presented by the Crown Prosecutor and the Defence Attorney, the judge will determine whether there is sufficient evidence to convict the accused of the charge laid. If the accused is found guilty, the judge will impose a sentence.
Sentencing: Under The New Brunswick SPCA Act, minimum fines start at $140, and depending on the offense, can go as high as $200,000. A conviction under the Criminal Code may result in a fine, or a fine and a term of imprisonment, depending on the severity of the offence. A judge may also decide to prohibit that person from owning animals for a defined period or for life. A Prohibition Order imposed as a result of a charge under the NB SPCA Act is only applicable within the province of New Brunswick.
The Animal(s): The New Brunswick SPCA gets authority to act under Provincial legislation. Animals may be seized by Animal Protection Officers where grounds exist. An Animal Protection Officer can also issue a compliance order to an owner where there is a disregard for the standards of care relating to the animal.

FAQs: Animal Protection

What is considered animal cruelty and neglect?
Neglect is the failure to provide adequate water, food, shelter, and necessary care. Examples of neglect include: starvation, dehydration, inadequate shelter, parasite infestations, failure to seek veterinary care when an animal is in need of medical attention, allowing a collar to grow into an animal’s skin, confinement without adequate light, ventilation, space, unsanitary conditions, and failure to trim hooves or nails resulting in excessive growth. In some cases, neglect is a result of the owner’s ignorance.

Cruelty and abuse involve deliberate physical harm or injury inflicted on an animal, such as beating or poisoning an animal.

The following may be signs of neglect or cruelty:

Wounds on the body.
Severely overgrown nails (often curling under) or hooves (often curling upwards).
Patches of missing hair.
Extremely thin, starving animals with ribs or backbone protruding.
Infected eyes that have been left untreated.
Animals who are repeatedly left alone without food and water, either inside a residence or in a yard.
Animals who have been hit by cars and have not received veterinary attention.
Animals who are kept outside without shelter in extreme weather conditions.
An owner kicking, hitting or otherwise physically abusing an animal.
Severe flea or tick infestations left untreated.
Animals left in a car on a hot day.
Animals crammed into tiny cages in overcrowded conditions.
Abandonment (often when pet owners move)
Animals kept in dirty conditions including being forced to stand in their own urine and excrement.
Swellings, such as tumours or abscesses, left untreated.
Inhumane euthanasia.

I’ve made a complaint, will an officer contact me and tell me what he or she found?
Due to privacy laws in New Brunswick, the office cannot provide certain information but will give you a follow-up call and a brief update.
What happens to animals that are taken into the NBSPCA’s care?
When an animal is taken into care by an Animal Protection Officer it is given immediate veterinary care (if required), and then taken to a partner SPCA shelter. These animals are in the care of the NBSPCA anywhere from 48 hours to 15 days, depending on the case. During this holding period, the NBSPCA covers all costs related to the animal’s housing, feeding, and medical care. Once the holding period is up, the owner is required to pay associated bills. If the bills are not paid, the animals become the property of the NBSPCA and are released to a shelter to be adopted. If owners do pay associated bills, they may or may not get their animals back, depending on the case and whether charges are applicable.
What is the difference between an animal protection officer and other volunteer rescuers?
After passing an exam, Animal Protection Officers are appointed by the Minister of Environment and Local Government under the SPCA Act. They are the only people in the province, other than police officers, with the powers to enforce animal cruelty laws. Volunteer rescuers, rescue groups, shelter workers, and animal control officers do not have these powers.
Do officers investigate all complaints made?
Yes. Every complaint that comes in from the hotline is investigated by the officer in that specific area.

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Rural Dogs

Have you lost your dog or would you like to report a stray or nuisance dog? Read on below!

Rural Dogs

Have you lost your dog or would you like to report a stray or nuisance dog? Read on below!

Rural Dog Control:

The New Brunswick SPCA is responsible under contact with the NB Provincial Government for dog control in the rural areas and Local Service Districts of the province.

If you live in a Local Service District, call our province-wide number, 1 (877) 722-1522, for help with problems like:


  • Stray dogs running at large
  • Nuisance dogs
  • Dog attacks on people or animals

Have you lost your dog?

Do you live in a Local Service District?
Do you want to know if it has been picked up by a rural Dog Constable?

Rural Dog constables post notices of all dogs picked up running at large on the NBSPCA Facebook page.

Reporting Dog Control Issues:

The New Brunswick SPCA is responsible under contract with the Provincial Government for dog control in the rural areas of the province.

Dog control problems such as stray dogs, barking dogs, dog bites, etc., can be reported to the NBSPCA 24/7 at 1 (877) 722-1522.

Whenever possible, please provide a description of the dog and the address of the owner.

ID Your Pet:

All dogs in the province of New Brunswick are required by law to be registered and wear a dog tag. It’s crucial for your pet to have identification so they can be returned if they get lost.
Please note: When a Dog Control Officer picks up a stray dog with no tag it is immediately brought to a shelter. If a microchip is found in the dog the owners are contacted but must pay applicable fines and boarding fees for the dog, as well as purchase a tag.

FAQs: Rural Dog Control

What is considered a dog control issue?
Stray dogs, dogs running at large, nuisance barking, and dog bites are all issues dealt with by NBSPCA Dog Control Officers.
What should I do if my dog is lost?
If your dog becomes lost, you should check the NBSPCA Facebook page and/or call your local SPCA shelter. Be prepared to provide a detailed description of your dog along with the area in which it was lost.
What happens to a stray dog picked up by the NBSPCA?
When a stray dog is picked up and the owners are unknown, the dog is provided with immediate veterinary care (if needed), then housed at a partner SPCA shelter or kennel. Rural Dog Control Officers post notices of all dogs picked up running at large on our Facebook page. Under the Provincial Dog Regulations, if the dog is not claimed within 72 hours the dog becomes the property of the NBSPCA. We are fortunate to have partnerships with the local SPCA shelters and generally, the dogs are turned over to them for adoption.

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Pet Establishments

Read about all the regulations you need to follow to properly run a pet establishment.

Pet Establishments

Read about all the regulations you need to follow to properly run a pet establishment.

License Application:

All establishments in New Brunswick that breed or board for consideration are required to undergo an annual inspection and obtain a Pet Establishment License (PEL) through the province of New Brunswick.

To apply for your license or license renewal, please complete the following form below. You can also download the PDF version of the Pet Establishment Licensing application below and fax it to 506-458-8209 or mail it to the NBSPCA at following address:

P.O. Box 1412, Station A
Fredericton, NB
E3B 5E3

Please note: The PEL applies to the premises stated on the licence, not to the business or business-owner. The PEL is not an endorsement of any particular business or individual. Pursuant to s.15 of the Pet Establishment Regulation, NB Reg 2010-74, all advertisements for pet establishments must include the name and the licence number of the pet establishment. However, no business or individual is authorized to represent to the public that a PEL reflects an endorsement or recommendation by the NBSPCA.
If you have any questions about the application process, please contact us.


What New Brunswick Pet Establishments need to be licensed?
Operators of pet establishments (kennels, pet retail stores, and animal shelters) across New Brunswick are required to obtain a license under the Pet Establishment Regulation. The Regulation also specifies standards of animal care for these establishments.
Established for the protection of animals, the Regulation is overseen and enforced by the New Brunswick Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NBSPCA).
Code of Practice for Kennel Operations:
Like the Codes of Practice developed by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Humane Canada, the CVMA and those associated with the livestock industry, this Code of Practice for the care, management, and breeding of dogs is an educational tool by dog breeders, members of the general public acquiring dogs, animal welfare groups, and as a standard by those interested in the promotion of quality care, management, and welfare practices.

FAQs: Pet Establishments

What is a pet establishment licence and why do I need one?
A pet establishment licence is a certificate issued by the province of New Brunswick after a facility has passed an inspection by the NBSPCA. The licence has a number specific to you that must be used when advertising litters of puppies for sale. In accordance with Section 23(1) of the New Brunswick SPCA Act, a person who operates a pet establishment without a licence commits an offence, and may be charged.
Who needs a pet establishment licence?
Currently, animal shelters, boarding kennels, doggy daycares, breeders, and pet retail stores all require pet establishment licences.
How do I get a pet establishment licence?
Applications for pet establishment licences can be found on the NBSPCA website and submitted online. A paper copy of the application can be mailed to you if you do not have Internet access. Once the application is received and payment has been made, an Animal Protection Officer will work with you to schedule your inspection.
How much does a licence cost?
Pet establishment licences cost $250 per year for breeders, boarding kennels, daycares, and pet retail stores. A licence for a shelter costs $100 per year. When a licence is issued it is valid for one year.
What happens during an inspection?
An Animal Protection Officer will attend your facility at an agreed time and date. There are different requirements for in-home breeders, pet retail stores, kennels, and shelters. The APO will go through checklists with you and work with you to improve any deficiencies. Upon passing your inspection an official licence will be issued and mailed to you. You must display it in your facility.
Where does my licence number need to be posted?
Licence numbers must be posted on all advertising materials, such as business cards, flyers, Kijiji ads, etc. Your official licence must be prominently displayed in your facility.
What is the purpose of pet establishment licences?
Pet establishment licensing ensures that all dogs and animals are kept and brought up in a clean and healthy environment. It also ensures that breeders and owners all comply with a certain standard of care. Pet establishment licensing is not intended to provide assurance about the quality of an individual animal offered for sale by a pet establishment or about an individual animal’s conformity to breed standards or registration requirements.

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Education and Special Projects

Education and Special Projects

Kibble Food Bank Network:

Spearheaded by the late Vanessa Packman who was an avid volunteer and former Board Member of the NBSPCA, the Kibble Pet Food Bank Network provides emergency food and supplies to pet parents during times of need.

Cat and dog guardians facing unemployment, fire, flooding or other emergencies are welcome to apply for help. Eligible owners are able to receive pet food and other supplies to help provide for their pet during these situations. The service helps pet parents keep their animals in challenging times while reducing the number of pets surrendered to SPCA shelters.

Please contact your local SPCA shelter if you are a pet owner in need, or if you wish to make a food or monetary donation to help feed others.

Rover Kit:

Get the right help right away! The NBSPCA Rover Kit helps you find fun and emergency Maritime animal resources quickly and easily. Animal venues in Atlantic Canada are listed here.

Note: This map link is provided for your information only. The NBSPCA does not endorse any of the businesses or groups listed here (with the exception of all SPCA shelters)

Recommended resource: Pet First Aid App (Canadian Red Cross)

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More to come…

“An animal’s eyes have the power to speak a great language.”

- Martin Buber

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