Poisonings, shootings, hangings. It seems that almost every day, another news story reports on another instance of human violence against animals. Besides the sheer cruelty of these acts, The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) knows that society should be concerned because there is a correlation between animal cruelty and violence against people. it is these types of crimes involving animals that were responsible for The Humane Society of Canada creating the Victims of Cruelty program.
The Animal Cruelty Reward fund offers $1,000 or more for information leading to the arrest and convictino of animal abusers. This is operated in conjunction with our Victims of Cruelty Fund which provides assistance for emergency veterinary medical care for animals which have been the target of animal abusers.
“Cruelty to animals is a criminal offence,” says Michael O’Sullivan, Chairman & CEO of the Humane Society of Canada. “Recent changes to the Canadian Criminal Code mean that offenders face maximum penalties of up to 5 years in prison for indictable offences and for summary convictions - fines of up to $10,000 and up to eighteen months in jail. In addition to the criminal record and fines, the person convicted can also be prohibited from owning, having the custody or control of or residing in the same premises as an animal or a bird for any period that the court considers appropriate but, in the case of a second or subsequent offence, for a minimum of five years. Damages may be awarded by the court to the person or organization that had to pay for the care of the animal as a result of the offence.” Penalties include fines, jail terms, seizure of equipment, firearms, and an order prohibiting a convicted offender of working with or owning animals. Having a criminal record results in difficulties when trying to travel to other countries or when applying for jobs and volunteer positions.
In addition to federal laws, people can also be charged under provincial animal welfare laws, in addition to wildlife and hunting laws depending on the type of case.
The Humane Society of Canada also typically asks the court to bar any of those found guilty from owning or working with animals, and also ask the courts in cases where guns are involved to force those convicted to surrender all firearms, and ban them from owning firearms, for as long as the law will allow and if two people or more planned the shooting, to charge them with criminal conspiracy.
In the past, rewards offered by The Humane Society of Canada have led to breaks in cases involving cruelty to animals and the organization hopes that it can encourage people to come forward with information.
Anyone who would like to donate to The Humane Society of Canada’s Victims of Cruelty Reward Program to help solve crimes against animals and nature can contact the organization at 1-800-641-5463 or through their website at www.humanesociety.com.
Animal Cruelty Reward Fund cases:
2006: Donkey Shot in Ontario