Animal neglect in New Brunswick reaching ‘record-breaking’ levels in 2024: SPCA – New Brunswick

The New Brunswick SPCA (NBSPCA) is reporting a rising number of animal neglect and cruelty cases throughout the province, with 2024 looking like another record-breaking year for animal rescues.
A release from the NBSPCA in Fredericton says the 15 animal protection officers employed by the NBSPCA responded to 4,000 calls in 2023. Chief animal protection officer Tony Porter says the last four years have seen a 27 per cent increase in animal protection calls.“To date, we are up 149 calls from this point last year, which means 2024 is on track to be even busier,” says Porter in the release.“The last three or four years have put sig­nif­i­cant pres­sure on pet own­ers. They are try­ing to cope with being able to afford hous­ing, gro­ceries and child­care. Some­times, ani­mals are not the top pri­or­i­ty, and they are not being looked after properly.” Story continues below advertisement

New Brunswick residents acquired more pets, particularly dogs, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the release explains.

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Now that many people are back to working in-person, it says the NBSPCA is seeing an increase in calls related to pet abandonment.Last year, the organization received 365 reports of abandoned pets left in New Brunswick homes, apartments or outside, says the release, which is more than double the 141 calls received in 2022.

The release also states that animal welfare calls are becoming more serious in nature, with public complaints of abused animals, inadequate food, water or shelter, and injured animals accounting for more than half of the calls received in 2023.

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Porter said he encourages pet owners to reach out to family, friends, local animal shelters and the NBSPCA if they are having difficulty feeding or caring for their pets.“We want people to reach out to family members to see if they can get any help,” Porter continued.“It may be hard to ask for help, but no one is going to judge them for doing that. We want people to do the right thing for their pets and we’re here to help as much as we can.”He later emphasized in his statement that the NBSPCA is a provincially mandated enforcement unit and people who willfully neglect or abuse their pets will face charges. Story continues below advertisement

According to the release, in 2023 the NBSPCA brought 600 domestic pets to local animal shelters for rehabilitation and eventual rehoming and 53 pets were successfully reunited with their families.

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