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Animal Cruelty

Concerns for animal health and welfare should be reported to Provincial Animal Welfare Services (AWS), a branch of the Ministry of the Solicitor General, at 1-833-9ANIMAL (264625).

Reporting Animal Cruelty, Abandonment or Neglect


The Ontario Government now provides animal protection services in Ontario. To report a concern, please call their 24/7 hotline at 1-833-9ANIMAL (926-4625).

Animal Welfare Services (AWS) within the Ministry of the Solicitor General is responsible for enforcing the Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act.

The chief animal welfare inspector and provincial animal welfare inspectors, including inspectors with specialized expertise in livestock, zoos, aquariums, and equines, provide enforcement across Ontario. They carry out inspections, respond to concerns, conduct investigations, as well as provide outreach and education on animal care best practices. Provincial inspectors also follow a standard code of conduct.

Calls made to AWS are received through the Ontario Animal Protection Call Centre (OAPCC) at 1-833-9-ANIMAL , available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

About the Provincial Animal Welfare Services (PAWS) Act

New animal welfare legislation came into effect in late 2019, with more recent changes in 2023. Learn more about the Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act through the Ontario Government's website.

Reporting Animal Cruelty FAQ

How do animal cruelty investigations work?

Many people are often confused by this. The following FAQ helps to answer some of the most common questions.

Want to protect animals in your community?

Help spread the word and educate others about Animal Welfare Services in Ontario. Below is a printable poster, and you can find other shareable resources on the Provincial Animal Welfare Services website.