Check out our "Take Action" section below to find out how you can support animal welfare efforts!
This past spring, Parkdale-High Park MP Peggy Nash introduced Bill C-232, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (cruelty to animals). This bill would remove animal cruelty crimes from the property section of the Criminal Code, recognizing animals as beings that can feel pain.
These changes will provide greater protection for stray and wild animals, who are not sufficiently covered under existing legislation.
Bill C-232 also strengthens the language of federal animal cruelty law, aiming to close the loopholes that too often allow those who abuse animals to escape penalty.
This holiday season, make sure to keep your pets safe and happy with the following winter tips:
1. Keep holiday decorations pet-friendly. Avoid using tinsel and ensure that low-hanging decorations are not breakable. Conceal electrical outlets and secure electrical cords to keep pets from chewing. Some holiday plants are toxic to pets, so keep animals away from holly, mistletoe, pointsettias and amaryllis.
2. Keep pets away from holiday treats. Holiday sweets with chocolate are not for pets - chocolate contains theobromine which can be poisonous to many animals, such as dogs, cats and ferrets, depending on the amount ingested. Maintain your pet's regular diet - table scraps and leftovers aren't just too rich for your pets: bones in meat could lead to serious complications or death.
3. Always ensure that your pet is wearing adequate identification. With more frequent comings and goings, it's easier for your pet to slip out of your home unnoticed. Having proper identification, including a collar, tag and microchip to help them find their way back to you.
4. Keep your pets safe and warm. Every year, the Ontario SPCA investigates thousands of complaints about animals left unprotected from winter weather. Just because animals have fur coats doesn't mean they aren't vulnerable to the harsh realities of Canadian winter. On colder days, limit your pet's exposure to the out-of-doors to short time periods.
5. Beware of cold weather car hazards.
- Never leave your cat or dog alone in a car during cold weather. Cars hold in the cold, acting like refrigerators, which could cause your pet to freeze to death.
- Be aware of animals seeking warmth under vehicle hoods. Make a point of preventing animal injury by knocking on the hood or sounding the horn before starting the engine.
- When adding antifreeze to your vehicle, make sure to pour carefully and clean up any spills. Many animals like the taste of antifreeze, and they will readily consume it if given the chance. But even a small amount of antifreeze can be harmful, or fatal, to your pet.
Sources: Ontario SPCA, Ottawa Humane Society
Read animal welfare news from across the country, Canadian Federation of Humane Societies
"Toronto bans the sale of cats and dogs in pet stores", City News Toronto, 21 September 2011
1. Support Bill C-232 - sign the petition below to add your voice to the call for an end to animal cruelty! You can send petitions or write to Peggy, no postage required, at:
- MP Peggy Nash
- House of Commons
- Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
2. Adopt a pet from the Toronto Humane Society. Read about the adoption process and adoption hours, view the animals available for adoption, or visit the Toronto Humane Society shelter at 11 River Street to bring home your new family member today!
3. Support animal welfare efforts! Click on the links below to find out how you can get involved: