Inspection department

Our inspectors are responsible for enforcing provincial legislation regarding the Animal Health Protection Act (generally known as P-42) and the provisions of the Criminal Code of Canada regarding animal cruelty. At the provincial level, the SPCA is mandated only for dogs and cats, and at the federal level, we cover all animal species.

The inspectors respond to all complaints of animal cruelty and neglect. They also check the places where animals are kept for sale, lease or to be exhibited. In 2015, our department received and treated 1,339 new complaints and conducted the inspection of 1,945 animals, all species combined. A total of 659 animals were seized as a result of their investigations and several criminal prosecutions or charges have been brought.

To report any case of cruelty or animal neglect:

Montreal SPCA
Please leave a message to our inspection department at: (514) 735-2711 ext. 2230, or send an email at
In case of emergency, please call (514) 735-2711, extension 0.
We treat all complaints confidentially.

MAPAQ (the Quebec Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food) – For complaints – Safety and Animal Welfare
You’ve witnessed an animal in an unacceptable situation or receiving inadequate care that requires action? You can file a complaint by calling 1-844-ANIMAUX or by sending an email at: This service is available 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week, and allows citizens to communicate directly and confidentially with representatives of the Ministry.


More information on the SPCA’s inspection service:

How many people does your team consist of?

The Montreal SPCA’s inspection department is composed of four inspectors and also a dispatcher who receives all the complaints, calls back the people and coordinates the necessary follow-ups.

At the federal level, inspectors are special constables responsible for enforcing the Criminal Code of Canada and they have the same powers as policemen except they aren’t armed. At the provincial level, they are mandated as inspectors for the MAPAQ* (the Quebec Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food) to apply P-42. When they seize animals in the course of their work, they are accompanied by a police officer for security measures.

The inspectors spend a little more than half of their time on the road where they conduct inspections and investigations. The rest of their time is spent writing reports, assembling legal files and testifying in court when required.

How do you define acts of neglect or cruelty?

Neglect is a form of cruelty and consists of not performing an act that should be done. An example of negligence is to not provide basic care, including food, clean water, necessary veterinary care, a clean and safe environment, as well as adequate shelter according to different weather conditions. Leaving a pet in a car for a long time in extreme temperatures or abandoning an animal in distress are also acts of negligence.

As for cruelty, it can be summarized by intentionally causing moral or physical suffering. This includes all ill treatments such as beatings, injuries, burns, poisoning, etc.

Some cases of neglect or cruelty arise because people use animals for commercial gain, for example puppy or kittens mills, as well as dog and cock fighting.

Under the Criminal Code of Canada, it is forbidden to deliberately cause suffering to an animal by neglecting him or inflicting pain or injury. In Quebec, the police or special constables, who are appointed by the Ministry of Public Security, apply the Canadian Criminal Code. Whereas, the provincial P-42 is administered by SPCA and SPA inspectors who are mandated by the MAPAQ.

Any person who fails to comply with these laws may face charges related to P-42 and the Criminal Code of Canada.

What territory do you service?

Regarding the provincial legislation, P-42, we cover the territory of the island of Montreal, Laval and part of Montérégie, Lanaudière and Laurentides.

As for the federal Criminal Code, we are theoretically mandated for the entire province of Quebec. But in fact, we serve a territory similar to the one for P-42. We work with other inspectors, as well as the provincial or municipal police for the rest of the province.

* MAPAQ: the Quebec Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. You can visit their website by clicking here.

For more information on animal welfare in Canada and the Canadian Criminal Code, you can go to their website by clicking here.


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