The Saskatchewan Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals wants to make sure rescue animals are being taken to a better place than their previous home.

The SPCA has teamed up with rescue groups, humane societies, the Ministry of Agriculture, and Animal Protection Services of Saskatchewan to create a certification system for animal rescue groups.

"I think that there have been groups that have been providing substandard care and over the years various rescue groups and SPCAs have shared their concerns about the substandard care provided by some rescues," Saskatchewan SPCA executive director Frances Wach said.

She said although many people have good intentions when they start off rescuing animals, sometimes they end up with more critters than they can adequately care for. Other times, rescue groups don't have enough money, staff, or volunteers and "then the animals suffer," she says.

"I think there are some people or organizations that may call themselves rescues that could be hoarders," Wach added.

Wach said the SPCA is aware of 56 rescues operating in the province but there could be more. The new working group of organizations wants to make sure all of the animals are being cared for.

"Certified rescue groups could demonstrate that they are working to providing the best possible care for animals," she said. "And it also would be a way for donors and volunteers to identify reputable rescues, and most importantly it would be a way to improve the welfare of rescued animals."

The group is developing a code of ethics, operational guidelines, and a certification process.

Wach said to begin with the certification would be voluntary, but in the long term they hope it will be legislated.


  • An earlier version of this story said the Saskatchewan SPCA has teamed up with various agencies, including the Ministry of the Environment, on developing a new certification system. In fact, it was the Ministry of Agriculture.
    Feb 19, 2016 7:45 AM CT