The Investigations & Emergency Response Department (IER) is the team within the Winnipeg Humane Society (WHS) who respond to concerns of animal neglect and abuse as well as emergent animal situations within the City of Winnipeg.
The team consists of Animal Protection Officers (APO) and Emergency Responders (ER).
- APOs are appointed by the Minister of Agriculture to enforce The Animal Care Act of Manitoba which is the provincial legislation that protects animal welfare. The program is overseen by Manitoba’s Chief Veterinary Office (CVO)
- APOs can enforce throughout Manitoba however those APOs employed by WHS primarily respond to welfare concerns within Winnipeg.
- ERs primary responsibility is to attend emergent situations such as animals hit by vehicle, medical surrenders and transport for animals from fire situations. ERs also play an important role in assisting APOs during inspections/investigations
- Both APOs and ERs provide education and support for the community of Winnipeg
Reporting Emergency Situations
If you have witnessed or are experiencing an emergent situation, please contact the Winnipeg Humane Society Emergency Line at 204-982-2020 (7 Days a Week, 8:00 am to 11:00pm).
- Includes medical concerns or situations that may be life-threatening to an animal, animals locked in vehicles during extreme heat/cold, animals hit by vehicle
- If you are actively witnessing the physical harm of an animal, you may report it to WHS but we request that you also report it to Winnipeg Police Services.
- If you are experiencing a medical emergency with your animal after 11:00pm please contact the closest 24hr Animal Emergency Veterinary Hospital to you.
Reporting Animal Welfare Concerns
If you suspect an animal welfare concern is occurring within the City of Winnipeg please contact the Winnipeg Humane Society Animal Welfare Line at 204-982-2028.
If you suspect an animal welfare concern is occurring in Manitoba, outside of Winnipeg, please contact the Province’s Animal Care Line at 204-945-8000 (Toll Free 1-888-945-8001).
Welfare Concerns Include:
- lacking adequate food and water
- exposed to extreme cold or heat
- not provided with suitable medical attention if wounded or ill
- confined in an area of insufficient space
- kept in unsanitary conditions
- confined without adequate ventilation
- not allowed an opportunity for sufficient exercise
- suffering, seriously injured or in extreme anxiety or distress
**If your concern involves animals running at large, barking, licensing or animals that pose a threat to human safety (includes animal bites) please contact Winnipeg Animal Services Agency at 311 as these concerns fall under City of Winnipeg By-Laws.
All reports are treated with utmost confidentiality. We do not release names of people who report animal welfare concerns. Your personal information is protected by The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) and will remain confidential.
If you are a witness to animal abuse you may be asked to testify in court.
Investigation of Animal Welfare Concerns
Once a report has been received, an Animal Protection Officer will be assigned. The APO may contact the reporter to clarify or request further information about the concern. The APO will conduct an inspection to check for compliance with The Animal Care Act of Manitoba and will make a recommendation for appropriate action. Possible results may include:
- Dismissal: No evidence of neglect or abuse found on inspection.
- Education: An APO may verbally or through other resources provide an owner with welfare education specific to their concern.
- Correction Issued: An APO will outline changes/improvements an owner must make. Follow up inspections performed to ensure compliance.
- Seizure of Animals: If upon inspection an APO has reasonable grounds to believe an animal is in distress, they may supply any care necessary to relieve the distress. This may include seizing the animal.
- Charges under The Act: If infractions of The Animal Care Act of Manitoba are found, they are investigated, and charges may be filed. Charges can include fines under The Provincial Offences Act or court prosecution.
**Reporters will not be contacted with the outcome of an inspection. Just as your information is kept confidential so to is that of the person that was reported on.
The IER team is also involved in educating the public on animal welfare and has access to many resources which we are happy to share. If you have questions you can contact the department at our Animal Welfare Line, 204-982-2028.