The BC SPCA has announced plans to hire a permanent full time animal cruelty investigator for the West Kootenay. Also known as a special provincial constable, the position will most likely be based out of the new Castlegar SPCA facility once it opens.
The SPCA has conducted interviews and is now in the final selection stage of filling the position.
“Depending on the level of experience and training required, we hope to have the person in place and up and running by the end of the summer,” said Marcie Moriarty, chief prevention and enforcement officer with the BC SPCA.
Moriarty explained the position has been a part of the organization’s strategic plan for a while.
“It has always been an area where we have wanted to provide additional services and we are very pleased that we are in a position to do that,” she said. Because of a gap in the ability to respond to complaints in the region, the SPCA board felt the new position should be a priority.
The responsibilities of a special constable include responding to complaints or concerns that could meet the definition of distress under the prevention of cruelty to animals act and enforcing both the provincial legislation and the criminal code sections related to animal cruelty.
A majority of the job involves educating individuals on the proper care of animals, but if necessary they can obtain warrants, remove animals and recommend charges of animal cruelty.
Calls that come in to the provincial animal cruelty call centre are dispatched to the person best situated to deal with it. The BC SPCA has 30 constables throughout the province that respond to more than 10,000 complaints each year.
“All of our special provincial constable animal cruelty investigations work is done on donor dollars,” said Moriarty. “It is funded by the people of British Columbia who really are passionate and care about animals in their community and across the province.”
Concerns about animal welfare should still be directed to the provincial animal cruelty hotline 1-855-622-7722.