Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

I support the work of the NBSPCA and would like someone to come talk to my school class/church group/community club. Can this be arranged?

Of course! We’re always happy to speak to school classes and other groups. In particular, our Animal Protection Officers frequently deliver talks to school classes as part of our Dog Bite Safety Campaign. Call our administrative number (506) 4588208 or email us at info@​nbpsca.​ca to set up a talk.

Is the NBSPCA bilingual? Can I receive services in English and French?

Our hotline operators are fully bilingual. In French-speaking areas of the province, we make every effort to dispatch bilingual officers to carry out investigations and conduct pet establishment inspections, and we try to provide documentation in both official languages.

Does the NBSPCA deal with other big animal rights issues like animals in research, intensive animal husbandry, leg-hold traps, humane slaughter, protection of endangered species, etc.?

The NBSPCA focuses its work on the enforcement of existing legislation and the kinds of animal-protection situations that arise in New Brunswick on a day-to-day basis. We contribute to the national debate about larger humane issues mainly through our membership in and support of Humane Canada.

Animal Owners

I want to adopt a pet (or surrender my pet). How do I find a shelter?

The NBSPCA doesn’t operate animal shelters or manage adoptions and surrenders of animals, but we work closely with many shelters across the province. Check out the list of local shelters.

I’ve lost my dog. Has it been picked up by the NBSPCA? What can I do to find it?

If your dog becomes lost, you should check the NBSPCA Facebook page and/​or call your local shelter. Be prepared to provide a detailed description of your dog along with the area in which it was lost.

If you live in a rural area and your cat or dog has strayed off your property, there’s a chance that it’s been picked up by an NBSPCA Animal Control Officer. Visit our Facebook page to see if they’ve posted your dog. The NBSPCA serves Arca­dia (Gage­town and Cambridge-Narrows), Boutouche, Car­leton North (Bath, Cen­ter­ville and Flo­renceville – Bristol), Fred­er­ic­ton Junction, Hampton, Hartland, Nackawic, Norton, Plas­ter Rock, Quispamsis, Rex­ton, Richibucto, Saint Quentin, Saint Louis de Kent, Salisbury, South­ern Vic­to­ria (Perth-Andover & Aroostook), St. George, Sussex and Woodstock.

If you live in a municipal area, an Animal Control Officer (not connected with the NBSPCA) may have picked up your dog. Contact your municipality, your animal control officer, and the nearest animal shelter. Please, do so quickly, especially if your dog isn’t wearing a license tag. Under most animal control bylaws, you lose ownership of your animal after just a few days if it is not reclaimed. Please note: You may have to pay a fine and boarding expenses when you reclaim your impounded dog.

I’ve lost my cat. Has it been picked up by the NBSPCA? What can I do to find it?

For a lost cat, check with your local animal shelter, put up posters and advertise in the local media. Cats often let their curiosity lure them into garages and sheds, where they may get locked in. Ask your neighbours to check their garages and outbuildings. 

Your city’s municipal workers may have information about cats struck by cars, whose bodies they have removed. Some cities have bylaws against cats that stray off their owner’s property; in those cases, the cat may have been picked up by the local animal control officer. Call your local officer or pound to inquire.

What happens to a stray dog picked up by the NBSPCA?

When a stray dog is picked up and the owners are unknown, the dog is provided with immediate veterinary care (if needed), then housed at a partner shelter or kennel. Animal Protection Officers post notices of all dogs picked up running at large on our Facebook page. Under the Provincial Dog Regulations, if the dog is not claimed within 72 hours the dog becomes the property of the NBSPCA. We are fortunate to have partnerships with the local shelters and generally, the dogs are turned over to them for adoption.

Pet Establishments

What is a pet establishment?

Under the New Brunswick SPCA Act, pet establishment” means (a) an animal shelter, (b) a pet retail store, or © a kennel. A kennel is defined as an establishment where dogs are bred to be sold or boarded for money.

If you maintain a pet establishment under any of these three categories, you must be inspected and licensed by the NBSPCA. Grooming businesses, veterinary clinics, premises that board and sell livestock, and riding stables are among the types of operations that are currently exempt from the pet establishment regulations.

What is a pet establishment licence and why do I need one?

A pet establishment licence is a certificate issued by the Province of New Brunswick after a facility has passed an inspection by the NBSPCA. The licence has a number specific to you that must be used when advertising litters of puppies for sale. In accordance with subsection 24(1) of the SPCA Act, a person who operates a pet establishment without a licence is committing an offence.

Who needs a pet establishment licence?

A pet establishment licence is required for (a) any breeder and seller of dogs in New Brunswick, (b) animal shelters, © pet retail stores selling animals, and (d) any place where dogs are boarded overnight.

How much does a pet establishment licence cost?

A pet establishment licence costs $250/​year for breeders, overnight boarding kennels and pet retail stores. A licence for shelters costs $100/​year. When a licence is issued it is valid for one year.

How do I get a pet establishment licence?

To obtain a pet establishment license, you must provide proof that you are in compliance with local zoning by-laws or zoning regulations made under the Community Planning Act. Contact your local community or Regional Service Commission to request confirmation (by email or letter) that you are permitted to operate a pet establishment at your location. Once you’ve received this document, forward it to the NBSPCA’s head office at info@​nbspca.​ca and complete the online application for a Pet Establishment Licence. If you don’t have access to the internet, a paper copy of the application can be mailed to you.

Once the application has been received and payment has been made, an Animal Protection Officer will schedule a time with you to complete the on-site inspection.

What happens during an inspection?

There are different requirements for in-home breeders, pet retail stores, kennels and shelters. The APO will go through checklists with you and work with you to improve any deficiencies. Upon passing your inspection, an official licence will be issued and mailed to you. You must display it in your facility.

Where does my licence number need to be displayed?

Licence numbers must be posted on all advertising materials (e.g., business cards, flyers, Kijiji ads, etc.) Your official licence must be prominently displayed in your facility.

What is the purpose of pet establishment licencing?

Pet establishment licensing ensures that all dogs and animals are kept and brought up in a clean and healthy environment. It also ensures that breeders and owners comply with a certain standard of care. Pet establishment licensing is not intended to provide assurance about the quality of an individual animal offered for sale by a pet establishment or about an individual animal’s conformity to breed standards or registration requirements.

Animal Control & Protection

What is considered an animal control issue?

Stray dogs, dogs running at large, nuisance barking and dog bites are all issues dealt with by NBSPCA Animal Protection Officers. If you would like to report a animal control issue, please call our hotline at 18777221522.

My neighbour has a dog that barks all the time and bothers me and the whole neighbourhood. Can you help me?

If you live in a rural area or municipality, where the NBSPCA is responsible for stray dogs and nuisance dogs, you can call our hotline at 18777221522. An NBSPCA Dog Constable will investigate the situation.

If you live in a village, town, or city that has its own animal control bylaws and officers, you will need to call your municipal office or animal control officer. If you’re not sure which applies, give us a call at 18777221522 and an operator will advise you.

A stray cat has shown up in my yard. Will the NBSPCA come and get it if I call the hotline number?

The NBSPCA doesn’t pick up stray or homeless cats unless they are injured, are in immediate danger, or are being abused. If you can’t find the cat’s owner, we recommend calling your nearest animal shelter to bring the cat in to surrender it. Please, remember that cats with good homes sometimes roam for long periods of their own free will and may appear homeless. 

The NBSPCA also can’t deal with colonies of feral cats. In some cases, however, the organization CARMA (Cat-Rescue-Maritimes) can assist with feral colonies.

There’s a sick raccoon or injured deer in my backyard. Who should I call?

Under provincial law, the NBSPCA is not allowed to intervene with wild animals (unless they are being held in captivity). Please call the Department of Natural Resources.

What is the difference between an Animal Protection Officer and other volunteer rescuers?

After passing an exam, Animal Protection Officers are appointed by the Minister of Environment and Local Government under the SPCA Act. Our Animal Protection Officers assist the municipal police and RCMP on animal-related matters. Under the New Brunswick SPCA Act, they have the authority to seize animals, conduct investigations, and (in co-operation with other law enforcement agencies and the Crown Prosecutors Office) bring charges. Volunteer rescuers, rescue groups, shelter workers, and animal control officers do not have these powers.

Can I work for the NBSPCA? Are you hiring Animal Protection Officers or dog constables? How do I apply?

If you’re interested in becoming an Animal Protection Officer, email a a cover letter and resume to info@​nbspca.​ca with the subject line Attention of the Chief Inspector.” We will keep your information on file should a vacancy in your region arise. Experience with law enforcement and/​or animal-handling is an asset, as are the interpersonal skills to deal successfully with potentially confrontational situations.

Do officers investigate all complaints made?

Yes. Every complaint that comes in from the hotline is investigated by an officer.

I phoned the NBSPCA hotline recently to report a case of animal neglect. I haven’t seen any change in the situation. Will the Animal Protection Officer get back to me to let me know what is going on?

Under NBSPCA policy, Animal Protection Officers are required to report the outcome of an investigation to the person(s) who reported the case, if they request it. If more than a week has gone by and you have not heard from the officer, please call the hotline number again and ask for a report. Remember that Animal Protection Officers are legally bound to respect the confidentiality and privacy of individuals being investigated, so they may not be able to share all the information obtained.

My neighbour keeps his dog tied up is his yard all the time. I think this is cruel. Can the NBPSCA do anything about it?

Tethering dogs for an extended period of time increases their level of stress, protectiveness and vulnerability, as well as their potential for aggression. However, keeping a dog tethered outside is not a violation of the New Brunswick SPCA Act, and the NBSPCA has no authority to intervene. 

Currently, the SPCA Act restricts tethering of dogs during the nighttime. The tethering of dogs will not be permitted for more than 30 minutes between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. unless the owner or person responsible is outside and within 25 metres of the dog. The associated fine is a minimum of $240.

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