From Cats to Cattle – Animal Protection in Alberta

Animals surround us – in fact at least 56% of all Canadian households have a dog or a cat. This means that likely half of your students have at least one pet in their home with animal ownership likely increasing for students living in a rural setting.

boy and catWith so many animals relying on us to meet their basic needs and offer them protection, it’s vital for young people to learn about responsible pet ownership and kindness towards animals. However, it is not just our furry companions that require stewardship. Livestock raised for food, wildlife, both in nature and captivity, and animals that are used in research depend on our attention and protection.

In Canada, the importance of protecting animals from inhumane treatment is represented by several laws. One piece of legislation, the Animal Protection Act is enforced by peace officers from the Alberta SPCA, the Calgary Humane Society, Edmonton Humane Society. The Crimal Code of Canada is the second piece of legislation that safeguards domestic animals throughout Canada. The RCMP have the authority to enforce both the Animal Protection Act and the Criminal Code. These laws are a good tool to help animals that are neglected or abused and penalize those responsible.

The job of an Alberta Peace Officer is an important one; it requires a diverse set of skills, extensive experience and knowledge of animal welfare and care, a whole lot of driving, and above all, a strong desire to help and protect animals.

In the following everylivingthing podcast, our student correspondent interviews Alberta SPCA Peace Officer Ryan-Ann King to gain insight on how she and her fellow peace officers do their job of protecting animals across the province.

Incorporating this podcast in the Classroom:

With your students, complete a KWL chart on animal protection in Alberta. Before watching/listening to the podcast, fill in the columns, what do students know about animal protection and what would they like to know. After watching the video, have students reflect on what they’ve learned, by completed the final column. Exploring the links at the end of this blog may also help to answer questions that aren’t answered in the video.

Other Links:

To report Animal Abuse or Neglect in Alberta:

For more information on animal protection laws, reporting cruelty and neglect and the anatomy of an investigation,  visit:



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