The deaths of 14 dogs at a Saskatoon boarding kennel earlier this month has prompted calls for regulation.
Right now, there are no specific requirements for kennels in Saskatchewan. Rather, the province’s Animal Protection Act refers to a code of practice that Canadian kennel operators can choose to follow.
An online study conducted by Insightrix found 96 per cent of respondents support the introduction of mandatory standards of animal care for kennels.
Ninety-eight per cent of people agreed the standards should also be in place for breeders, animal shelters, animal rescues, pet training services and pet grooming services within the act.
The research study surveyed a total of 801 randomly selected Saskwatch Research panel members on Sept. 20 and 21.
Quotas were set by age, gender, and region to match the general population of the province. Since the research is conducted online, it’s considered to be a non-probability proportion sample and therefore, margins of error are not applicable.
The study found 82 per cent of Sask. residents were aware of the recent kennel deaths at the Playful Paws Pet Center in Saskatoon.
Among pet owners, 83 per cent said they were now more concerned about leaving their dog at a kennel overnight in light of the tragedy.
People were also asked if they would support changing the act to allow animal protection officers to enter and inspect any animal-based business in the province without a warrant.
Overall, 92 per cent of residents support this notion, with those owning a pet to be slightly more inclined to the idea.
Supporting provisions in the Animal Protection Act
Of those surveyed, 68 per cent were aware the province has an Animal Protection Act.
People were then asked if they support or oppose increasing specific regulations within the act.
Eighty-eight per cent said they supported expanding the definition of “distress” used in the act to include emotional and psychological suffering f an animal.
People were also asked about whether they’d like to see the inclusion of other specific provisions in the act:
- 97% of Saskatchewan residents support including specific provisions that would require veterinarians who suspect animal cruelty to report their suspicions to the appropriate enforcement agency in their community.
- 98% support including specific provisions that prohibit animal fighting.
- 98% support including specific provisions that all sexual contact with animals is violation of the act.
Pets a part of the family: study
Not surprisingly, 95 per cent of respondents with pets said their four-legged friend is part of the family.
Results show another 77 per cent agree their pet is their best friend, and 75 per cent say they treat their pet like a child.
As for an animal’s emotions, 93 per cent of people agreed their pet’s feelings should be respected.
Another three quarters, or 73 per cent, said animals deserve the same rights as humans.