The BCSPCA has partnered with Crime Stoppers.
Now people can call Crime Stoppers to report animal cruelty as they would any other crime.
Crime Stoppers’ Linda Annis and the BCSPCA’s Shawn Eccles held a joint press conference Aug. 12 at the BCSPCA Education & Adoption Centre in Cloverdale to announce the new initiative.
“Animal cruelty is a crime,” said Annis, “just like any other crime against people or property. Dogs and animals don’t have voices and someone needs to speak up for them.”
Annis, the executive director for Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers, reached out to the SPCA to start this new working partnership. She said when it comes to animal abuse, in many cases witnesses are very close to the abuser, such as family, friends, or neighbours.
“Oftentimes, they don’t want to call into the police, or to call in to the SPCA, but if they call Crime Stoppers, no one will ever find out who called.”
Eccles, senior manager of Cruelty Investigations for the BCSPCA, agrees and thinks the current pandemic has exacerbated cases of animal abuse.
“From our perspective—especially right now with COVID-19, people are so closed in with each other, and they’re seeing things, and they’re a little hesitant, and they’re concerned about animals, but they’re not sure about how to report this—this just gives (people) another avenue to report animal abuse or neglect.”
Eccles said many concerned people already call the SPCA, but they are hesitant to give details as they want to remain anonymous.
“They are very concerned about their own safety.”
Eccles said when Annis contacted the SPCA, he thought it was a fantastic idea.
“We’d been pulling in tips, occasionally, from Crime Stoppers, but it was never really pushed forward as an opportunity for people to report anonymous tips,” he said.
“We just thought this was an excellent opportunity to move forward.”