The Humane Society London & Middlesex has launched a new division that will continue animal welfare enforcement and investigations to help keep animals safe.

The new division will be known as HSLM Animal Protection.

After June 28, the Ontario SPCA is no longer enforcing the cruelty provisions in provincial legislation.

To ensure the safety of animals, the Ontario government announced that willing humane societies and their protection officers will enforce the law while the new animal welfare model develops.

HSLM signed an agreement with the province on June 28, which means HSLM Animal Protection Officers are accountable to the Chief Inspector.

“This is good news for animals at risk,” said Steve Ryall, HSLM executive director in a statement.

“Locally, this means that our Protection Team will continue enforcement and investigation duties in the City of London and the County of Middlesex, as well as new expanded coverage for us in Elgin and Oxford Counties. Established relationships with veterinarians, justice, health, and social services, and police will continue.”

In addition, HSLM Animal Protection Officers continue to help educate pet owners of proper care, including hording situations.

Last year, HSLM Animal Protection investigated 829 cases. “HSLM has been protecting animals for 120 years,” said Ryall.

“Our volunteers and donors make this possible every day. On behalf of lives saved, we thank citizens for caring, donating locally, and making a difference.”

If you see an animal in distress or at risk, call HSLM Animal Protection at 888-611-HSLM (4756).