Promoting the humane treatment of all animals has always been the SaskSPCA’s guiding principle. Legal regulations are an important feature of ensuring the humane use and treatment of animals. From working animals to wildlife, to livestock and companion animals, Saskatchewan maintains a number of different laws to protect the animals that live in our province. These pieces of legislation are applied daily by those directly and indirectly involved in animal welfare.

Exploring Animal Welfare Legislation in Saskatchewan is a free webinar series which will explore three important pieces of legislation pertaining to animals. Each webinar will focus on one specific legal regulation. An expert will present the legal document. Afterwards, another expert will speak on an example of this document in daily application.

Each webinar will be presented at 1:00PM. Join us on Tuesday, November 14th, to explore The Animal Protection Act, on Thursday, November 16th, to explore The Basic Legal Comparisons Between Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Companion Animals, and on Thursday, November 30th, to explore the Captive Wildlife Regulations.


The Animal Protection Act and Animal Protection Regulations


  • Dr. Raj Premkumar, Animal Health & Welfare Veterinarian, Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture
  • Don Ferguson, CD, RVT, Executive Director, Animal Protection Services of Saskatchewan

Tuesday, November 14, 2023, at 1:00 PM SK Time

Dr. Premkumar’s presentation will offer insight into the role of the Ministry of Agriculture’s administration of The Animal Protection Act, 2018 and Regulations in Saskatchewan, Standards of care of animals, Codes of practice, and animal welfare related programs and services offered by the Ministry in assisting the livestock industry

What really happens with an Animal Protection Act investigation?

Don Ferguson’s presentation will provide an overview of the practical application of The Animal Protection Act, 2018. It will provide details and information regarding a large-scale investigation that requires taking a large number of animals into protective custody.

About the speakers:

Raghavun Premkumar (Raj) is a Veterinary graduate from India who moved to Saskatchewan in 2006. He completed his Master of Science in Veterinary Biomedicine from the University of Saskatchewan with an emphasis on stress physiology. Raj has worked in the poultry industry, hog genetics, and companion animal practice. He also has regulatory veterinary medicine experience from his roles with Saskatchewan’s domestic meat inspection program and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. He joined the Ministry of Agriculture as the Animal Health and Welfare Veterinarian in February 2021 and primarily deals with the administration of The Animal Protection Act, 2018 in Saskatchewan.

Raj has also volunteered with numerous spay-neuter clinics in Alberta and Saskatchewan and is a strong proponent of animal welfare.

Don Ferguson is the Executive Director of Animal Protection Services of Saskatchewan. It is the Animal Protection Agency responsible for enforcing the Animal Protection Act in Saskatchewan, except for within the City of Regina.

Before this, he investigated over 4,000 files of animal cruelty and neglect with the Alberta SPCA and Calgary Humane Society as a Peace Officer under the Animal Protection Act of Alberta.

He has also instructed at the Justice and Solicitor General Staff College, providing instruction for the Alberta Peace Officer Investigator Program.

Don is a Registered Veterinary Technologist with the Saskatchewan Veterinary Medical Association and completed his diploma in 2005 from Lakeland College in Vermilion, AB.

Prior to his law enforcement career, he served 20 years in the Canadian Armed Forces with the Canadian Airborne Regiment and the 1st Battalion of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry.

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Legal Rights of Service Animals vs Emotional Support Animals vs Pets


  • Colleen Anne Dell, PhD
  • Valerie Caron, BSC, MPT, Ph.D. (C), Physiotherapist

Thursday, November 16, 2023, at 1:00 PM SK Time

Exploring the Legal Landscape: Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and Companion Animals in Saskatchewan

Colleen Anne Dell’s presentation will offer a basic introduction to the legal and practical distinctions between service animals, emotional support animals, and companion animals in Saskatchewan, as well as the implications for both humans and animals. We will examine key factors, such as the specific training requirements for each category of animal and where they are consequently allowed in our community. Particular attention will be paid to the real-life application scenario of housing. By shedding light on these critical distinctions, we aim to foster a better appreciation for the important roles these animals play in society.

The Integration of Service Dogs into Community and Healthcare Spaces

Valerie Caron will provide an overview of the use of service dogs, their roles, and animal-assisted interventions in healthcare settings.

About the speakers:

Colleen Anne Dell is a Professor & Centennial Enhancement Chair in One Health and Wellness at the University of Saskatchewan in the Department of Sociology and School of Public Health in Canada. She is also a Senior Research Associate with the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction. Grounded in a community-based approach, her research focuses on healing from addictions and mental health, with specific attention to animal-assisted interventions (ranging from canine-assisted therapy to service dog interventions). She has two therapy dogs (E-Jay and Molly) who, alongside community and academic partners, are involved in various projects with Colleen and her team examining how animals benefit human wellness. These projects include federal prisoners, university students, seniors, addictions treatment clients, war veterans and youth. Animal wellness is considered in all of Colleen’s work. Colleen has worked extensively at the community and national levels, including with the Elizabeth Fry Society, Correctional Service Canada, and the Senate of Canada. Underlying Colleen’s work is a belief in bringing together different ways of knowing. Her commitment to facilitating understanding is recognized in producing a variety of unique knowledge mobilization products from her funded studies, including music videos and paintings. In 2022, Colleen was promoted in the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem, a part of the Canadian Honours System, to the rank of Officer for her humanitarian research and community service in the animal-assisted intervention field.

Valerie Caron grew up across traditional Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee territory (Kingston, ON and Montreal, QC). She studied at Bishop’s University (Biological Sciences) and then at the University of Saskatchewan (Masters of Physical Therapy). Valerie currently lives, works, and raises her family on Treaty 6 Territory and the Homeland of the Métis (Saskatoon, SK). As a physiotherapist, Valerie has worked in many health settings including private multidisciplinary rehabilitation, acute care, pediatrics and adult neurology. She is currently completing my PhD in Health Sciences with a focus on neurological rehabilitation and is supervised by Dr. Sarah Donkers and Dr. Alison Oates. Valerie’s research project centers Loki, our rehabilitation dog, who she works and collaborates with to provide animal-assisted walking and balance interventions for children living with cerebral palsy. Valerie is a mother of two girls (Hannah and Eden) and they enjoy hiking, swimming, camping, and bike rides. Valerie looks forward to connecting with you all through this webinar!

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Captive Wildlife Regulations


  • Ffion Cassidy, Wildlife Ecologist, Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment
  • Bonnie Dell, Executive Director, Wildlife Rescue Society of Saskatchewan
  • Megan Lawrence, Director, Salthaven West

Thursday, November 30, 2023, at 1:00 PM SK Time

Ffion Cassidy will discuss The Captive Wildlife Regulations, 2021, including explaining how they help protect native wildlife and ecosystems, maintain public health and safety, and ensure the welfare of animals in captivity. Saskatchewan updated these regulations in 2021 to modernize and strengthen its approach to native and exotic captive wildlife. Ffion will outline the process used to determine the species that may be held for personal possession and provide information on Allowed and Restricted species. She will also discuss the purposes for which captive wildlife permits may be issued (zoos, falconry, wildlife rehabilitation, upland gamebirds and scientific research) and how these requirements have been updated.

WRSOS will discuss the new Saskatchewan Captive Wildlife Regulations, introduced in 2021. We will highlight examples of calls received to the provincial helpline of wildlife being held illegally and talk about what the public should do to help wildlife instead. Megan from Salthaven will discuss the dangers of keeping wildlife illegally and the health implications for wildlife and the public.

About the speakers:

Ffion Cassidy is a Wildlife Ecologist with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment. Her responsibilities include overseeing the captive wildlife file and developing and reviewing policies governing wildlife management in the province. Before taking on this position, Ffion has worked in conservation, research and resource management roles with government, academia, and non-profit organizations. Ffion holds an M.Sc. in Ecology from the University of Alberta and has recently moved to Saskatoon.

Bonnie Dell joined the WRSOS team in 2017 and brought her enthusiasm and a lifelong love of animals with her. After living in Jasper National Park for many years, she developed a deep appreciation of co-existing with wildlife. With a background in small business ownership and accounting, she joined WRSOS and discovered a love of rescuing animals, especially canids (especially coyotes!).

She lives in Saskatoon and, for the past 26 years, has always shared her home with a golden retriever or two and a few rescue cats. She enjoys anything to do with nature, being outdoors and spending time with her family.

Megan Lawrence’s work with wildlife started over 18 years ago as a volunteer for Salthaven Ontario, where she learned the vital roles of wildlife in our environment and the importance of wildlife rehabilitation. Upon moving to Regina, Saskatchewan, in 2014, Megan discovered that a wildlife rehabilitation centre was desperately needed in our area. Thus, Salthaven West was founded as a registered charitable wildlife rehabilitation centre, licensed in association with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment and Canadian Wildlife Services.

Presently, Salthaven West admits and cares for over 1,500 wild birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians in Saskatchewan each year, supported almost solely by generous donations from the public and the veterinary community. We are forever grateful to our small but mighty team of animal care staff and dedicated volunteers who are the heart and soul of Salthaven West.

Click here to register for this webinar