Appeals and Applications

IMPORTANT: Change of Mailing Address

Our office at 20 Dundas St. W, Suite 503, Toronto is no longer in service. Please send all forms, supporting materials and correspondence to the mailing address below:

PO Box 250
Toronto, Ontario
M7A 1N3

Some forms and documents may temporarily contain old addresses. Please disregard the old addresses and send all forms and documents to the address listed above. Updates to old forms will be made shortly.

Types of Appeals and Applications

There are three types of appeals and applications to the Animal Care Review Board (ACRB):

  1. Appeal of a compliance order;
  2. Application for revocation of a compliance order; and
  3. Request for return of an animal that was removed from the owner or custodian.

Appeal of a Compliance Order

Under section 13(1) of the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, when an Ontario SPCA inspector or agent has reasonable grounds for believing that an animal is in distress, they may order the owner or custodian of the animal to:

  • take necessary action to relieve the animal of its distress (e.g., orders relating to the provision of food, water, shelter, care, etc.); or
  • have the animal examined and treated by a veterinarian at the expense of the owner or custodian.

Under s. 17(1) of the Act, the owner or custodian of the animal can appeal the compliance order by providing written notice to the ACRB within five business days of receiving the order.

Application for Revocation of a Compliance Order

Under section 17(2) of the Act, if the owner or custodian of the animal believes the animal is no longer in distress, they may apply to have the order revoked by writing to the Associate Chair of the ACRB.

Request for Return of an Animal

Under section 14(1) of the Act, an inspector or agent has the authority to remove an animal for the purpose of providing it with food, care or treatment to relieve its distress where:

  • a veterinarian has examined the animal and advised in writing that the health and well-being of the animal necessitates its removal;
  • the inspector or agent has inspected the animal, has reasonable grounds for believing that the animal is in distress and the owner or custodian of the animal is not present and cannot be found promptly; or
  • a compliance order relating to the animal has not been complied with.

The owner or custodian of an animal that was removed under section 14(1) of the Act can request the return of the animal by providing written notice to the ACRB within five business days of the removal.

There is no right to request a hearing regarding the return of an animal if a justice of the peace or provincial judge has made an order authorizing the OSPCA to keep the animal in its care and that order is still in force.

Filing an Appeal or Application

To appeal or apply to the ACRB, you must complete the appropriate forms or provide the necessary details in writing. You should provide reasons for your appeal or request and the result or action you are seeking.

To avoid delays in processing your appeal, you should provide:

  • your full name, address, email address and telephone number; and
  • if you have chosen to have counsel or an agent to represent you, their full name, address, email address, telephone and fax numbers.

Appeals and applications can be sent to the ACRB by mail, fax, or e-mail.


If you are appealing the issuing of a compliance order or removal of an animal, you must do so within five business days of having been served with the order.

There are no timelines for an application to revoke a compliance order.

Filing Fee

There is no fee to file an appeal or application with the ACRB.


Once you have submitted your appeal or application, a Case Management Officer will review the documents to ensure they are complete. A Case Management Officer may contact you if additional information is needed. Documents you submit to the board are available to the public on request subject to limited exceptions.

Withdrawing an Appeal or Application

If you decide to withdraw your appeal or application before the hearing, you will need to provide written notice to the ACRB and copy the other parties to the appeal before the scheduled hearing date(s).

If you are at a case conference or hearing, and wish to withdraw your appeal, you can inform the adjudicator of your decision to withdraw your appeal at that time.

Accessibility and Accommodation

We are committed to continuously improving accessibility of the services we provide.

If you require a disability-related accommodation to participate in an ACRB proceeding, or if you require assistance to access other services, please contact us.