Frequently Asked Questions

This page is intended to provide general information and is specific to the time when it is first issued. Please keep in mind that the ACRB’s staff cannot provide you with legal advice.

If you wish to obtain legal advice, you should consult a person licensed by the Law Society of Upper Canada.

Appeals and Applications

Who can file an appeal or application?

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.

You cannot appeal to the Board if a Justice of the Peace of Provincial Court Judge has made an order authorizing the OSPCA to keep the animal.

Once a person files an appeal or application with the ACRB, they are referred to as either an Appellant or Applicant.

If the Appellant or Applicant is a company, the person filing an appeal or application on behalf of that company must have authority to do so.

How do I know if I have the right to appeal to the ACRB?

Your right to appeal to the Board should be clearly indicated in the Order or Notice that you will receive from the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA).

Appeal rights and other matters are set out in the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

For more information, please see e-laws.

Case Conferences and Hearings

Who will hear my appeal/application?

Hearings are conducted by at least one member of the ACRB (and may be heard by up to three members).

ACRB members are appointed by Order-in-Council.

Information about the appointment process and the ACRB’s membership can be found on the Public Appointments Secretariat’s website.

What happens if I do not appear on the date set for the hearing and I do not notify the ACRB?

It is important that you attend any proceedings on the date scheduled. If you do not appear for your hearing, the ACRB would take steps to contact you. If we are unable to reach you, the hearing might proceed in your absence and you would not be entitled to any further notice in the proceeding. The ACRB may also dismiss an appeal.

Are hearings open to the public?

Yes. Hearings are open to the public unless ordered otherwise by the ACRB.

You can contact the ACRB for a schedule of proceedings.


Are decisions publicly available?

Yes. Decisions from [date] onwards are publicly available on the Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII) website.

CanLII is an online platform that offers free public access to tribunal and court decisions.

When does the Board’s decision take effect?

The decision takes effect on the date it is released to the parties unless otherwise set out in the decision.

What if I disagree with a decision?

A party can ask the Executive Chair of SLASTO to reconsider a decision. You can learn about the process and criteria for making a request for reconsideration here.

There is also a right to appeal a decision of the ACRB to a judge of the Superior Court of Justice. You can learn more about this here.

What if a decision is not clear or has an error?

The Board may review and correct typographical, calculation and other minor errors to clarify an order or decision.