|On July 4, 1873, citizens concerned for both the welfare of animals and children founded the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Ontario SPCA). Several years later, the Children's Aid Society was established as a separate organization and the Ontario SPCA's primary focus became bringing animal cruelty cases to the attention of authorities.
In 1887, the Ontario SPCA's lobbying efforts resulted in a decision by the Ontario Board of Police Commissioners to appoint a police officer to deal with animal cruelty issues on a full-time basis. In 1919, the first legislation was passed to protect animals. The Ontario SPCA's Inspectors and Agents were given authority by the government, through the Ontario SPCA Act, to investigate situations involving animal abuse.|