03/26/2015 10:18 EDT | Updated 05/26/2015 05:59 EDT

Saskatchewan government announces new animal protection agency

REGINA - With less than a week before the original contract was to run out, the provincial government has created a new entity to take over animal protection services in Saskatchewan.

Earlier in the year, Saskatchewan's provincial SPCA announced it wouldn't renew its contract for animal protection services after March 31.

The government said the SPCA wanted to focus on education and prevention of animal cruelty.

On Thursday, the province announced it would establish the Animal Protection Service of Saskatchewan, a non-profit corporation to provide animal protection services starting April 1.

Executive director Kaley Pugh said aside from a new name and new board of directors, APSS has the same mandate as the SPCA did.

She said the focus will be on responding to public complaints and investigating animal cruelty complaints, adding they will work closely with the SPCA for a smooth transition of enforcement services.

The APSS will receive $610,000 from the province for the services. It will be based out of Saskatoon, and the government said its board will be made up of members from provincial veterinary and livestock organizations.


America Votes
The latest polls, breaking news and analysis on the U.S. election from HuffPost’s Washington, D.C. bureau