Changes are coming to who responds to animal cruelty calls in Ontario and now we know how much the new form of enforcement is expected to cost.

For 100 years, the OSPCA has handled this type of investigation. A court ruling and mounting financial pressures prompted the OSPCA to announce back in March that it would no longer handle them.

Now, the authority is expected to fall on police officers.

Waterloo Region’s police chief says that’s a skill that frontline officers don’t have.

The force expects 650 calls per year for animal cruelty investigations, expected to cost tax payers about $300,000. That figure doesn’t include any training, which has yet to take place.

Chief Bryan Larkin says that investigating cases from hoarding cats to livestock welfare requires a specialized skillset that should be left to people who possess it.

The local humane society wonders what’s going to when the changes go into effect, realizing that frontline officers may not be able to deal with the calls quickly.

“We know animal protection is not going to be a priority for the police department. That concerns us significantly,” explains Kathrin Delutis, executive director at the KW Humane Society.

The changes are scheduled to go into effect on June 28.