Focusing on local government and non-governmental nonhuman animal welfare organizations, this paper reports survey results on institutional policies, interpretive frameworks, and practices regarding companion animals in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. The findings suggested that local governments and animal shelters use different interpretive frameworks of companion animal welfare, with the former taking a human-centric position and the latter focusing on animal well-being. The results showed that most local governments are not well engaged with animal welfare issues. Instead, these issues are more often dealt with by non-governmental organizations that operate on limited budgets and rely heavily on volunteer labor. Whereas federal and provincial governments are responsible for legislating companion animal welfare, practical implementation of animal welfare has been largely the responsibility of non-governmental organizations. Our findings demonstrated that the ways that animal welfare policy is interpreted and enacted at the local level have significant implications for animal well-being more broadly.
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