A Devastating Combination for Pet Abandonment: Moving Season Coupled with Breed Specific Legislation

moving_image_dogMontreal, June 28, 2017 – Following the City of Montreal’s recently implemented breed specific legislation (BSL) and Quebec’s proposed province-wide ban, the Montreal SPCA is anticipating disastrous consequences during the annual moving season. As the number of animals coming into the Montreal SPCA shelter nearly triples from 600 to 1,600 animals per month during the summer, BSL will grossly impede countless adoptions from taking place, and behaviorally sound dogs and puppies will have a much more difficult time finding a home.

No-pet clauses in residential leases tearing families apart

Every summer, thousands of Quebec residents are forced to make the gut-wrenching decision to part with a beloved pet, whom they consider a member of their family, in order to secure affordable rental housing. Indeed, though one in two Quebec households has a pet, only 4.2% of landlords accept tenants with dogs. This restriction disproportionately affects low-income families, who have more limited opportunities for housing. No-pet clauses in residential leases are devastating, not only to the families who find themselves unable to keep their pets, but for the animals themselves.

As pet abandonment increases, dog adoption rates slow down

The Montreal SPCA’s increased animal intake rates during moving season are typically related to cats. At the moment, however, the organization is facing an additional challenge: behaviorally sound dogs and puppies lingering in the shelter with limited placement options.

“This year, the consequences of the ‘moving season’ are particularly challenging, as finding homes for so many of the dogs we take in is becoming increasingly problematic. Because a large proportion of dogs being abandoned during this period could be targeted by the city of Montreal`s BSL and therefore cannot be adopted out in our city, BSL is putting shelters, like ours, in an extremely difficult situation,” explains Me Alanna Devine, Director of Animal Advocacy at the Montreal SPCA. “Most of these animals are abandoned through no fault of their own, and yet, breed bans are needlessly hampering the adoption of these healthy and friendly dogs.”

As the Montreal SPCA is eagerly awaiting to set a trial date for its legal battle against the City of Montreal’s repressive BSL, we, more than ever, need the public to take action against the provincial government’s plan to implement a Quebec-wide breed ban by visiting www.mydogmyfamily.ca.

Tips for families facing difficulty during the moving season

In ordrer to help prevent a dog, cat, or other pet from being abandoned during the moving season, the Montreal SPCA is providing the public with tools to assist them in finding pet-friendly housing, as well as some tips on how to deal with problematic landlords or syndicate of co-owners:

  • Click here for some suggestions on how to facilitate your search for pet-friendly housing.
  • Click here for information on your rights and obligations, as well as for some tips on how to deal with your landlord.
  • To express support for the right to possess animals in residential units and to obtain legislative change on this issue, we encourage the public to communicate with Martin Coiteux, Minister of Municipal Affairs, Regions and Land Occupancy at: ministre@mamot.gouv.qc.ca. For a model letter to send to Mr. Coiteux click here.
  • For more information, visit https://www.spca.com/?page_id=12672&lang=en  



Media contact: Marie-Noël Gingras, Montreal SPCA, 514 656-2760, or mgingras@spca.com.

About the Montreal SPCA
Founded in Montreal in 1869, we were the first animal welfare society in Canada and our mission is to:

  • protect animals against negligence, abuse, and exploitation;
  • represent their interests and ensure their well-being;
  • raise public awareness and help develop compassion for all living beings.

For more information about the Montreal SPCA, please visit our website at www.spca.com.

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