“Cut the Chain”: The Montreal SPCA asks Quebec citizens to take action in order to ban the permanent chaining of dogs

Tethering_visualMontreal, September 8, 2015 – The Montreal SPCA is launching its Cut the Chain campaign aimed at persuading the provincial government to prohibit the permanent chaining of dogs. Citizens from across the province are invited to take action by visiting cutthechain.ca.

Currently, in Quebec, thousands of dogs spend their entire lives chained outdoors, in full legality. “Nearly one third of all animal cruelty complaints received by our Inspection Department concern chained dogs,” says Me Sophie Gaillard, Lawyer and campaigns manager for the Montreal SPCA’s Animal Advocacy Department. “We know that dogs, who are social animals, suffer severely from spending their lives at the end of a chain, but unfortunately, until the government bans this practice, we remain helpless to alleviate their suffering,” adds Me Gaillard.

With a few clicks, Quebec citizens can take a stand by signing a letter addressed to the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Pierre Paradis, on the cutthechain.ca website.

The initiative was launched in the context of the significant improvements to provincial animal welfare legislation promised by Bill 54. The Montreal SPCA believes that a ban on the permanent chaining of dogs must be part of any upcoming amendments.

A multi-faceted issue: Inhumane conditions and a threat to public safety

Permanent chaining is inhumane, as it is detrimental to dogs’ physical and psychological well-being. Chained dogs are at increased risk of injuring themselves and are frequently neglected. They are exposed to extreme cold in the winter, and suffocating heat in the summer. Isolated, unable to socialize, play, exercise, or express natural behaviour, chained dogs develop severe boredom and frustration, eventually leading to psychological distress.

Permanent chaining of dogs also raises serious public safety concerns. Due to their inability to flee or escape, tethered dogs are more likely to display aggressive behavior when faced with a perceived threat. Additionally, constant physical restraint promotes excessive territoriality, which can also lead to aggression. Indeed, research has shown that chained dogs are nearly three times more likely to bite than dogs not living on chains and are over five times more likely to bite children.

The provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia have recently enacted bans on permanent tethering, as have a number of municipalities across Canada. It is time for the province of Quebec to follow the lead of these jurisdictions and require that all dogs be kept in conditions that ensure for their welfare also keep our communities safe.

The Montreal SPCA’s demands:

  • Prohibition on keeping a dog tied to a stationary object for more than a certain number of consecutive hours or during a certain period of time
  • Prohibition on leaving any dog who has not yet reached maturity, or who is ill, injured or unsterilized, tied up unattended
  • Prohibition on keeping a dog tethered outdoors during extreme weather conditions


  • People from across the province are invited to support the Montreal SPCA’s efforts by writing to Minister Paradis via the cutthechain.ca website
  • Permanent chaining is detrimental to dogs’ physical and psychological well-being
  • Chained dogs are nearly three times more likely to bite and are over five times more likely to bite children
  • Several countries prohibit permanent chaining, including Austria, Germany and Switzerland; over twenty American states, including California, Delaware, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island and Texas, also ban the practice.


Media contact: Anita Kapuscinska, Media Relations Coordinator, Montreal SPCA, 514-226-3932, or anitak@spca.com.

About the Montreal SPCA
Founded in Montreal in 1869, we were the first humane 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 many years, the Montreal SPCA has been working hard with municipal, provincial and federal governments to improve animal protection laws. In 2014, our inspection service investigated 1,217 new complaints and conducted the inspection of 3,012 animals, all species combined. A total of 101 animals were seized as a result of these investigations and several criminal and penal charges were laid.

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

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