Montreal, March 11, 2015 – Again this year, the Montreal SPCA is taking action to help stop pet abandonment and is asking the public to join our campaign Keeping Families Together against no-pet clauses in residential leases. This year, our campaign includes a provincial petition, which is supported by Manon Massé, Member in the National Assembly (MNA) for the electoral district of Sainte-Marie–Saint-Jacques. The petition is now available on the National Assembly website and will be up for the next three months until it is submitted to the National Assembly by Ms. Massé in June and we invite everyone to sign the petition and share it with friends and family.
Our Keeping Families Together campaign aims to prevent pet abandonment during the moving day period, specifically by looking to adopt legislative measures prohibiting landlords from including discriminatory no-pet clauses in residential leases. Lack of affordable pet-friendly housing is a large contributor to pet abandonment in Quebec.
Currently, the Civil Code of Quebec allows landlords to penalize all pet owners who are looking for affordable rental housing, regardless of how their animals actually behave. This disproportionately affects low-income families, who have more limited opportunities for housing. Faced with a similar problem, France, Belgium and Ontario ruled that clauses prohibiting animals in residential leases were unreasonable and unfair, and so they were declared null and void. The Montreal SPCA believes it is time for Quebec to follow these examples.
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. “During the moving season, the number of animals coming into the Montreal SPCA shelter increases from around 600 to 1,600 animals per month – that’s almost three times the number of abandoned animals. We know that a significant portion of these animals are abandoned because their guardians are unable to find affordable rental housing that permits pets”, explains Alanna Devine, Director of Animal Advocacy at the Montreal SPCA. “We are so pleased that Ms. Massé MNA, a strong leader with a history of activism on social justice issues has agreed to present our petition to the National Assembly – so that we can finally convince our provincial government that no-pet clauses in residential leases should be a thing of the past” said Devine.
Furthermore, as March is a month when many tenants must decide whether or not they will renew their lease, we are reminding people that it is important to take active measures to ensure that if you either make a choice to move (or must move) that you take all necessary steps to make sure that you can take your pet with you. Click here for some suggestions on how to facilitate your search for a pet-friendly apartment.
Together, we can change things! By joining our Keeping Families Together campaign, you are taking action to change the law that forces thousands of pets to be abandoned in Quebec. Here’s what YOU can do:
- Sign and share the National Assembly petition, presented by Manon Massé, MNA before June 9th by clicking here;
- Send and share this letter to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Land Occupancy;
- If you are forced to move for financial or other reasons and are having difficulty finding pet-friendly housing, please send us your story by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about the current situation regarding no-pet clauses in residential leases, see our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section by clicking here.
Media contact: Anita Kapuscinska, Media Relations Coordinator, Montreal SPCA, 514-226-3932, or email@example.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 more information about the Montreal SPCA, please visit our website at www.spca.com.