Mission and policies

A history of compassion

Founded in Montreal in 1869, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (now known simply as the Montreal SPCA) was the first animal-welfare organization in Canada. It is not known under whose influence the society was formed, but its history acknowledges assistance from animal-welfare societies in France, England and the United States. In its early years, the SPCA concentrated primarily on improving the treatment of work horses, which were used all across the island of Montreal. The SPCA later began working on additional issues, such as humane dog control, cock-fighting and the killing of wild birds. The SPCA has come a long way since its beginnings: today, it is the largest animal-protection organization in Quebec, speaking on behalf of animals wherever there is ignorance, cruelty, exploitation or neglect.


Giving animals a voice

The Montreal SPCA’s mission consists of protecting animals from neglect, abuse and exploitation; representing their interests and ensuring their well-being; and last but not least, raising public awareness and helping develop compassion for all sentient beings.

The Montreal SPCA’s general by-laws, 2020
The Montreal SPCA’s official policies (available in French)

The Montreal SPCA’s official policies

Sterilization of companion animals (including pediatric spay/neuter)
Trap-Neuter-Release-Maintain (TNRM) programs for feral cats
Sale of animals
Permanent confinement of companion animals
Guard dogs
Elective surgical procedures
Dangerous dogs and breed-specific legislation
Training and behaviour modification
Companion animal overpopulation and euthanasia
Euthanasia methods
Horse-drawn carriages
Horse slaughter
Farm-animal welfare
Trapping and ranching of fur-bearing animals
Nuisance wildlife management
Endangered species
Animal testing
Dissection and animal experimentation in education
Refusal to dissect or experiment