Montreal SPCA Excludes Dogs from its Animal Service Contracts with Boroughs in the City of Montreal

Montreal, December 22nd 2016 – Following the implementation of the provisions in the city of Montreal’s animal control by-law which unjustly targeting certain types of dogs, the Montreal SPCA has recently communicated with its partners from nine of the boroughs it serves on the Island of Montreal. The SPCA regretfully confirmed its intention to no longer provide animal services for dogs under the various animal services contracts, a decision that would come into effect on March 31st 2017. Borough officials were made aware in September that the SPCA would have no choice but to no longer provide services for dogs – should the city adopt breed specific legislation – as continuing to provide these services would ultimately result in the SPCA being forced to take actions which would be against its mission and values. The SPCA will be offering to continue providing animal services to boroughs for all other animals (cats, wildlife, and exotic animals) and for other services it provides (the trap-neuter-release-and-maintain program for feral cats and the targeted sterilization clinic for low-income families), which represent more than 85% of the activities currently provided via our animals services contracts.

Each year, the Montreal SPCA receives over 2,000 abandoned, stray, or seized dogs, a certain proportion of which are euthanized due to medical conditions or behavioral problems. “If it had been in effect this year, the bylaw would have made it impossible to find adoptive homes for hundreds of perfectly healthy, behaviorally sound dogs. As we know, animals that cannot be adopted must too often be euthanized,” explains Dr. Gabrielle Carrière, Head Veterinarian at the Montreal SPCA.

Upon the adoption of the new animal care and control by-law , the Montreal SPCA filed a lawsuit against the City of Montreal to firstly suspend the application of the by-law’s articles targeting specific types of dogs, and secondly declare them illegal, null and void. Despite the initial victory in the Superior Court, during which a stay (suspension) of the regulation’s provisions has been rendered, the Court of Appeal overturned the stay order, allowing certain sections of the regulations targeting “pit bull-type dogs” to come into effect until the Superior Court considers the legality of these provisions.

With the implementation of the provisions targeting certain types of dogs due to the lifting of the stay, the SPCA had no other choice but to announce its ending of services in relation to dogs. The organization wishes to act with transparency. “Like any organization, we need to act in a way that respects our fundamental values. Contributing to a system that would ultimately result in the euthanasia of healthy animals behaviorally sound animals is a step that the Montreal SPCA cannot take,” says Benoit Tremblay, Executive Director. “We will continue fighting against the City of Montreal’s repressive and discriminatory provisions of the by-law targeting “pit bull type-dogs” and we are eager to set a date for trial, where a hearing on the merits will take place. We will pursue our efforts with Montreal’s elected officials and repeat our assertion that public safety is fully compatible with animal welfare. The Montreal SPCA has always acted with this in mind and intends to continue to promote this principle,” adds Me Alanna Devine, Director of Animal Advocacy.


Media contact: Anita Kapuscinska, Communications Manager, Montreal SPCA, 514 656-2760, or anitak@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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