Montreal SPCA Responds to City of Montreal’s Call to Tender for Animal Control Services

Photo : Sabrina Mignacca

Montreal, March 8th 2017 – On February 20th, the City of Montreal put out a call to tender for an animal control supplier for 12 boroughs, 10 of which are currently served by the Montreal SPCA. The Montreal SPCA is responding to the call to tender by offering to continue providing 85% of animal services to our current borough partners, representing nearly 14,000 animals per year. The proposal also includes a one-month transitory period where all services will be provided to these boroughs.

Prior to the adoption of the City of Montreal’s animal control by-law which unjustly targets certain types of dogs (using breed specific legislation [BSL]), the Montreal SPCA communicated with its partners that are part of the City of Montreal. The Montreal SPCA explained that, should the City of Montreal adopt BSL, regretfully, the organization would be unable to continue providing canine services to them under the various animal services contracts. A decision which was reiterated to once BSL was adopted and then later in force. This decision was extremely difficult for the Montreal SPCA to make, but ultimately it had no other choice as continuing to provide canine services in a city with BSL would force the organization to act against its core values and mission. The SPCA would have been contractually obligated to participate in the enforcement of a by-law that it maintains is discriminatory, vague, unfair and unreasonable and which it is challenging in court.

The Montreal SPCA consulted with shelters that have animal services contracts in areas that have had BSL in place for a number of years, and it is clear that providing canine services would have forced the Montreal SPCA to act in conflict with its core mission. Ultimately, the shelter would be filled with dogs targeted and/or seized by the City, simply because of their physical appearance. This in turn would also limit the shelter’s ability in being able to take in other animals, who are truly in need of sheltering, due to lack of space and resources. Finally, it could result in the Montreal SPCA being forced to euthanize healthy, adoptable and behaviourally-sound animals, simply because of the way that they look.

The Montreal SPCA has always maintained that they would try to continue to provide animal services to municipalities because no other organization could offer a non-profit and ethics based-service for the animals and citizens that it serves. What it will not do, however, is be forced to act in a manner that is in conflict with the very mission of the organization.

“Like any organization, we need to act in a way that respects our fundamental values. The Montreal SPCA has always – and will always – be the voice for animals. Though we hope that the City of Montreal will accept our proposal, the Montreal SPCA will always continue protecting animals, representing their well-being and educating the public through its various programs and campaigns,” says Benoit Tremblay, Executive Director.

“We will continue fighting against the repressive and discriminatory provisions of the by-law adopted by the City of Montreal targeting dogs simply because of the way that they look, 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.

For more information on breed-specific legislation and how to reduce dog bites and truly create safer and kinder communities, visit www.saferkindercommunities.com.


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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