Montreal SPCA’s petition against no-pet clauses in residential leases receives overwhelming public support

SPCA-VIR2-15-SliderImage_ENMontreal, June 4, 2015 – Every year, the Montreal SPCA takes action to help stop pet abandonment and asks the public to support  our Keeping Families Together campaign which includes opposing standard no-pet clauses in residential leases. This year, our campaign includes a provincial petition, which was launched on March 9th on the National Assembly website. The petition, supported by Manon Massé, Member in the National Assembly (MNA) for the electoral district of Sainte-Marie–Saint-Jacques, can be signed up until June 9th, after which it will be submitted to the National Assembly by Ms. Massé. The Montreal SPCA is excited about the public’s response to this petition – our goal was to reach at least 20,000 signatories, and as of today we have counted over 19,900 signatures! There is still time to sign the petition, and share it with friends and family, before June 9th 2015 in order to help us tell the provincial government that all families, including those with four-legged, feathered or scaled friends, deserve to have access to affordable housing..

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 followsuit.

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 families  are unable to find affordable rental housing that permits pets”, explains Alanna Devine, Director of Animal Advocacy at the Montreal SPCA. “We believe that by bringing this issue to the attention of the National Assembly, we are taking the first important steps to making no-pet clauses in residential leases in the province of Quebec a thing of the past” said Devine.

The month of June has begun, and the number of pet abandons at the Montreal SPCA has tripled. 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:

  1. Sign and share the National Assembly petition, presented by Manon Massé, MNA before June 9th by clicking here;
  2. Send and share this letter to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Land Occupancy;
  3. 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: stop@spca.com.

Thank you to everyone who has supported our campaign!

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

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