Time to move | Pet is looking for a new master

The Montreal SPCA has noticed an increase in pet abandonment during the operation, following a trough during the pandemic.

Posted on July 4th

Alice Girard-Bosse

Alice Girard-Bosse
The Press

Chatkira, 6 years old. Louis, 4 months. Accident, 12 years old. In the Montreal SPCA area, each cage has a small occupant. In the past three months, the organization has picked up 689 abandoned animals, 132 more than last year. “We’re back to pre -pandemic levels,” said Élise Desaulniers, general manager of the Montreal SPCA.

Of these, 412 were cats and 115 were dogs. The number of rabbits abandoned has also broken a dismal record. In recent years, the organization has received about forty animals. It should be able to accommodate 64 in the last three months. However, these figures do not include stray animals treated by the SPCA.

Contrary to belief, the 1er July is not the busiest day. “Leave requests are usually weeks or months before 1er July, when people find out they have not found shelter that allows pets, ”said Ms.ME Desaulniers.


The SPCA is asking the Quebec government to remove clauses prohibiting animals from renting leases, as has happened in Ontario since 1990. In the province, only dog ​​aids cannot be denied to owners. millions.

According to a Léger survey from November 2021, 52% of Quebec households have a dog or cat. However, nearly 4.2% of owners accepted dogs. Result: nearly one animal a day was abandoned by the Montreal SPCA due to relocation, M regretsME Desaulniers. The organization has also received hundreds of calls from people who can’t find a home because of their four -legged friend.

The current state of the Quebec rental market exacerbates this situation.

In the context of housing shortages, landlords have a big tip of the stick. They have a lot of demands, so they don’t deal with animals.

Élise Desaulniers, Executive Director of the Montreal SPCA

The situation does not equally affect low-income families due to their limited choice of housing. “Families have to make a sad choice between owning a home or taking care of their pet,” Ms.ME Desaulniers, hoping the topic will become a debate in the autumn election.

In April, the Montreal SPCA launched a petition in the National Assembly supported by deputy Manon Massé asking the government to remove clauses banning domestic animals. It has collected more than 33,000 signatures to date.

Long stay

On average, dogs stay ten days in the shelter, compared to seven for cats. “Healthy, young animals are easy to find in families,” Ms.ME Desaulniers. Some, however, have to stay there longer before they can find their eternal family. This is especially the case with companions who need treatment, such as cats with diabetes, or elderly pets.

Loza, a little cat in a gray dress, watches the guests pass by her. The 12-year-old cat is still waiting for her adoptive family. “She’s adorable,” dropped one employee. Benji, a 10-month-old dog, is also having a hard time finding a new home. “He’s very strong,” said SPCA employee and dog trainer Xavier Martinez.

“We encourage people to adopt a harder or older pet to give them a second chance at a loving home,” Ms.ME Desaulniers.

People who want to donate without adoption and animals can donate money or materials, the director reminded. “When we receive food, sometimes we give it to families who no longer have the financial means”, he described. However, he invites donors to contact the organization before going there with donations.

Since March 2020, an appointment system for owners who want to leave their animals is already in place. People who want to meet animals waiting for adoption should also make an appointment.

Learn more

  • 200,000
    Number of pets adopted in Quebec by 2021

    Source: SPCA

    3.25 million
    Number of pets in Quebec

    Source: SPCA

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