On November 5th and 6th of 2011, the Union pour le respect animal (UPRA) made their presence known at the Salon National Des Animaux De Compagnie (SNAC), presented by SNAC.CA. The SNAC is the largest pet show to take place in Canada. In its first 9 years, the Montreal edition drew a total of 390,000 visitors.
Due to the large public attendance, the UPRA felt that their participation was necessary in order to educate the public regarding pet population and abandonment in the province of Quebec. The UPRA was the only exhibitor that is active in defense of animals. It is important to note that the UPRA is not an animal rescue but advocates for the rights and welfare of animals.
The UPRA came together and gained strength as an Internet forum that started on February 8, 2007. Their purpose is to raise awareness about the proliferation of pets, puppy mills and gas chambers that are still used to euthanize animals across Quebec. According to Humane Society International, an approximate 500,000 animals are abandoned each year. People keep their companion animals an average of two years, while the approximate lifetime of the animals averages 12 years. People are abandoning animals while dog kennels produce an average of 400,000 dogs annually.
The UPRA members and volunteers used their space to educate the attendees. People lined up to sign a petition concerning Law P42, asking MAPAQ to maintain and respect the recommendations made by Humane Society International, the Montreal SPCA and those of the CAACQ. They also conducted a poll to know the thoughts of people regarding the idea of awareness in primary schools. They collected names and emails of those that were interested in receiving the UPRA newsletter. As reading material, the UPRA distributed the editorial done by Animal Activist Danielle Doyon entitled: “Berger Blanc: Quebec Guilty!” A list of animal abuse statistics was distributed, as well as a list of all refuges of animals in the province of Quebec. Mr. Yannick Daudelin, spokesperson for UPRA, said they also provided material for those that did not believe in adoption yet were determined to buy a dog. They distributed a chart to recognize the differences between ethical breeders and those who are not, and encouraged people to read the book by Charles Danten: UN VÉTÉRINAIRE EN COLÈRE.