The following is an opinion piece from Danielle Doyon. The power of her message should resonate throughout all of Quebec till the day we see things change for the benefit of the animals. Many months ago she wrote this letter and sent it out to several editors of French newspapers and magazines. She did not receive a response until today. It is not strange that the media prefers to not pay attention concerning the problems of those that don’t vote: Animals.
During the Salon National Des Animaux De Compagnie, her letter was passed out to all of those that visited the UPRA booth. Her voice did not need the media to reach the people. Her letter made it into the hands of people to read and for the eyes of those ignorant to the reality to get a grasp of it. Although it seems that the season of protests may be over due to weather…believe me when I say that there are many working hard for the change to come.
Thank you Danielle for your love, passion and respect for animals. Thank you for speaking up for the animals that have no voice.
BERGER BLANC: QUEBEC IS GUILTY
BY DANIELLE DOYON
On April 21st of this year, a report was broadcast by Radio-Canada on the practices of Le Berger Blanc, the largest pound in Canada. At the request of a citizen and of a Radio-Canada journalist and due to numerous complaints and rumors, the SPA decided to infiltrate the walls of this company by sending one of its collaborators equipped with a hidden camera on assignment. After seven weeks of espionage, supporting images revealed what is beyond all comprehension. Acts of extreme cruelty: botched euthanasias, animals still alive among corpses, negligence, violations to the law and contracts, etc. The Quebec population was in shock, especially those living in the greater Montreal area, where Le Berger Blanc serves several boroughs and districts. Sorrow, rage, revolt, grief, disbelief. The Berger Blanc scandal has just struck us with a violent blow to the heart. Nothing can justify the cruelty and the immoral practices of this company. I strongly condemn these acts of sheer torture. But this scandal is, according to me, a clear-cut symptom of an even more serious disease we must eradicate: the outstanding irresponsibility of Quebecers toward their pets. We are responsible for this horror, we are the cause of this hell. And this makes me very angry.
I’m addressing everyone in general and no one in particular. If the shoe fits, wear it! And I’m warning you, I will not spare any feelings. My comments will be as cutting as my anger. It will be your choice to continue reading or not, to agree or not, to feel attacked or not, to like me or not. Regardless of your choices, I shall speak out in service to those who cannot do it for themselves.
I therefore ask you these questions:
How can we be disgusted with such horrors without questioning ourselves while we cowardly abandon 500 000 animals yearly in Quebec? Quebec: 8 million inhabitants /500 000 abandonments. France: 64 million inhabitants /100 000 abandonments. The situation in Quebec is 40 times worse! Shameful.
How can we blame it all on Le Berger Blanc, excluding ourselves from the equation, while we impulsively buy our animals from pet shops and classified ads, proud partners of puppy and kitten mills? Quebec: approximately 1800 puppy mills, producing 400 000 puppies a year. We encourage these extensive breeding practices. Hardly intelligent! You didn’t know? Well, get informed.
Why produce, or encourage the production of animals, while thousands are killed daily in shelters and pounds such as Le Berger Blanc? Only 12 % of cats and 6 % of dogs are adopted from shelters. And yet, they were entirely “dumped” there by us. Nothing to be proud of. Why not adopt the abandoned ones? For the most part, they are great animals which simply fell into the hands of irresponsible owners. And many of them are under a year old… We produce animals that we kill within the same year! We kill babies. We let them die in pounds and then produce more. Revolting. Beyond all comprehension.
How many times and in how many languages do we need to repeat it, that there is a serious animal overpopulation issue in Quebec in order for us to finally understand that sterilization is essential? No budget? If you don’t have a budget for sterilization, then you don’t have the money for medical care either. You should therefore not have any animals, case closed. When will we truly understand that allowing our animals to produce litters only aggravates the problem? We think that babies are cute? We want to make extra money? Yet, statistics clearly demonstrate that in a litter of five or six cats or dogs, four will be either abandoned, mistreated, killed in a gas chamber or remain in captivity in a puppy or kitten mill. Yup… Real cute! Should they be fortunate enough to find good homes, those left behind in pounds and shelters waiting for an adoptive family will die instead. Insane and stupid. A sheer aberration.
Each time I see an ad selling or giving away kittens or puppies, I am both angry and sad. More litters added to the overpopulation. I know that the future of these newborns will be far from pleasant. I know that the majority will suffer at the hands of the irresponsible Quebeckers that I know we are. I know that they will eventually populate the pounds and will be killed prematurely. Sheer selfishness. Sheer recklessness. Ignorance in all its splendor.
North American Third World of pets, North American capital of animal cruelty, paradise of puppy mills. In Quebec, we deserve those titles, thanks to our outdated mentalities in animal welfare. Yes, we are that outdated! We keep our animals an average of 19 months while their lifespan is between 10 and 15 years!!!!! We truly suck.
July 1st… Moving Day.
July 1st… Abandonments day in Quebec (close to 50 % of the yearly total abandonments take place during the moving period). Annual crisis in shelters. Worse every year.
This disease which we call irresponsibility translates into such scandals as the Berger Blanc. There are about 59 profit pounds in Quebec. The same horror behind most of their walls: gas chambers, botched chain euthanasias (Berger Blanc only: from 80 to 200 euthanasias per day), filthy cages, neglected animals, etc. In Quebec, we produce and we kill. We kill because we produce too much. We buy and we abandon. We abandon because we buy impulsively. We buy rather than adopt. That’s truly retarded. That’s us. Are you proud? Are you concerned? Can you relate?
The day that Quebecers will assume responsibility towards their four-legged companions, will be the day that pounds and shelters will empty, resuming their primary mission: temporarily accommodating a homeless or lost animal. The day we will stop recklessly abandoning our animals to pounds or even to the outdoors, that mass euthanasia will also cease (know that 80% of abandoned animals are euthanized). Those thousands of shelter animals do not show up out of nowhere! We are responsible for this overpopulation. We are responsible for the Berger Blanc scandal. If we are not a part of the solution, we are inevitably part of the problem. By neglecting to spay or neuter, buying instead of adopting, abandoning for any damned reason, we encourage and enrich the pounds and puppy and kitten mills owners. All of whom feed off the animal overpopulation and off of our sheer ignorance. We downright encourage producers and killers. Produce and kill. Such retarded attitudes.
And what should be said about our apathetic government. No resources, no laws, no plan, no vision. It is really not that difficult to comprehend how we have reached this point. Elsewhere, people wake up and take action. Here, we are sound asleep. We bury our heads in the sand. Less complicated. Population just as apathetic. Petitions? Too long. Demonstrations? Too complicated. Letters to elected representatives? Too hard. We will not go very far with such shitty mobilization. Finally, it seems that we wish to keep seeing images similar to those captured at Le Berger Blanc…. If [as Gandhi said] “the greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated“, then Quebec is sadly and infinitesimally small. We are small. Losers.
We are the problem. The Berger Blanc scandal is simply a reflection of our deplorable personal and collective attitudes towards animal welfare issues. A change in attitude is imperative. Let us stop simply raging against animal cruelty and let’s change our behavior. Let’s evolve damn it! Let’s finally be responsible! The formula is so simple. Simply be logical and above all, listen to your heart: THINK-ADOPT-STERILIZE-IDENTIFY-DO NOT ABANDON.
In the name of all those who have no voice to ask for help, I thank you for being a part of the solution from herein, and for choosing to evolve. A huge thank you goes to all those who are already doing their part by being responsible, informed and aware. All my respect goes out to you.
After having read this text, please take a long hard look in the mirror… What do you see? Did you have a hand in the Berger Blanc scandal? What are your plans now to make real changes?
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Thanks to Angela Rossi and Tammy Feger for the translation. Merci beaucoup les filles!