Montreal SPCA and the City of Montreal present Operation Adoption
Montreal 27 Jun 2013 – Mr. Christian G. Dubois, Head of Public Security for Montreal’s Executive Committee, and Mr. Nicholas Gilman, Executive Director of the Montreal SPCA held a press conference at the Montreal SPCA Annex building to present their partnering in tackling the number of displaced animals due to the city phenomenon of “Moving Day.” Operation Adoption is an event that will take place from July 3 till July 7 at the Montreal’s SPCA shelters. The city and the animal welfare organization aim to facilitate the adoption of at least 100 cats through these days.
According to the Montreal SPCA the number of animal abandonment almost triples from 600 to 1,600 animals per month. During the month of June the animal shelter received a high number of cats. Operation Adoption is a way to motivate Montrealers to visit the shelter and give a second chance at a family to a rescued cat. The way in which the City of Montreal is participating is by offering a complementary $50 discount to each person who adopts a cat or kitten during the event days.
“The City of Montreal is pleased to accompany the SPCA this year in its Operation Adoption event. Citizens have a major responsibility in terms of taking care of their pets. Since we are entering the annual moving day period I would like to take this opportunity to remind Montrealers to look after their domestic animals. If however for whatever reason citizens decide to no longer keep their animals they should remember there are plenty of solutions available. At the same time, I invite Montrealers to adopt domestic animals at local shelters,” explained Mr. Dubois.
After Dubois’ statement, Mr. Gilman addressed the media to thank the City for their participation and stated that the act of adopting an animal and giving them a second chance is priceless. “Operation Adoption will save lives and nothing is more important to the Montreal SPCA than saving the lives of animals” said Mr. Gilman. The Montreal SPCA recognizes the tremendous value of working within a network of cities, boroughs and grass roots animal rescue organizations to end the tragic overpopulation of dogs and cats on the island. The team of the Montreal SPCA cares for hundreds of beautiful dogs, cats, rabbits and other animals. “ We will work tirelessly to implement programs aimed at ending overpopulation and cruelty, strengthening animal protection laws and fostering the spirit of compassion for all living beings,” said Mr. Gilman.
The floor was then opened for questions. Mr. Dubois made it clear that it is the responsibility of pet owners not to abandon their animals. In his opinion, a campaign of responsible animal guardianship is more within the field and responsibility of the Montreal SPCA. Mr. Dubois was then asked about the City of Montreal banning the sale of animals and adopting regulations that would assimilate or even surpass the ones that are now followed in the city of Toronto. He was quick to reply and said that it surely was not a solution to resolve the issue of animal abandonment.“My first reaction would be…you are dealing with private businesses, specific field…Why not restaurants? Why not bars? Why not animals? It would be difficult from a government point of view to ban a business that has been existing for a long time.” Mr. Dubois, inferring a ban on companion animals as equal to banning the sale of inanimate objects.
He had to be reminded that in 2011 the Montreal borough of Rosemont-La Petite Patrie did ban the sale of animals in any new business, therefore putting a stop to substandard commercial breeding. It was explained to him that idea is not to ban the businesses, but the sale of animals, and possibly enforce the idea of pet supply stores that promote animal adoption. According to animal advocacy organizations, most of the animals sold in pet shops come from puppy mills, to that statement he responded: “There are no puppy mills within our city.” Mr. Dubois was not debriefed on the situation of animals and puppy mills, he was not familiar with the term backyard breeders and the uncontrolled number of ways in which people profit from the reproduction of cats and dogs. “The bottom line is, the citizens have to have a conscious…I had a dog for 12 years and he was treated better than my own two daughters, but people have to take responsibility and know that an animal can live for 10, 12 or 15 years. The reality is that people walk out of the pet shop with a cat or dog and realize that they did not want a dog ” added Mr. Dubois.
The City of Montreal has not implemented a form of education and is not making the citizens aware of the situation of animal abandonment via a public awareness campaign. During the month of February of this year, the Association vétérinaire québécoise de médecine de refuge (AVQMR) held the first ever free spay/neuter clinic in collaboration with the Montreal SPCA and the organization Pops dans la rue. The purpose of the free clinic was to raise awareness and encourage people to sterilize companion animals. Yet, with the amount of animals needing to be sterilized, one free clinic offered to a determined group of people will not solve the problem of over population. Other cities in Canada and in the United States have invested in billboards and TV ads to promote animal adoption, animal sterilization. In regards this topic, Mr. Dubois responded: “I think after the 23 million dollar shelter is built in 2014…we have been having a problem with the location…it has been approved…it will be a place where we will pick up animals, they will be treated and put up for adoption in partnership with the SPCA…it will help to have a centralized system.”
The city will then have a center in which to hold the 14,000 animals that come yearly for 2014, yet it seems that they have not considered ending the problem of the backyard breeders, or realized that Quebec is the number one capital of puppy mills in North America. Dr. Suzanne Lecomte, part of the AVQMR, then responded for Mr. Dubois when asked how will the city control those that hold illegal breeding facilities within the city that sell through Craigslist or Kijiji, she said that if a kennel or breeding facility is found without the proper permits within the municipality, they will be stopped.
The most surprising comment made by Dr. Suzanne was that “ the breeding of animals is not the problem… but more than anything it is the abandonment of animals.” She added: “We are working with pet shop operators and businesses to provide information about animal sterilization and they are willing to cooperate.”
Mr. Gilman, Director of the Montreal SPCA, added that in order for things to change for the better of the animals, it has to be an effort from everyone. He shared how the Montreal SPCA has come a long way from the past. When asked if it would be possible for Montreal to reach NO KILL status, he said it was possible for dogs – but unfortunately, cat overpopulation is so significant that many, unfortunately have to be euthanized . “We cannot just blame the government, we cannot just blame the SPCA, we cannot just blame puppy mills, we have to also accept that it is our collective responsibility to make this overpopulation problem go away and we can do it.”
It is only a few months away from 2014 and the $23 million municipal animal shelter, although there is no location for it to be built yet, it has been promised to be there. Till the day the City of Montreal sees that shelter operational, continue supporting local rescues and join the fight of animal overpopulation with the Montreal SPCA.
Concerned citizens about animals on the Island of Montreal, have to continue giving a voice to animals. Send polite letters to city officials expressing thoughts and concerns. Attend rallies and be the best spokesperson for rescue animals. Promote animal adoption events; it has been proven that through social media outlets animals are saved. Animal rescues use Facebook, Twitter and even Reddit to promote animals that need help. Sharing their content saves lives and gives them a second chance to a life that they were denied from the start. Sending a letter to the editor of a newspaper, or calling radio stations to have the topic of animal abuse and animal abandonment in Quebec is always a great strategy to let the government know that the citizens that elected them want the situation of animals to change.
People are welcome to adopt cats during Operation Adoption at the Montreal SPCA located at 5215, Jean Talon West, and at the SPCA Annexe located at 7314 Mountain Sights.
- Wednesday to Friday (July 3-5) : 12pm to 8pm
- Saturday and Sunday (July 6-7): 11am to 5pm