(Thank you MDB reader Krista, for passing this along):
The SPCA proudly announces the unveiling of its new animal services contract with the borough of Verdun which will be in effect as of May 1, 2011. This contract is the result of the hard work of SPCA Director of Animal Advocacy, Alanna Devine. The new municipal by-laws for the animals in the borough of Verdun set a precedent for Quebec and we hope they will serve as an example for other municipalities.
The contract constitutes an major progressive departure for municipal animal services. It aims to educate citizens and require them to be responsible pet owners but mainly, to ensure more humane animal management.
The SPCA will no longer offer old model animal control services but rather, means to take on an major role with municipalities not as a provider of services but as a partner. “Our aim is no longer to serve as a simple pound for municipalities but to work with them to ensure citizens are educated and encouraged in responsible pet ownership as well as to implement more humane animal services” states Alanna Devine. Verdun is only one example. The SPCA has also entered into partnership contracts with other boroughs or municipalities among which Lachine, Montreal North, Montreal West, Saint-Laurent, Hampstead, Côte-St-Luc and Outremont. Additional contracts are also in the process of ratification.
The new bylaws for the borough of Verdun include:
– spay/neutering of stray animals;
– prohibition of selling, advertising or giving away unsterilized animals (including by pet shops!);
– prohibition of allowing animals to roam freely except for spay/neutered, identified, licensed and vaccinated cats or cats that are part of the TNRM programme (Trap, Neuter, Release and Maintain);
– rescinding of the limit of sterilised animals allowed per household;
– new limitation of the number of non-sterilised animals per household (no more than one) except for shelters authorised by the borough (e.g. Le refuge pour les chats de Verdun);
– prohibition of keeping exotic animals;
– a Responsible Pet Ownership Charter which will be delivered door to door by students over the summer.
This is a perfect example of the power of citizens to bring about change. Two years ago, the borough of Verdun still awarded the animal control services contract to a for profit pound which sold non-sterilised animals and used the gas chamber for euthanasia. The citizens expressed their views and demanded change. Now, the borough is working with the SPCA who has implemented a Trap, Neuter, Release and Maintain (TNRM) programme financed by the borough for the sterilisation of stray cat colonies. Verdun has become the most advanced community in terms of animal management in Quebec.
The full by-laws proposal can be found at (in French only):