MONTREAL – Less than a week after moving day in Quebec, the Montreal SPCA said it is dealing with a record number of abandoned pets.
In June, about 1,900 animals were dropped off at the shelter – that’s up by over 400 pets compared to the same time last year.
SPCA spokesperson Anita Kapuscinska explained some pet owners don’t have much choice when they’re moving.
“There’s a lot of families being torn apart who have to choose between their pet, who they consider a family member, and an affordable apartment,” she told Global News, adding that the figure doesn’t include animals who are left on the street.
The SPCA has launched a petition for the Quebec government to eliminate no-pet clauses on apartment leases.
“The problem is that landlords are scared of hypothetical situations, which is unfortunate because they are essentially assuming people with animals are not responsible,” Kapuscinska said.
It’s an argument that has been proven, according to the Quebec Landlords Association.
“We’ve seen situations where apartments have been ruined by urine and animal feces,” said Kevin Lebeau.
“The landlord had to strip out everything once the tenant is gone, even down to the floor joists, and start over again.”
Lebeau explained it’s often landlords who have to drop off pets at shelters because tenants simply left them behind – they’re also the ones left with the bill.
“Landlords can’t ask for damage deposits in Quebec,” he said.
“Even if they’re willing to allow a pet, there’s no way to protect themselves, even in a minimal kind of way against damage that can be caused by a pet that’s not kept properly.”
READ MORE: Montreal SPCA pushes for anti-tethering laws
Since July 1, 83 pets have been adopted.
The SPCA said it has had to send some animals to Ontario to deal with overcrowding.
Nevertheless, Montreal’s SPCA has a high placement rate, which may help them deal with the record numbers.
In its history, the organization has helped 95 per cent of dogs, 75 per cent of cats and every single rabbit find a home.