Sign up for our newsletter and get a curated list of the top trending stories and exclusive rewards every day.

Trending Topics

Get the MTL Blog app

Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Montreal’s SPCA Says Hundreds Of Pets Were Given Up Due To The Housing Crisis & COVID-19

Finding a pet-friendly home is becoming increasingly difficult for low-income families
Contributing Writer
Montreal’s SPCA Says Hundreds Of Pets Were Given Up Due To The Housing Crisis & COVID-19

To the director of the Montreal SPCA, the growing number of animals arriving at her door is a disturbing sign of the times. Pet owners are being forced to give up their animals because the city has a housing crisis and COVID-19 has only made it worse. "It all started as early as April, since the beginning of COVID," said Élise Desaulniers, executive director of the Montreal SPCA. 

Many people put their cats or dogs up for adoption after being unable to find appropriate housing. Now, the pandemic's impact on people's income has become yet another hardship for cash-strapped pet owners.  

As a consequence, over a hundred distressed families contacted the Montreal SPCA in June because they were unable to find affordable housing in a pet-friendly building, according to the organization's statement.

"When the landlords get 20, 25, or 50 applications for the same apartment, they will probably choose the person who has a good job, they will probably choose a family without kids and they will probably choose a family without animals," she said.  

According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), Quebec's vacancy rate stands at 1.8% and falls to 1.5% in Montreal — the lowest it's been since 2004.

With fewer housing options, finding a pet-friendly apartment is becoming increasingly difficult for low-income families.

In desperation, these families turn to the SPCA, which tries to find new homes for the animals but will take them in as last resort.   

"If there's nothing that can be done and the person has been looking for weeks, and they're going to move next week, we'll take the animal in," Élise told us.

To improve the situation, the Montreal SPCA launched a campaign last April calling for the Corporation des propriétaires immobiliers du Québec (CORPIQ) to create more pet-friendly rental spaces.

Since then, the petition has received more than 25,000 signatures.   

The statement read "since people move all summer long, there is still time to show solidarity and limit the extent of this disaster that is currently affecting far too many families."   

The pandemic has complicated animal rescue efforts for the SPCA, said Desaulniers.

Since April, it has been forced to cancel all non-essential medical procedures, including the spaying and neutering of pets.  

You can still visit the SPCA to find a pet in need of a new home but adoptions are by appointment only, said Desaulniers.

"We didn't know what we were getting into," Desaulniers said of the pandemic. "The first thing we did was try and empty the shelter as quickly as possible to reduce the number of staff at work."  

She reminded animal lovers to consider visiting a shelter or an online adoption agency the next time you're looking for a fur baby.  

"I know everyone wants a puppy and all of that but an adult animal can be an amazing family member and you're really helping an animal get a new life." 

More from MTL Blog

Comments 💬

Our comment section is a place to promote self-expression, freedom of speech and positivity. We encourage discussion and debate, but our pages must remain a safe space where everyone feels comfortable and the environment is respectful.

In order to make this possible, we monitor comments to keep spam, hate speech, violence, and vulgarity off our pages. Comments are moderated according to our Community Guidelines.

Please note that Narcity Media does not endorse the opinions expressed in the comment section of an article. Narcity Media has the right to remove comments, ban or suspend any user without notice, or close a story’s comment section at any time.

First and last names will appear with each comment and the use of pseudonyms is prohibited. By commenting, you acknowledge that Narcity Media has the right to use & distribute your content across our properties.

Loading...