This coming Monday is not only Canada Day but the infamous Moving Day in Montreal... and while that should mean excitement about a new apartment, some renters in Montreal will be facing a very difficult decision this weekend.

Every year in Montreal, countless pets must be left behind by pet owners that are moving into new apartments with no-pet clauses in the lease or building by-laws.

In the best scenario, these pets are given to family, friends or acquaintances that are able to keep pets in their apartments. Alternatively, the pets are given up for adoption to a facility like the SPCA.

But in many, heartbreaking cases, pets are left in old apartments or on the street.

We had our very own Olivia Lyle head to the Montreal SPCA to speak with a spokesperson about the difficulties facing pet owners in Quebec, where landlords are able to deny tenants the right to keep a pet.

There are, of course, exceptions to this rule. According to Educaloi, The Regie du Logement has ruled that a tenant can keep a pet because of its therapeutic benefits.

Service animals are also deemed necessary for some Canadians under the Charter of humans rights and freedoms, which overrules any stipulations in a lease or rules within the building by-laws.

Recently, the Civil Code of Quebec was amended to consider animals sentient beings with "biological imperatives." The Act to improve the legal status of animals makes it clear that it is now prohibited to abandon an animal.

Many feel that a landlord's ability to deny pet owners their pets in new apartments is in direct opposition with this amendment that prohibits abandonment. While bringing an animal to the SPCA isn't abandonment on the street, it certainly feels the same to pet and pet owner.

There is currently a Change.org petition with over 22,000 signatures to abolish the law that allows landlords to discriminate against pet owners. In Ontario, for example, a no pet clause in a lease is against the Residential Tenancies Act.


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The Educaloi page also indicates that it is worth appealing to your landlord and letting them meet your pet, as they may come around. 

Also, if you're someone who lives in an apartment that does allow animals, consider becoming a foster for the SPCA!

While the SPCA accepts something like 600 animals a month on average, according to TVA Nouvelles that number jumps up to 1600 between June and August. To learn more about fostering for the SPCA head to their page here.


To read the full page on Pets in Rental Housing written up by Educaloi, head to their site here. To read the amendments to the Civil code concerning animals, head to the MAPAQ page here. To sign the petition against this law, head to the Change.org page here.

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