July 1st is focused on Canada Day, but for Montrealers, it's moving day.
Every year during the moving period, the Montreal SPCA sees a large increase in the number of animals coming in.
Anita Kapuscinska of the SPCA told CJAD News they see an increase from 600 to 1 600 animals per month.
"So this number triples," said Kapuscinska. "We're not just talking about July 1st, we're talking the months of June, July, and August."
The reason for the sudden increase is because many people end up moving to a new home that does not allow pets.
The Régie du logement estimates that 3% of landlords accept animals.
"Landlords can put a no pet clause on their apartments, which most of them do." said Kapuscinska. "So it's very difficult for people to find apartments that allow animals. So when July 1st comes and people have already signed their leases, a lot of people, specifically people with lower incomes are faced with the gut wrenching decision where they have to part with their animal."
While the SPCA is taking in the extra animals, they want to remind pet owners not to leave your animal behind.
"We also receive unfortunately some people who end up abandoning their animals in empty apartments," Kapuscinska said. "And we'd just like to remind everyone that it's actually a criminal act to abandon an animal in distress."
Part of the problem is how animals are treated in the province.
"We definately have a lot of progress to be made when it comes to the protection of animals. The laws are not strong enough." Kapuscinska said. "Not all species are protected in the same way, and we'd like to see all animals treated equally."
The Quebec government recently set up a new hotline for tips about animals abuse. According to Kapuscinska, it's a great step but more needs to be done.
The SPCA calls Quebec the worst province in Canada when it comes to animal protection.
Kapuscinka said the SPCA is trying to get the pet ban removed from the civil code. They would like to see Quebec join Ontario, Belgium and France, which passed legislation invalidating any and all clauses that prohibit having pets in rental housing, while still ensuring that landlords have recourses to address problematic or irresponsible tenants, regardless of whether or not they have animals.
The SPCA is trying to educate people on what is needed to care for animals.
Earlier this year the SPCA tried a new initiative that was aimed at curbing the number of rabbits that get abandoned after the Easter period.
People were given the opportunity to foster a rabbit for three months, and would receive an information session with an adoption counsellor where they would learn about what it entails to care for a rabbit. Kapuscinka said it was a huge success and the SPCA has plans for more.
A new cat and dog adoption event will be announced soon. The event will primarily focus on cats because they receive three times as many. Anyone who goes to the event will be paired with an adoption counsellor where once again those looking to adopt will be given all the information needed to care for a new animal. Kapuscinka adds the city of Montreal will be absorbing part of the adoption fee for cats.
The SPCA is asking the public to join the campaign against no-pet clauses in residential leases by visiting their microsite: www.stoppetabandonment.com