Montreal SPCA calling for help, overwhelmed with abandoned dogs ahead of moving day

The SPCA is reporting a sharp rise in animal abandonments this year compared with last year, and dogs are being left behind more than any other pet.

montreal spca calling for help, overwhelmed with abandoned dogs ahead of moving day

With the July 1 moving day approaching, there is growing concern about how much worse the situation will get.

“Basically, the shelter is already full,” Montreal SPCA executive director Laurence Massé said.

Massé says there has been a 21 per cent increase in animal abandonments in the first four months of 2024 compared with the same period last year. There was a similar increase in 2023 compared with 2022.

montreal spca calling for help, overwhelmed with abandoned dogs ahead of moving day
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One of a rising numbers of dogs awaiting adoption at the Montreal SPCA. June 20, 2024. Dan Spector / Global News

“It’s really exponential, the increase in surrenders that we’re seeing,” Massé told Global News.

According to the SPCA, the problem is worst among dogs, which have been surrendered 35 per cent more than last year.

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“Now moving day is coming and our cages are already full, so we’re expecting the worst for that day,” Massé said.

The SPCA believes the high cost of living these days is a key reason for the increase in abandonments. With more animals coming through its doors, the non-profit is also seeing its expenses go up.

montreal spca calling for help, overwhelmed with abandoned dogs ahead of moving day
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One of a rising numbers of dogs awaiting adoption at the Montreal SPCA. June 20, 2024. Dan Spector/Global News

They recently hired new animal attendants because they couldn’t meet the needs of the animals with just volunteers.

“We need people to take care of them, we need workers. We also need vet care. These resources are really expensive,” Massé said.

One of their new hires was animal attendant Lyndsey Kirwan, who was caring for a dog named Pato while Global News was visiting.

She explained that a dog lover brought him back to Canada from Mexico, but then had to give him up when moving to a new home that didn’t allow multiple dogs.

Pato has been at the SPCA waiting for someone to adopt him.

montreal spca calling for help, overwhelmed with abandoned dogs ahead of moving day
1:59 Metro Vancouver shelters see increase in abandoned pets

“He deserves the best family ever, someone that’s going to give him lots of love,” Kirwan said while petting the dog.

Cats and dogs that used to be adopted in one week are now staying there for two or more.

The SPCA is appealing for donations to help it deal with the crisis, and for people to come adopt or foster the alarming number of animals coming in.

“A lot of people adopted during the pandemic, and now they’re not willing to adopt a second animal because it comes with cost as well,” Massé said.

With moving day just over a week away, the SPCA is hoping generous Montreal animal lovers reach out to help them.

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