Wave of abandoned animals in sight

RIMOUSKI JULY 1ST

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The CSAR expects the worst on July 1st due to the statistics of animal abandonment in 2021 on this date, the housing shortage and the large number of thoughtless adoptions during confinement.

Last year, twice as many animals as usual were transferred to the Center de services animaliers de Rimouski (CSAR) on July 1, according to statistics compiled by the organization, reveals Jeanne Mercier, director general.

The manager of the CSAR, whose mission is, among other things, to temporarily house abandoned animals in order to find them a family, comments: “This year, we are even more afraid of the moving season considering the housing shortage situation in Quebec, amplified by the effect post-COVID, where many owners who adopted animals during the pandemic are leaving with the resumption of normal life. »

She specifies that, in the last few months, she and her employees have observed several situations where citizens, after several months of research to find accommodation that accepts animals, have been forced to abandon their animal. This makes them fear the worst in terms of the number of animals that will be abandoned during the moves. “Although we had a few dogs in 2021, these are mainly cats, rabbits and other small rodents who are suffering the repercussions of the great movement that takes place on July 1 and all the constraints related to it”, announces she.

Alicia Gagnon-Brillant, founder of the company De Pas à Pattes, recently established in Rimouski and dedicated, among other things, to canine education and pet therapy, specifies that the number of abandoned dogs could be higher this year, because several individuals improvised breeders during the pandemic, seeing an opportunity in the face of the loneliness of isolated people to produce large quantities of puppies that were not sufficiently socialized and in good health to put on sale quickly, while conscientious professional breeders sometimes impose delivery deadlines. 2 years to buyers to do their job well.

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She relates: “Dogs require a lot of care, so it is important to think carefully and prepare before committing to adopting them, which will avoid unnecessary abandonment, that’s what I teach in my classes. Even though wanting a pet is emotional, there are a host of rational things to consider before: costs (food, vet, grooming, etc.), the right match with the breed and the size of dog that fits our profile, regardless of the look (rhythm of life, space available, single person or family with children, etc.). You also have to be aware of the time to invest in the education of a puppy, especially during the first months, to put him clean and train him, and throughout his life to give him exercise and take care of other aspects of his hygiene and health. »

In the shelter environment, underlines Ms. Mercier, we always try to identify alternatives with the owners so that they avoid abandoning their animal during the moves. “We help them find specialized resources in the case of canine or feline behavior problems, problems of cohabitation with other animals. When it comes to the housing crisis, the solutions are much more difficult to identify, and pets are unfortunately the victims. As a last resort only, we recommend abandonment in shelters rather than resale platforms (Facebook Marketplace, Kijiji). At least, in a shelter environment, animal health technicians and veterinarians are able to examine, vaccinate, deworm and sterilize the animals and find them families whose profile corresponds to their needs. »

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