Press release : The impending closure of Montreal Berger Blanc for-profit pound will take three years.

Press release : The impending closure of Montreal Berger Blanc for-profit pound will take three years.


For immediate release


The impending closure of Montreal Berger Blanc for-profit pound will take three years


Montreal 15 January 2019 – Following an article which appeared in the Journal de Montreal on January 14, the Society for the Protection of Animals (SPA Canada) deplores the interminable delay in establishing an animal shelter managed by the city of Montreal, a project which was due to be completed in 2016.

It is thanks to a report from the program Enquête by Radio-Canada, following a SPA Canada investigator’s infiltration into Berger Blanc in 2011, that the atrocities there have been revealed. Following this infiltration the SPA Canada organised public protests and media campaigns to put pressure on the city. Then Mayor, Gérald Tremblay promised the construction of such a city shelter by 2016 and at a cost of 23 million. The former Mayor Denis Coderre promised the shelter for 2018 but postponed it until 2019.

Valérie Plante’s administration wants to do further studies on the subject in 2020 and 2021, which means that the project won’t happen until at least 2022. In the meantime, stray animals or animals whose owners no longer want them who are in neighbourhoods serviced by Berger Blanc will continue to enter into the care of a for-profit pound whose proper functioning and capacity to provide the optimal level of care towards animals are in doubt. “Since the report was broadcast in 2011, we still receive calls from whistleblowers complaining about the services at Berger Blanc,” remarks Dominique Routhier, Director of Animal Defense at SPA Canada.

In spite of Berger Blanc’s claims that it has changed its practices since 2011, the basic problem is not only the poor quality of care that the animals receive but also that it is a profit-driven organisation whose activity is based on the exploitation of animals for profit. This in itself is wrong. According to previous studies and experts, running animal pounds are not profitable activities, so how is Berger Blanc making its profit? Where is it cutting costs in order to make this a profitable activity?

SPA Canada reiterates that it is the city’s legal obligation to manage this public service. “We are talking about living beings, the city taking responsibility for animals within its limits is the least it can do. It’s a public service we should expect to come from the city and not a for-profit company, especially one that involves caring for living beings who are important family members.” states Ms Routhier. Furthermore, a city-led management program would be subject to verifiable, transparent good practices, which is not the case with many companies.

Montreal citizens have now already waited 8 years, it will take a minimum of another 3 years before the project begins. Is the city of Montreal waiting for a second major investigation to act more quickly?If so, SPA Canada is ready to get things moving.How many other animals will have to be euthanized, caught and cruelly treated, considered as beings of a distant priority? In spite of good incentives from the Plante administration for animals over the past year, this delay is very disappointing for both them and people in Montreal, who for several years have been expecting the opening of a center run by the city.

Radio-Canada Enquête’s coverage of Le Berger Blanc is available online at


About SPA Canada:

SPA Canada is a national nonprofit animal rights organization dedicated to creating awareness and educating people on respecting all animal species.


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