Shelters have seen a significant increase in adoptions in the past year, particularly at the SPA de Québec, which has reached a new peak, but this could be a consequence of abandonments linked to the pandemic.
A total of 3,200 animals housed at the SPA de Québec found a new family in 2022, a record for nearly 150 years. This is a 22% increase in adoptions compared to the previous year, when 2,625 animals found a new family. Although less, a similar situation is observed at the Montreal SPCA, where 4,018 animals were adopted, or 28% more than in 2021.
These data, which seem positive to say the least, hide a darker side. If there could have been so many adoptions last year, it is partly due to a significant increase in abandonments.
At the SPA de Québec, admissions to shelters increased by 15% compared to the average, while there is an increase of 9% compared to last year in the metropolis.
A phenomenon that will worsen
The experts had however warned the population when everyone rushed to adopt an animal during the first year of the pandemic, underlines Sophie Gaillard, acting director general of the Montreal SPCA.
“We see this situation across the country. We expect this to increase further in the coming years, now that 52% of Quebecers own a dog or a cat, ”she says. Ms. Gaillard also believes that the phenomenon will intensify in the coming years, particularly with the rise in the cost of living.
"It's a hypothesis, but our fear is that we will eat our black bread for a few years", also laments Félix Tremblay, in the Old Capital.
The general manager of the SPA de Québec has also recalled its need for new premises to meet the growing needs of the population.
"When I'm a hair's breadth from doing overcrowding euthanasia and I have employees who are on the verge of burnout almost every week, I think it's safe to say we're at our wit's end. resources,” says Mr. Tremblay. The latter wishes to have help from the City of Quebec to build a larger shelter and hire more staff.
"We've reached our extreme limit," he said.