Dog and cat owners have only a few more days before they will be forced to comply to new standards in Montreal and Laval. Microchipping and sterilization of their animal will be mandatory from January 1, with a few exceptions.
“If microchipping is contraindicated for your pet, you are required to provide us with a veterinarian’s note citing the reasons why that is the case. This information will be recorded in your file,” as stated by the City of Montreal website.
The implantation of a microchip makes it possible to identify a lost animal and to report it quickly to its owner. The device accompanies the animal throughout its life, unlike traditional dog tags.
Microchipping: is a capsule – the size of a grain of rice – inserted under the skin of the animal that contains a computer chip with an associated serial number in a computer system with the owner’s contact information.
“Veterinarians have instant access to file data, thus avoiding overloading shelters and carrying out avoidable euthanasia,” notes the City of Montreal on its website.
“The microchip helps alleviate the stress experienced by people who have lost their pet much more quickly,”said Anita Kapuscinska, a spokesperson for the Montreal SPCA in an interview with The Canadian Press.
According to the Association of Veterinary Physicians of Quebec (AMVQ), microchipping costs about $ 70 in a veterinary clinic. It is $ 45 at the Montreal SPCA and the price can be lower when municipalities organize microchip clinics.
With sterilization, the City of Montreal first aims to control the number of stray animals and limit unwanted births that can lead to overcrowding in shelters and euthanasia.
The operation, which is performed under general anesthesia by a veterinarian, prevents the animal from reproducing. It can usually be taken home the same day or the next day.
The practice also has other benefits, including preventing tumors and infections, decreasing the tendency to run away during breeding, and reducing excessive meowing of cats.
“Everything that is sterilization only brings benefits for cats and dogs in our society,” said Dr. Michel Pepin, spokesperson for the AMVQ.
In Montreal, rabbits will also need to be sterilized.
The AMVQ estimates that sterilizing a cat should cost on average between $ 219 and $ 289. The bill should climb in the range of $ 328 to $ 367 for puppies.
The Montreal SPCA offers low-cost sterilization services to low-income people, but refuses to publicly disclose the prices.
Sterilization is not compulsory under certain conditions when the practice is contraindicated by a veterinarian, when the dog or cat is used for breeding and when the dog is less than six months old.
The majority of the 1,000 dogs and 5,000 cats received by the Montreal SPCA are not sterilized or microchipped on arrival. The organization believes that the obligation of these practices will greatly help reduce the number of animals euthanized.
The minimum fine for any owner who did not comply with the regulations is set at $300 in Montreal and $100 in Laval.
Microchipping was first made mandatory in Laval on January 1, 2019, but the city pushed back the deadline after pushback came from residents who were asking for more time to comply with the regulations.
The Canadian Press