All Laval cats and dogs must be sterilized by Jan. 1

As of Jan. 1, all Laval dog and cat owners will need to have their pets sterilized under the city's revamped animal control bylaw.

Measure is part of city's animal control bylaw to curb errant animal population

Diesel, a pointer mix, is one of many dogs which will need to be neutered under Laval's new animal control bylaw in effect Jan. 1. (CBC)

Pet owners in Laval will soon be required to have their dogs and cats sterilized under the city's revamped animal control bylaw.

As of Jan. 1, any dog or cat six months or older will need to be spayed or neutered. 

In March, the municipal council voted on stricter rules surrounding animal control, following Montreal's decision at the time to ban all pit bull-type dogs.

One of the changes will be the mandatory sterilization of dogs and cats to tackle the issue of certain behavioural problems and the overpopulation of strays.

"We kill about 3,000 cats a year and about 1,500 dogs a year so this has to stop," said Laval Mayor Marc Demers.

"This has to go down and we must take care of our animals. Basically, that is our goal."

Some owners may receive an exemption if they are provided with a note from their veterinarian.

While veterinarians say sterilization is a good way to reduce the population of strays, it's not a surefire way to deal with badly behaving animals.

Petition launched in protest

Laval resident Marta Mohr has launched a petition in an effort to have the municipal council change its tune when it comes to sterilization.

Her pointer mix Diesel is not neutered.

"My dog is five years old, he's totally healthy and he's not dangerous to anybody," Mohr said.

"I don't see why I should do it ... I'm very disappointed because I thought the decision to sterilize a pet should be put in the hands of the owners, in consultation with veterinarians."
Laval resident Marta Mohr has launched a petition asking Laval municipal council to rethink its cat and dog sterilization bylaw. (CBC)

Mohr said she has called all the veterinarians in the Laval region asking for an exemption. None will grant her one.

"One of my veterinarians said they cannot do it because the only time they can issue an exemption is if there is a medical condition prohibiting the procedure," Mohr said.

She says she'll go to a Montreal veterinarian or even out of province if she has to in order to get an exemption.