Two Montreal boroughs ditch private pound

Two Montreal boroughs are terminating their contracts with the Berger Blanc private pound floowing allegations of animals being mistreated.
Two boroughs have dropped the services of Berger Blanc, which was the subject of a Radio-Canada investigation on the inhumane treatment of animals in April. (Radio-Canada)

Two Montreal boroughs are terminating their contracts with the Berger Blanc private pound following allegations of animals being mistreated.

An investigation by Radio-Canada's Enquête program broadcast in April showed footage of questionable euthanasia practices.

At a borough meeting last night, Cote-des-Neiges/Notre-Dame-de-Grâce officials voted to end its contract immediately, despite being obligated to give 30 days notice to the pound.

Mayor Michael Applebaum said the borough will pay Berger Blanc for the 30 days, but will not use its services.

"It's not a question of cost, it's a question of the welfare of our animals," Applebaum said when asked about the $10,000 the borough will lose.

The SPCA will take over services for the borough immediately.

Meanwhile, the Plateau Mont-Royal borough has also voted not to renew its contract with Berger Blanc, which runs out next month.

Councillor Piper Huggins told CBC News she has been receiving complaints from citizens for the past year.

The Enquête investigation showed animals being given given lethal injections without being sedated first, in violation of North American veterinarian standards.

Employees trained at the pound were in charge of administering needles, rather than a veterinarian.

Eight boroughs still use pound

There are eight other boroughs across the city that use the private pound's services, which is hired by the individual boroughs instead of the central city administration.

Huggins said she will present a motion at the next city council meeting asking for a committee to be created to oversee animal management.

The city of Montreal is expected to make an announcement about the pound soon.

Berger Blanc refused to comment Tuesday.

The private pound handles more than 30,000 animals a year, which is about half of Montreal's abandoned pet population.