PIERREFONDS, Que. – A provincial law governing the humane treatment of animals has come into effect quietly, and it could cause some Montrealers to change the way they treat their dogs.
Quebec has made it clear that dog collars should not interfere with breathing, or cause pain or injury to an animal.
The province’s guide to enforcing animal safety regulations, published in November 2013 (pdf), describes two collars as “unacceptable”: those with curved teeth, as well as those that give an electric shock.
According to the Quebec Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPAC), these collars do not meet the requirements set out in the guidelines.
Alexandre Noël, spokesperson for MAPAC, told Global News that it would make no sense to ban specific necklaces, as the law would then have to be changed whenever a new necklace could cause pain or injury. to an animal would be created.
He noted that the fines for using collars causing pain or breathing difficulties to animals are substantial: $ 600 to $ 12,000 for a first offense, which if repeated, could triple to $ 1,800 to 36 $ 000.
Those concerned about the welfare of an animal are urged to contact the ministry, who will send an inspector to investigate.
Some dog owners had already come to the same conclusion as the National Assembly when it passed the law.
“He was starting to have this ‘hack-hack’,” said Elaine Burgess, owner of a Lab-mix called Jack.
“I knew it had to be the collar, and it really started to get bad.”
She decided to ditch her claw collar for a harness and noted that the results significantly improved her pet’s health without harming him.
Electric necklaces and invisible fences
Due to the recommendations of Quebec shock collars, the law particularly affects pet owners who use invisible fences.
These are popular in suburban areas because they allow a dog to walk around the yard without the need to build real fences.
The problem with these systems, said SPCA spokeswoman Anita Kapuscinska, is that they can backfire.
“If an animal sees a squirrel, for example, on the other side of an invisible fence, the dog will rush forward, receive a shock, but continue to chase the squirrel.”
“Now he wants to come home, but he can’t. “
According to Pierrefonds veterinarian KJ Goldenberg, the new legislation is currently a self-checking system.
She said she was trying to convince her clients to consider a more humane alternative to restraints that offer what vets call “negative feedback.”
Burgess, the owner of the lab mix, said the collar change was making a huge difference to her dog’s health.
“It saved his neck.”
* This story has been corrected. Quebec has not banned certain dog collars; he recommends not to use those that hurt animals.