Abandoned Female Cat and her litter of 3 kittens - by Steve Troletti
Abandoned Female Cat on rooftop with her litter of three kittens – by Steve Troletti

One of the latest controversies in Montreal is “Le Berger Blanc” An alternate vendor to the SPCA offering their animal control services to municipalities in and around the Island of Montreal. Radio Canada in an investigative report (Enquête: Le Mauvais Berger) revealed inhumane treatment of animals at “Le Berger Blanc”. The images were quite shocking and disturbing as they were also amplified by the drama so often associated with television these days.

What shocked me the most about the Radio Canada investigative report were the opening scenes that went more or less unmentioned by anyone else. They reveal how irresponsible and inhumane Montreal’s General Pet Owner population really is.  Over four hundred thousand cats roam the streets of Montreal. A little more research into the subject reveals that over  fifty-five thousand plus cats are abandoned by Montrealers every year. That goes without counting the number of dogs that end up abandoned as well. Thirty thousand of these pets end up processed by “Le Berger Blanc” every year.

Abandoned Cat rescued - Photo by Steve Troletti
Mimi (Rescued) Abandoned Cat – Photo by Steve Troletti

The intro to the story worsens as they profile the story Eric Bertrand’s kitten. At barely 6 months of age this kitten’s curiosity lead him into the hands of Isabelle Cadieux, with no signs of being an abandoned cat. Isabelle in her own words said (Translated from French: “He didn’t look like a Ferrel cat, I like cats, so I took him!”) Am I the only one who thinks Isabelle Cadieux is a THIEF? Was Radio Canada so entrenched in the idea of demonizing “Le Berger Blanc” that they took the actions of a  common thief to demonstrate good citizen behavior? Not only did Isabelle Cadieux appropriate herself a cat through theft, she got rid of this cat in no time at all when she found out her boyfriend was allergic to cats. Who does Isabelle Cadieux think she is? Appropriating herself a household pet just to get rid of it when it doesn’t suit her needs.

When you make a decision to adopt a pet you need to think about it seriously, it’s a life long responsibility. You are playing god with a totally dependent animal and it’s irresponsible to simply dump it with the morning trash just because you didn’t do your homework.

Yes Isabelle Cadieux showed some remorse about the cat’s faith when she arrived at “Le Berger Blanc”. The reality of the situation is Isabelle should have never adopted/stolen a cat. Eric would still have his cat and the cat would still be alive. It was pure selfish impulsive behavior on the part of Isabell Cadieux that set in stone the faith of this poor cat.

I’m not defending “Le Berger Blanc” I’ve personally never liked them and even if the reports from Radio Canada are exaggerated there’s too much photographic proof that they acted in an inhumane way when processing all these animals. Yes “Le Berger Blanc” acted in what appears to be inhumane treatment of animals but Montrealers like Isabelle Cadieux are no more humaine than “Le Berger Blanc” when they play god with the life of a household pet.

Isabelle is not an exception in Montreal. She’s more like the poster child for what is in general a disgusting population of pet owners. Yes their are good humane pet owners in Montreal, but statistics show that the majority of pets in Montreal last on average nineteen months in a household. That’s not very long when we consider the Average life of a pet to be around ten years.

Within a few days it will be the First of July. In Montreal that’s a big moving day. Unfortunately for pets it’s the time of year where the largest number of them will be abandoned. Dogs, cats and other critters left in apartments with nothing more than a bowl of water, or simply abandoned outside on the street. That’s why the Mayor‘s Cabinet and Executive Committee in cooperation with “Société québécoise pour la défense des animaux (SQDA)” have put together a campaign entitled “You’re Moving! Have You Forgotten About Me?” to create awareness and make pet owners accountable in an effort to reduce euthanasia rates in the Montreal region.



MONTREAL, June 5, 2011 /CNW Telbec/ – For the ninth consecutive year the Ville de Montréal and the Société québécoise pour la défense des animaux (SQDA) are asking pet owners to act responsibly and civic-mindedly in order to lessen the number of animals abandoned during the moving period.

Statistics concerning household pets are a cause for concern: between 40 % and 50 % of Montrealers own a household pet and, while cats and dogs usually live for more than 10 years, their owners keep them on average for 19 months. As well, owners abandon their pets more frequently during the moving period.

Mr. Richard Deschamps, Vice-Chair of the Executive Committee, responsible for services to citizens, considers it crucial that pet owners be made more aware of their own accountability: “Too many animals are abandoned in Montréal, whether during the moving period or throughout the rest of the year. This contributes to animal overpopulation across our territory and inflates euthanasia statistics. Within the next few months, the boroughs will strengthen their by-laws and our administration will establish frameworks designed to encourage pet owners to properly identify and sterilize their animals. Montrealers must also be part of the solution.”

For his part, Mr. Alan DeSousa, Vice-Chair of the Executive Committee, said that pet owners have an obligation to find their animals new homes should the desire or the need to do so arise: “It is cruel to abandon your animal in the streets or in the wild. It will, in most cases, die from exposure or of starvation or illness or simply be run over. It is your responsibility to relocate your pet.”

Abandoned Cat Rescued - by Steve Troletti
Tango Rescued Cat – by Steve Troletti

Mme. Toni Andréa Belschner, of the Société québécoise pour la défense des animaux, launched an appeal to those seeking to adopt a household pet: “If you adopt an animal during the moving period, not only will you be able to enjoy a wider variety of pets to choose from but you will probably also be saving a life in the process. However, be aware of all the consequences of animal ownership because it is a lifelong obligation. You must budget for food, accessories, sterilization procedures, veterinary care, grooming services, obedience schools, municipal permits, boarding kennels, etc.”

Last May 13th the Ville de Montréal announced a series of persistent, preventative measures designed to improve animal population control. This action plan aims, in particular, to curtail animal overpopulation in Montréal, reduce the number of euthanized animals and raise citizen awareness regarding ownership responsibility and accountability.

For further information:

Source :
Ville de Montréal
Société québécoise pour la défense des animaux

Information :

Martine Painchaud, attachée de presse
Cabinet du maire et du comité exécutif
514 794-1245

Maggie Shuter
Chatopia et Animal Adoption

Toni Andréa Belschner
Société québécoise pour la défense des animaux


Montrealers must be made part of the Solution! We can’t just blame “Le Berger Blanc”! They wouldn’t even exist if pet owners were responsible and educated. If there wasn’t an abundance of abandoned pets there wouldn’t have been an opportunity to even create “Le Berger Blanc” to compete with the SPCA in Montreal Burroughs.

No pets should be sold without prepaying to get the animal spayed or neutered. Veterinarians exaggerate and people just aren’t fully informed upfront as to how expensive it is to be a responsible pet owner. Anyone can buy a cat for $30 but splurging an extra $200 plus for vaccines and sterilization to be a responsible pet owner is something many people find hard to stomach. You need to do your homework. Vet bills can be very expensive!

There is one good LOW COST  Spay/Neuter Clinic I know of in the Montreal region. It’s in the Vanier College. I believe it’s part of their Animal Health Technology program and is supervised by Vets from the Hudson Animal Clinic.  I’ve used them in the past, they’ve done a terrific job using the latest technologies at an affordable price. The Vanier Spay/Neuter clinic can be reached at the following number (450) 458-0333.

Young Cat Abandoned on Moving Day - July 2010 - by Steve Troletti
Young Cat Abandoned on Moving Day – July 2010 – by Steve Troletti

Le Berger Blanc” have issued a statement on their web site (http://www.bergerblanc.com/) saying these were isolated incidents and that they have fixed the problem. A panel needs to be setup and a true legal investigation lead into the real business practices of this organization. They must be held accountable for their actions if found guilty of wrong doing. I’m not totally sure that city administrators didn’t know more than what their saying and those who chose to do business with “Le Berger Blanc” should be investigated as well. Regardless of how horrible and inhumane “Le Berger Blanc” was, they’re wrong doing is not an excuse for the actions of Montreal’s irresponsible pet owners.


CTV NEWS Coverage of Citizens Protesting “Le Berger Blanc” (MRCANADIANGUY – YOUTUBE)


Watch the TV Show: Enquête (Le Mauvais Berger) On Radio Canada (French)

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