From The Gazette

Hudson

A first in Quebec, town proposes tough new pet bylaw

The town of Hudson has given notice that it is prepared to take a leading role when it comes to protecting domestic pets.

The town’s council presented a notice of motion Monday, unveiling its plans to adopt strict rules that will outlaw the sale of domestic animals and crackdown on animal abuse of all kinds.

Touting the proposed bylaw as a first in Quebec, the town’s director general Catherine Haulard outlined the wide-ranging features of the new law, including fines for contraventions that can go as high as $5,000 and $7,500.

“We will be the first on the municipal level with such teeth,” Haulard said, explaining the bylaw will give the town powers to capture and sterilize animals and seize animals from owners who abuse or neglect them.

“I sensed Hudson was ready to embrace it,” she said of the tough regulations. “No town in Quebec wanted to go that far.”

The bylaw prohibits puppy mills, pet stores that sell animals, the sale of any pet, including a breeder who sells puppies, and allows for the capture and sterilization of feral cats. The town will publish notices explaining how it will target specific areas of town and will capture stray cats and have them spayed or neutered.

Here are a few highlights of Hudson’s proposed pet bylaw:

The sale of animals
The bylaw seeks to prohibit the sale of dogs and cats in Hudson. This would also ban commercial businesses from selling cats or dogs. The exception to this clause would be a rehabilitation centre that is approved by town council.

Dog mills
The bylaw bans dog mills in the town and considers them to be a form of animal cruelty. Hudson will intervene, remove dogs and give them to the SPCA at the cost of the person responsible upon finding a dog mill.

Animal cruelty
The town of Hudson seeks to ban animal cruelty of various forms. This includes the abuse and mistreatment of domestic pets, providing drugs that could harm or poison an animal, organizing animal fights, and leaving animals alone in the car on hot days. Hudson also reserves the right to investigate complaints of animal abuse and remove animals in danger from residents.

Fines
The bylaw would ensure that residents who abuse animals, sell animals or operate a puppy mill would receive fines. First-time offenders would be fined $2,500, and residents who commit the same offence a second or third time within a year would be fined a minimum of $5,000 and $7,500, respectively, with interest rates of 10 per cent. This is in addition to civil or criminal repercussions.

A program for cats
The bylaw would allow town council to set aside a minimum of $5,000 to fund a program to sterilize, vaccinate and find an appropriate adoption for abandoned and wild cats.

Dog breeders and kennels
The bylaw would limit the number of dogs allowed per property to a maximum of three unless it is approved by the town. A dog breeder must conform to regulations and receive a licence to breed and raise multiple dogs.

Additional reporting by Kalina Laframboise of The Gazette.

47 comments

  1. By Ann Piegsa

    I believe this type of legislation is long over due. I would hope other municipalities adopt the same or similar laws. Congratulations Hudson on having the backbone to move forward with these progressive steps.
    Ann, St. Lazare

  2. WOW ! fabulous b-law.
    We need to be strict and severe to get the animal over-population under control and send a strong message to people who are guilty. plain and simple.

  3. finally somebody do something thinking in the animals ins their welfare and not the people, i m very proud tha t finally here in quebec is going to be a chage beacuse this it is the worst province in Canada in abuse of animals for profit o whatever , NO a the puppy mils, NOt to the sale of anilmals they are a live ,they have feelings and theyy sufer just like us and i hope the low it is goind to be taugh in the criminals that abuse animals …

  4. By linda. heimann

    It is about time, It is only with the commitment of community leaders and their constituents, that this tremendous problem can be overcome. Hurray for the Town of Hudson.

    Now what we need is insight and 100% commitment from all the boroughs. We can make a difference

  5. By Corinne Piche

    Excellent initiative. I hope these bylaws will propagate to other towns and
    animals everywhere will finaly be treated with the respect they so deserve.

  6. Way to go Hudson! Kuddos to you for speaking up for the voiceless! I’m new to the Montreal area and have to say I had never heard of Hudson. But now that I have, I planned a shopping trip to show my appreciation by supporting your local businesses!

    • I also recommend “pay-back” by checking out some of the great theatre and restaurants in the area. The Hudson Village Theatre has great productions, for example.

  7. By Janine Ogorek

    It is about time that something is done. As far as I am concerned the fines are not high enough, jail time should apply as well as follow ups on those who are cruel to animals. When we see cruelty done to animals we should always report these people.

    I am glad that at least something is done.

    Janine

  8. By catherine

    All towns need a tough bylaw to prevent cruelty to animals which happens often. However, the proposed bylaw if approved has gone too far. The sale of pets should be allowed but under very strict rules. All cats should be sprayed and neutered, but sometimes the cat goes into heat before the owner realizes this, and they should not be penalized for this and they should be able to sell the kittens or give them away without a problem because when someone has to pay for a pet, they will more likely make sure that the cat is well taken care off. This goes for dogs also. Seems like Hudson wants to do away with all animals. Hopefully this is a misunderstanding.

    Hudson should also bad the declawing of cats. It is an amputation and very cruel thing to do as the cats are defenseless if they do escape outside which can happen.

    • By Cindy Moynan

      Thank you! we have so many companion animals looking for homes now that this is a wonderful thing. NO RETAIL SELLING OF COMPANION ANIMALS FOR SALE IN ANY STORES ANYWHERE! It is disgusting to see these living beings being forced to be on display 24/7 and if not sold passed on to the next store or shipped back to the original breeder to either be euthanized or breed. You support pet stores, you support puppy mills, back yard breeders, and the euthanization of thousands of animals. As far as cats go, as long as they are 8 weeks and or weight 2 lbs it is safe to spay or neuter so there is no reason to have a cat go into heat.
      Now if the rest of Canada can follow suit, Montreal? Quebec City?, Sherbrooke?
      facebook group: Ban the retail sales of animals in the city of Montreal

    • Catherine, you say Hudson should ban declawing cats because it’s amputation. NEUTERING THEM IS FINE?? Lol that is honestly one of the worst double standards I’ve ever heard of. Seriously, give that some thought.

      • George, you need a reality dose. The overbreeding of cats all over the world only causes them further distress. Declawing an animal that lives in the outdoors, though (as these feral cats do), takes away one of their very few tools that they use to protect themselves. Read up on it before writing (just my humble opinion).

      • By Christine Heidt

        George :
        “In case of doubt, it is better to keep one’s mouth shut than open it and remove all doubt’. ~Abraham Lincoln
        You have no clue what you are talking about regarding Animal Welfare.

  9. In addition to these bylaws, there needs to be strict regulations regarding the barking of dogs. There should be zero tolerance of barking dogs – a barking dog has not been properly trained and it should take just one complaint of a barking dog for the city to levy a hefty fine that would be reduced if the owner got the dog trained to not bark, say within 10 days. There also is the need for hefty fines for dogs being off leash and for leashes that are too long (a two meter leash is long enough). Too many dogs are walking their owners rather than the other way around. Lastly, banning the sale of animals is just plain silly – if I want to sell my animal, I should be able to.

  10. By Chrissie

    I’m glad that they are trying to protect the animals, but seriouly, it sounds like they are one step away from banning animals.

  11. It is about damn time some one put on their pants and did something about the dogs and cats that are being abused
    I hope more cities adopt the same bylaws and follow through on it

  12. By Florence

    This law prohibits the pet-store variety of animal sales (which encourages puppy mills) but allows sales through registered breeders. Hudson is full of loved, cared-for pets ; and, that is why this bylaw is being introduced. People who consider their pets as part of their family want justice for all pets. Hudson is on track for animal protection. Watch us!

  13. Catherine, you say Hudson should ban declawing cats because it’s amputation. NEUTERING THEM IS FINE?? Lol that is honestly one of the worst double standards I’ve ever heard of. Seriously, give that some thought.

  14. I agree with Catherine for the most part. This bylaw goes WAY too far. I agree with the spaying an neutering of strays (both cat and dog) I do not agree with the prohibition of the sale of animals. I intend to breed corgies in the future, why? Because I LOVE the breed , they are already endangered and I would not want to take my grandchildren to a museum to see them. A GOOD breeder still needs to sell puppies or kittens to break even most of the time, vet bills, genetic testing, health tests, food, care products, work trials and shows, do not come cheep! If I can’t charge money for a well bred, well socialized, health tested. micro-chipped puppy how am I supposed to keep the breed alive? If we pass this law and spay/neuter all pets, where are our eternal companions going to come from? There wont be pets, we will basically have done away with our companions within 20odd years.
    Also, who decides when an animal is neglected? I know someone who has 2 wonderful hunting dogs who have never seen the inside of his house. They are not neglected: they have food, shelter, water, love and work. They are dirty and covered in mud from running around in the woods, but guess what; those dogs are doing what they were bred to to and they LOVE doing it!
    I agree with controlling puppy mills: no animal should be in a tiny cage their entire life, unloved, uncared for and used only for breeding.
    I still feel these laws are too objective and one sided. Someone should get the input of breeders and people who are well informed of the implications of these actions and work together to form laws that are appropriate. This law is not pet friendly, this is the beginning of the end for pets. I hope this law is revoked and that this does not spread to the rest of Quebec.

  15. By Cheryl Moser

    It’s about time! This needs to be done worldwide! Instead of giving abuserers a slap on the wrist! Fines are not sever enough and the sentences are normally a joke. It’s nice to see animals are finally getting a voice hopefully other states will follow therelead!

  16. I totally agree with Catherine. While I fully support some of the proposals, it goes a little far. Big Brother is trying to legislate too many things in our lives.

  17. By Anne Streeter

    Congratulations Hudson! It takes guts to be the first. Everyone waits for someone else to make the first step. TMR has been dragging its feet on this issue for years. They say it can’t be done. Well I guess it takes little Hudson to prove them wrong. Kudos for being progressive and for doing the right thing. I am so impressed!

  18. By Daniel Mongeau

    Hurray for Hudson! This is a step in the right direction, not just to accommodate citizens but rather to protect animals.

  19. By Florence

    Sarah, they are not banning the sale of animals by breeders; they just don’t want stores with caged animals for sale! Read the bylaw before you complain. Breeders need to be registered and follow guidelines for a safe practice.

  20. Congratulation to Hudson . It should be like that everywhere ! …. its just sad we have to put rules like this in 2014 .. I know alot of people would like to see that change but the sociaty is just so against animal rights. Look at that guy like 2 weeks ago who was burning cat with hot oil .. it took everything for the police to open a case .. Cmon the guys is bunring (a —-) cat with oil ! You want that kind of guy in your society ?? there is nothing more cruel than that no ?

  21. By Irene Richer

    I totally agree with the by-laws and the comments above. It is time. More than time to establish and enforce regulations that will impose a limit to the general abuse of pets. And I thank Hudson’s administrators for it. Great! There is hope!

    I would like to suggest a few addenda to the by-laws. If I may. To my opinion, animals that are offered ‘free’ on the internet are subject to abuse of all sorts, since they can be acquired free. For abusers this is an open market for getting their hands on their victims. Hence, people owning a pet, should be in a position to demonstrate that they have acquired the pet by a secured way like SPCA, or a pets refuge.
    Secondly, the by-laws do not integrate education. To my opinion again, I believe very strongly in education of the young. A course should be given to schoolers of any ages about how to take care of a pet of all kinds and ages. Starting at the pre-school level up to the high school level. Youngsters who are not informed, often take their pets for granted and use them as tools for expressing their anger or their creativity. Often, we find on sites that are devoted to pets that have been mistreated that the person responsible was a teenager or a group of teenagers as being part of a group is so important at that age. Education is key. People have to know and realise that the pet is a living entity with a nervous system and intelligence. People has to recognize that when adopting a pet it is for life. Incuding the budget that will be needed to take care of the pet. Thank you for the opportunity of sharing my thoughts on your site.

  22. It’s about time something good came out of the new town administration. But a by-law that’s 28pgs….It’s going to be fun seeing the counsil read all of it before choosing to accept it or not! It’s good to know that they are following the footsteps as the old administration, when the Pesticide law was voted years ago.

  23. It’s about time; Quebec has a long and embarrassing history of looking the other way where animal rights are concerned, and finally someone is taking a stance. These are living creatures and deserve to be treated with respect – we place tight restrictions on couples wanting to adopt a child, why should the adoption of a beloved pet be treated as any less important? Bravo, Hudson – here’s hoping you set off a chain reaction with every other city across the province and Canada

  24. Good but… no more animal sold in pet stores (legislated) = more animal sold on the web (not legislated) = more animals bred in a non-legislated way (black market).

    Yes, the initiative is good, but at this level (town regulation) I’m afraid that it wont help animal well being at all and it will cause more damage than good. The bad breeders can just move a few step out of Hudson area and continue to sell their animals on the web to… Hudsons’ citizens. Regulation as such should come from Quebec not from a town (even from a big city such as Montréal, Québec City, Laval, etc.).

    • By Marsha Howie

      What do you mean when you call animals sold in pet stores “legislated?” Did you know that the Canadian Kennel Club Code of Ethics forbids registered breeders from selling animals in pet stores? Pet stores are not policed in any way. They get their puppies from backyard breeders & puppy mills.

  25. By Karen Levenson

    Fabulous Hudson! Thank you. Such a bylaw is sorely needed in all communities and signals a brave commitment to protect domestic animals from abuse, neglect and failure of owners to be responsible for spaying/neutering their animals. Hopefully, Hudson will present a model for other communities.

  26. By May Jones

    This is totally amazing. It is about time that someone in Quebec did something about the lack of legislation and the poor treatment of animals. I realize it is not perfect but it is a step in the right direction and I applaud it.

  27. By Elizabeth

    Excellent, progressive bylaw. There has to be some kind of responsibility taken by municipalities, and this just about does it. If you’re going to breed dogs or cats, or anything – you should have financial ability to pay for vet bills, proper care, and therefore it shouldn’t be a hardship to pay for a breeding license, which I think should be fairly stiff, about $1000 per breeding facility. Not $20.

    Dogs and cats are man-made, in that they’re developed by selective breeding, they’re not wild animals, and we owe it to them to be more responsible, and ensure their good care.

    Good for the municipality of Hudson.

  28. I love that Hudson is taking this step to protect animals, but the article actually contradicts itself–can anyone clarify this?

    The proposed bylaws seem to propose that ALL SALES OF PETS, EVEN BY INDIVIDUALS ON KIJIJI ETC, or sales by breeders or large commercial enterprises, will be illegal. Yes? (It sounds like they will have all pet sales run by 1 or more licensed “rehab centres” that will take in donated/unwanted pets & rehome them). According to the article, the new bylaws “outlaw the sale of domestic animals”, and further, “The bylaw prohibits puppy mills, pet stores that sell animals, the sale of any pet, including a breeder who sells puppies”.

    But then the last sentence of the article reads: ” A dog breeder must conform to regulations and receive a licence to breed and raise multiple dogs”. But I thought the previous wording made it illegal for breeders to operate?

  29. Wow — this falls right into the animal rights agenda. It sounds OK because they talk about stopping abuse but laws like this are one of the necessary steps to banning all animal use including animal use as pets. There are a number of problems with this type of thing — like what constitutes a “mill”. Also who will be making the decisions on what constitutes abuse. I know animal rights people who think “ownership” is abuse. Do you want someone like that to judge you? This one is way overboard and if passed, should bring lawsuits.

    • I’m with David, WHO is the arbiter, WHAT constitutes cruelty, a puppy mill, – and by WHOSE standards? HOW does anyone know what goes on behind closed doors? Did the neighbour call and rat you out because you told your dog to sit? I agree that animals must be treated humanely but where do we draw the line? Is my parakeet in peril? How about my child’s turtles? Will Hudson’s notorious self-righteous ones (SROs) be lurking around every corner waiting to wag their fingers and tsk tsk at those who don’t conform to their “personal ideals” ?

  30. These laws are long overdue. I live in Pierrefonds, and I hope we will soon follow suit. It’s about time someone realized that animals have feelings too. I would never trust anyone who is cruel to an animal. Bravo Hudson.

  31. I am all for the protection of animals and outlawing puppy mills (as long as that is well defined), however I think this proposed by law goes to far.
    For example, anyone selling a dog that is not registered with the CKC would receive a fine. There are some rare (and in reality not so rare, just more recent) dog breeds that cannot be registered with the CKC. This bylaw would mean that a person who carefully and properly breeds such a breed would be prevented from doing so.
    Or, someone has a dog and cannot keep it (say, moving to an old age home, developed allergies etc). Such a person may not have a family or friend that can take the dog and if recently bought, they might want to sell it rather than give it away, even in the interests of making sure the buyer is serious. I have not been able to read the bylaw, just these online newspaper articles, but if no provisions have been made for these types of situations, then the bylaw is seriously overstepping it’s mission to protect animals.
    Another scenario, you have a dog that is not spayed or neutered (there can be multiple reasons for this, eg you coown it with a breeder and it will be bred in the future in a responsible way). An “accident” happens and it breeds with another dog. Sure it’s not ideal, but “accidents” happen to humans, can we reasonably expect that it will never happen to a dog or cat? You now have puppies. Firstly, you now own more than 3 dogs if the litter is more than 2, so you are breaking the law and liable to be fined, secondly, if you want to sell the puppies, you would be breaking the law again. Sure back yard breeding is not the most responsible, but the existence of “accidents”, muts etc has been around since the beginning of time and is actually perfectly natural. Someone intentially, repeated breeding dogs for profit in an irresponsible way is one thing, but there are many other situations that would also be breaking the law, but not be irresponsible back-yard breeding. Almost all dog breeds of today started as mixes of other breeds and new breeds can continue to be created ( e.g Jack Russel Terrier, American Shepherd etc).
    In short, yes we want to protect dogs, but there is a point when a law goes to far in protecting against one thing and ends up infringing upon some other basic liberties. We could also say that it is inhumane to feed children junk food and fine parents that do so, but we realize that is going to far. This kind of law is going down that slippery slope. If someone wants to breed a mut, it might not be great, but it is not cruelty if the dogs are well treated and they can make wonderful dogs, as many owners of cross breeds and muts can atest.
    By all means, lets get stricter on animal abuse, but let’s define it clearly and not go too far.

  32. For every animal sold there are what? about 10 young healthy others being euthanized in a pound or a so called shelter. IF breeding is acceptable it should have Limits to how many are bread withing a 5 year time frame and a permit should be renewed for it each year as a city worker passes to inspect the grounds and see to it that it is respectable and humane.
    No pet shop should sell animals, it is NOT an object, its a living creature capable of more love that a heck of a lot more humans i know. I’m all for this law, i want to congratulate the city of Hudson for this well overdue change.
    To all those who consider breeding, you will never know for sure where that puppy or kitty will end up and within who’s hands it will fall into, do you care more about the race and the money as opposed to the well being of the unwanted animals on death row? I say Shame on you, it is discrimination however you choose to look at it, its not an object that you fancy over another like a brand.. something to think about… I live in Laval and I will not rest until it follows in Hudson’s footsteps !

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