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.
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.
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.
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.