Friday, October 24, 2008


In spring of 2007, Johanne Tasse was wondering what the next step should be in her quest to find homes for as many abandoned Quebec dogs as possible. She was already well versed with the dog rescue world from her involvement with Animatch, a Quebec rescue that has been around since 1999. She toyed with the idea of opening a shelter but she didn't think she had the right temperament to run one and she also knew that just opening another shelter wasn't going to help solve the increasing population of unwanted dogs in Quebec. It didn't matter how many shelters there were, if people continued to treat their dogs like disposable objects then the death toll would always remain high.

So, more shelters wasn't the answer. Public education was. To that effect, Johanne formed the Companion Animals Adoption Centers of Quebec or caacQ. caacQ basically does PR and government lobbying to reduce euthanasia rates for companion animals in Quebec. Since incorporating caacQ in May of this year, five rescues have signed on as supporting members.

Johanne has been busy with writing press releases, making appearances at media events, giving interviews and advising municipalities on how they can improve their pound contracts, not only to make the lives of pound animals more bearable, but also to help reduce animal control costs over the long run. One thing she constantly stresses to bureaucrats is that one of the regulations listed in the Cahier de Charges (the marching orders given to every pound) must be that no animal ever leave a pound intact. Intact animals only increase the potential for more unwanted dogs or cats ending up on the street which means more pound usage and thus more expense to the municipality in the long run.

And of course, Johanne still does rescue work. She often goes to the Montreal SPCA and picks out dogs that have been malingering in their pens for too long or she will visit the local pounds and take their castoffs and puts them in places where they will have a better chance of getting adopted. One of those places is Toronto Animal Services. In general, she feels her dogs have a much better chance of getting adopted out in Toronto than in Montreal.

"The French buy. The English adopt," she says. She believes that because of Quebec's rural past, there is still a feeling among the French that dogs are disposable property. Johanne has spent a good part of her life trying to change that attitude and hopefully with the formation of the caacQ, she'll get closer to accomplishing that goal.


One of the pounds Johanne works with is run by a veterinarian, Dr. Plasse, out of the Lasalle Veterinary Hospital. He's a supporter of caacQ and has done work with their rescue dogs in the past. And because the hospital is also a pound, every so often, he'll end up with unclaimed dogs. Two of those dogs showed up at Toronto Animal Services just yesterday through the efforts of caacQ. This is one of them (my camera batteries died before I could take pictures of the other one):

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Poor mite looks awfully thin for a dog from a vet run shelter. Thanks for the info on caacQ. Just what is needed for someone far away to help...