There is now a chapter of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) in Argenteuil.
Hugo Blanchette of Brownsburg is spearheading the project. The new organization is planning to rent a former restaurant on Route 148 in St-Philippe to use as its office space, shelter, and specialized sterilization clinic for pets.
The nine municipalities in the MRC d’Argenteuil all use different services and approaches to animal control. There are also other private initiatives. The SPCA organizers hope that by having a local chapter, they can provide expertise and direction to ensure local activities are better coordinated. The nearest SPCA chapter in Québec is in Ste-Agathe-des-Monts.
Currently, the Argenteuil SPCA needs a source of revenue, and that will largely depend on if municipalities decide to use the SPCA as their animal control provider. So far, no municipality has done that, but Brownsburg-Chatham council did approval zoning changes on December 1 that are necessary to permit the SPCA`s uses at the building it plans to use in St-Philippe.
Blanchette said that the Argenteuil SPCA also needs volunteers, but he would eventually like to have a couple of paid employees for enforcement and a veterinary technician, but that will not happen right away.
“Everybody is a volunteer for the first year,” he said.
Local business owners have already begun to support the Argenteuil SPCA. Donations of pet food have been collected at the checkouts at the IGA store in Lachute, and at L’Arche de Noé in Lachute. SPCA mugs are being sold as a fundraiser at Chic-Choc animal and pet supplies in Brownsburg. The SPCA is also hoping to find local contractors willing to offer their assistance with renovations that are needed at the St-Philippe building.
Blanchette said that education about proper methods of controlling and keeping animals is an important part of what the Argenteuil SPCA wants to do.
Efforts to establish the SPCA in Argenteuil began in June of 2019. It is now a registered, not-for-profit organization but does not have charitable status.