For this blog...

Winter 2014

Flavie-Anne Boulerice

Schulich Leader at Université de Montréal

For this blog I have decided to talk about a subject that really matters to me. Since I’ve started the Veterinary Medicine Program in St-Hyacinthe I’ve been spending a lot of time at the dog and cat shelter, Le refuge chien de la Faculté de médecine vétérinaire. I have learned a lot and become really fond of all the students working/volunteering there for a great cause. 
 
Before I started working there, I have to say that I was a little ignorant. Having animals at home, I didn’t think that people could abandon their animal so easily because I consider abandoning a dog or a cat is just like abandoning a child. A reality is that owners have various responsibilities to consider when adopting a puppy from a breeder.  Pets may have a lot of health issues, they won’t be house-trained, owners are going to need a lot of patience and provide time to train them. Why not consider giving a cat or a dog a second chance? Most of them are already house-trained and they know how to behave in a house. I think people should be more conscious about animals when they adopt them because they are living-beings; they should not be sold or given away like objects. 
 
We have a lot of problems here in Canada with stray dogs and cats and we believe that sterilisation of domestic animals should be an obligation. 
 
Here in St-Hyacinthe, we welcome animals that people don’t want anymore. We take them under our wings, sterilize them and give them all the care that they need. We also micro-chipped them. Afterward, we choose the right family for each dog and I have to mention we are against euthanasia. Sadly our budget is really limited and we are losing sponsors. The shelter is really important in St-Hyacinthe because it gives the student in the Veterinary Medicine Program and the technician from the college a chance the school can’t offer to have a contact with animals, to practice the techniques that we learn being assisted by an excellent veterinarian. 
 
Another topic that I would like to mention in this blog is the prejudice that a lot of person has. I’ve realized that many people are against certain breeds of dogs like Pitbulls, Boxers, etc. We mention Pitbulls to buyers and immediately they refuse saying I don’t like this breed; they are aggressive. They fight with other dogs. In the last year, I’ve met so many Pitbulls at the shelter that are a 100 times gentler than Labrador retriever or any other dog. It’s mostly the owner that spoils the dog; it’s all about how you train them and treat them.
 
The picture included with this blog is a picture of myself and two other coworkers and friends that like me, volunteer many hours every day at Le refuge chien de la Faculté de médecine vétérinaire. The three of us are, this year, responsible of the adoption committee.
 
In conclusion, next time you think about adopting a dog, consider shelters first.  There are so many dogs to adopt.
 
Flavie-Anne