Laval to replace controversial animal shelter

The city of Laval, Que. has agreed to help a group of animal lovers set up a non-profit animal shelter rather than renew its contract with Berger Blanc.

Laval's contract with the controversial for-profit pound ended last Tuesday, and no one has bid to take it over, not even Berger Blanc.

The city's mayor, Gilles Vaillancourt, met Thursday night with a group of concerned citizens.

On Friday, the city released a statement saying that Vaillancourt had agreed to give the group the financial and legal support to set up the non-profit agency.

However, until it is in operation, the city still plans to use the services of Berger Blanc because officials say it's the only shelter available.

In April, Radio-Canada's investigative program Enquête spent time inside the pound and documented questionable and highly controversial euthanasia practices.

No one can say how long it will take to get a new agency off the ground, and some are shocked that the city will still be using Berger Blanc in the meantime.

Lydia Aboulian, who ran a failed bid to beat Vaillancourt in the city's last mayoral election, wasn't allowed into Thursday's meeting.

She said she's wary about just how the non-profit agency will get off the ground and upset that until it does, Berger Blanc will still be providing the city's pound services.

"What we don't know is how long is this transition period is going to last...ideally, we want this contract to be over with," said Aboulian.

"Everyone was appalled by the situation, and to have these people still looking after these animals today is a shame," she said.

Vaillancourt wasn't available for comment.

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