Louise Gagnon invites us inside

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Is Louise Gagnon an “institutional hoarder” – not anymore, she is however an “overwhelemed caregiver”. Since the closure of Miaouf, I think Louise has learnt her lesson, or at least somewhat. Sophie and I disagree on Louise’s situation, but we both agree that she fails the “PRU” test, as does SPCA Montreal, SPCA St-Calixte, SPCA Ste-Agathe, and SPA des Canton, while some do pass the PRU test, such as SARS.

With adoption fees and fundraising capabilities, should a rescue be able to provide better conditions than the average puppy-mill? When it comes to Louise, the majority of her 11 dogs are not up for adoption, her bunnies not up for adoption, as for the cats, some could definitely be adopted… When I told Louise some of these dogs should get adopted, she replied “they are my dogs, I can have as many as I want, I always have.”

People want to see the inside of the house, as the pictures posted in previous articles speak for themselves about the barns and grounds. The dog run has been improved, or should I say cleaned up, no more skids or tires, so in terms of the dogs hurting themselves, I no longer see that problem in today’s visit.

At first Louise was hostile with Sophie as we arrived unannounced, but became friendly when she realized I would listen. She invited us in and we saw every room in the house, and both levels in the barns. I would not want to live like this, as a rescuer in her shoes. With 2,000sqt feet of living space, Sophie and I had a full plate with 8 large dogs at SDA. Louise’s house is smaller, and she’s alone. Should a rescued dog, cat, bunny, or whatever it be – be allowed to find a final loving home? or should they be doomed living in a barn. I personally would not leave a horse in such conditions (permanently), as a temporary solution could be somewhat acceptable.

The malamute was rescued from the “swamps”, I have no doubt the barn is better than where he came from, yet is it good enough for a lifetime? My conclusion is no, it’s no different than having a dog tied outside. He is just a prisoner with a limited quality of life.

Sophie was finding hard to believe rumours that her animals were sick or neglected. I did see animals that looked generally healthy and well fed, the dogs were even a little on the chubby side. One old dog was thinner due to her age (14) and a loss of muscle mass, but with her daughter being a vet, I have no doubt all her animals get the required health care they need. Bunnies do not seem to be sterilized, yet are split up by sex… that is something that should be looked into….

The house is small and some could say cluttered, but in no way does she live in dirt or filth. After talking with her, it is my guess that her biggest problem is lack of confidence in potential adopters due to the many horrors she has seen over the years, and the way our society treats and disposes of their pets. She feels that they are better off with her than risking being abused, beaten or worst in the hands of others.

This is something I heard over and over by the hoarders, they do not trust their judgment in screening good homes, or simply do not trust anyone at all as being good enough for these pets.

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