|Blackie the dog with new owner Sebastien Philibert. (PHOTO SARAH BÉLISLE / QMI Agency)
MONTREAL — A family near Montreal rescued a dog from a moving-day nightmare when they found it locked in the bathroom of their new apartment.
The puppy, named Blackie, was in a sorry state when Alexandra Philibert found it on Sunday.
The dog was malnourished and filthy, its fur matted with dried dung in many places.
The house was also very hot, a problem that was exacerbated because the windows were closed, Philibert said.
"He could have died," she said. "Had we not moved this weekend, who knows what would have happened?
Her brother, Sebastian Philibert, is no fan of the previous owner.
"It's a dog, this isn't an object or a toy," he said. "Having a dog means making a commitment."
Blackie's former owner actually came back to get some boxes on Monday but had no interest in the dog.
"No thanks, we've got two kids," Alexandra Philibert quoted the former owner as saying.
She has taken a liking to Blackie, but she won't be able to keep him.
Philibert, who already has two dogs and two cats, called the pound, which picked up the puppy on Monday.
"It's a shame," she said. "He listens well. He just wants to be loved."
Alanna Devine, director of the Montreal SPCA, says the treatment of Blackie was "not only irresponsible and cruel, it's also illegal."
She said animal shelters are overwhelmed by abandoned pets during Montreal's traditional July 1 moving period.
Quebec recently toughened animal-protection laws, but Devine says they don't go far enough.
Some Quebec apartments forbid tenants from owning pets, which explains why many are abandoned, she said.