By Michael Boriero
The pandemic turned many Quebecers into animal owners, as people sought ways to battle loneliness while they isolated and quarantined in their homes, but it has also increased the number of cases related to lost or stolen animals.
Zack Painter, a former employee at the Animal Nutrition Centre in Lennoxville, said that while animal theft has always been a problem in the province, it has spiked in the last year because more people want animals, and a lack of availability has seen prices skyrocket.
“You have a scenario where animal prices, let’s say purebreds, are a lot more expensive now. The laws and things towards animals are sometimes dicey, so a lot of times theft is very common,” said Painter.
According to Painter, it is not just purebreds, but any type of dog is in high demand right now. Backyard breeders are also swamped with demands, so people with bad intentions take this opportunity to steal animals and sell them quickly for profit.
“It is extremely disgusting personally and a lot of these pages on Facebook and Kijiji have these rules that they are not supposed to put on live animals, but they still do anyways,” said Painter.
The 23-year-old is currently moving to Waterville. He said both his animals have medallions and a microchip in the back of their necks in order to protect them from theft. And in the event they ever get lost, it helps him track them down. This is the best solution, he explained.