Unsanitary Conditions: She rescues cats in a heart-lifting home

The SPCA is investigating a Quebec attorney who locked nearly twenty cats in unsanitary conditions in a home she owns in Oka.

“You have to put on three or four masks to get in the house, it stinks so much,” said Josée Craig, an Oka resident who helps animals in need in her area.

Last week, she saw a post on social media from a resident who claimed the house next door to hers was abandoned and that cats had been inside. This house belongs to attorney Louise Harbour, who lives in Montérégie.

Fearing for the fate of the beasts, Mrs Craig decided to investigate.

What she found there made her sick: nearly 20 cats were caged there and feces strewn on the floor, she said protocol.

According to the Kanesatake Band Council’s finance officer, there was cat food but no water in the house. “How can cats survive in there?” she protests.


The litter left in the bathroom was obviously no longer sufficient for the cats' needs.

With kind approval

The litter left in the bathroom was obviously no longer sufficient for the cats’ needs.

SPCA investigation

Alerted to the situation last week, the Montreal SPCA said so protocol launched an investigation.

Chantal Cayer, director of the Montreal SPCA’s investigative office, pointed out that the owner “is facing charges at the level of the Quebec Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPAQ)”.

According to Quebec’s Animal Welfare and Safety Act, an owner must keep their animal in a “sanitary, clean and suitable place.”

The city of Oka conducted a site visit last week, Mayor Pascal Quevillon confirmed.

“There is negligence in building maintenance, including sanitation. »

Confronted by Le Journal, the property’s owner, Louise Harbour, confirmed that it was she who had brought “15 to 18 cats” into the home, but that it was part of a process to “rescue” them.

” I do rescue (animal rescue) with friends. […] I’ve been doing this for over 30 years,” she explains. She uses this home to raise cats, which she will then take to Ontario, where she says shelters take more animals than Quebec.


The house on rue des Pins in Oka is unoccupied.

Photo Olivier Faucher

The house on rue des Pins in Oka is unoccupied.

Nebulous situation

Regarding the unsanitary conditions, Ms Harbor claims someone came to feed and water the cat “every two or three days” but refused to say who it was. “I’m disappointed that people didn’t think about changing the litter box,” she said.

Ms Harbor said she intends to comply with municipal regulations and will be on site in the coming days.

“I won’t put cats in this house anymore, forget it! She said.

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