Quebec mayor apologizes for saying he kills cats with truck
Daniel Reid, CTVNews.ca
Published Sunday, July 14, 2013 1:16PM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, July 14, 2013 6:53PM EDT
The mayor of a small town in Quebec has issued an apology after talking about enthusiastically killing cats on his radio show.
In an open letter posted to his show’s website, Huntingdon, Que. Mayor Stephane Gendron apologized for his “dark humour” when talking about how he runs over stray cats -- including newborn kittens -- with his truck.
“First of all, cats have no business being in the road,” he said during a broadcast on CHOI 91.9 Radio X last week. “If it’s a stray cat in the road, bang, I accelerate.”
“The other day I backed up over a newborn and I’m sure it didn’t feel a thing,” he said. “The pickup passed over him like it was nothing.”
In Sunday’s statement, he said his inflammatory comments were “exaggerated” and had done nothing to address the issue of animal control in his small community, located about an hour southwest of Montreal.
“I made largely exaggerated comments on the overpopulation of cats that constitutes a nuisance in our urban and rural areas," Gendron's statement said. “I admit that the imagery used served no purpose in advancing the debate on this issue.”
The apology comes after the SPCA said it had opened an investigation into the mayor.
According to the SPCA's director of animal welfare, Gendron even made comments about watching kittens starve or die of thirst.
“I believe that he did state that he enjoyed speeding up and did so when he saw a cat coming and that he had backed over a cat that had just given birth and I believe he talked about seeing kittens starve or die of thirst," Alanna Devine told CTV Montreal.
The SPCA is taking the mayor’s comments very seriously, according to Devine.
“Obviously the SPCA is shocked and appalled," she said.
Huntingdon recently passed a bylaw forcing pet owners to sterilize their pets or face a fine.
In his letter, Gendron said smaller communities don’t have animal shelters and can’t afford to humanely euthanize every stray at the vet.
“I myself have to deal with this problem on my property, with many dozens of stray cats that come and cause problems,” his statement said.