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5 Questions with PetitsPawz

President & founder: SUSAN MACKASEY
Location: Montreal (since 2009)
Animals rescued: cats (and some dogs)

Interview by Allan Tong & Katie Lloyd​

(updated March 2018)

Founded in 2009, PetitsPawz is a Montreal-area cat rescue that also helps dogs in emergency situations. Under president and founder Susan Mackasey, the organization has helped nearly 1,000 cats and 25 dogs all through a network of foster homes. In 2012, PetitsPawz was the first winner of the Quebec Animal Rescuer of the Year Award.

When did you make animal rescue a part of your life? And how did your adventure in animal rescue begin?

I have always loved animals, but my specific experience in rescue began about six years ago. My 17-year-old cat, Ginger, snuck out of the house. She was nearly deaf, could not see very well and was on thyroid medication. I was absolutely beside myself and put over 3,000 flyers in individual mailboxes. A woman named Patricia Paulozzi volunteered to help when she saw the flyer and found my cat seven nights later. Patricia and I became best of friends. She was volunteering for Verdun Cat Refuge at the time (PetitsPawz was not founded then), and I decided to foster. So, I held a fundraiser to show my gratitude. From that point, I was dedicated to helping animals and in 2009 founded PetitsPawz.

What rescue experience moved or inspired you the most?


There are several. One is the story of Angel. Angel was a cat that had been thrown off a balcony at the beginning of winter. She was out in frigid temperatures for several months and had suffered brain damage and was not able to walk properly. We tried to trap her with a humane animal trap but she was too terrified to go in. Finally, we had a special trap built and caught her on the first attempt. She is now safe and loved in a permanent home, where she plays and receives lots of affection.



What is your favorite adoption story?

Another ​is Maggie. Maggie was found near Mirabel last May 2017. She's a purebred, declawed on all four paws. She was starving to death and weighed under four pounds. Someone found her outside scavenging for food, and PetitsPawz took her in. It is suspected Maggie was thrown out of a cat mill. After some veterinary treatment and lots of TLC, Maggie pulled through.
















Today, Maggie is a completely different cat. ​She's very happy, at a healthy weight and treated like a queen​ in her new home.​ ​It's a miracle she survived​.​ 

What is PetitsPawz' current goal?

We're battling animal rescue hoarding, a significant problem in Montreal. Literally anyone can start up a "rescue" where animals are packed into overcrowded, unventilated conditions and viruses are rampant. Many animals are caged for prolonged periods. Meanwhile, adoption rates are low to non-existent while the general public is largely unaware of what's going on. While there are many wonderful rescues in Montreal, Quebec's {the province] animal rescues are de-centralized and largely unregulated. We need tighter criteria for animal shelters. 


If you could give pet owners one piece of advice what would it be?

Spay and neuter your animals, and keep your cats as indoor pets. There are too many risks out there such as traffic, poisons, viruses, diseases, and people who are not fond of animals. If you wish to let them out, make sure they are vaccinated and keep them supervised and on a harness. For dog owners, keep your dogs on leashes, make sure they are vaccinated, and train them using positive reinforcement.

For the latest, visit PetitsPawz on Facebook.

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