MONTREAL -- The Montreal SPCA has launched an online petition calling on the city to allow large dogs on the metro. 

“Guardians of large dogs are not allowed to take the Metro and, therefore, that restricts their access to large parks, green spaces, and it also restricts access to veterinary care," said Sophie Gaillard, the SPCA's legal services director.

With large dogs already allowed on transit systems across Canada and the world, Gaillard said the STM’s policy affects low-income dog owners the most.

“On a daily basis, we hear from people who would like to benefit from our community programs, like our low-cost spay-neuter clinic, but they simply can't," she said, "because they can't bring the dog on the metro and get to the SPCA.”

Even if the city doesn’t agree to an outright lifting of the ban, it could at least offer partial allowance for dogs, according to the petition. For example, dogs could be allowed only on designated cars, or only during certain times of day.

"Safety and health issues (allergies or phobias) justify this decision, which was made in concert with the other transit companies in the region," wrote the STM in a statement to CTV, adding that it is open to creating a pilot project around the SPCA's proposal.