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Montreal’s city council voted to adopt a new bylaw on September 27 2016 that bans the acquisition of pit-bull-type dogs and imposes strict regulations on owners of the estimated 7,000 pit-bull-type dogs in the city.

In June, 55-year-old Christiane Vadnais was found dead in her backyard after being mauled by a Boxer, not a Pit Bull. Some fact checks that you must know about this fatal attack:

  • Police stated at the time that the dog was a Pit Bull.
  • The beige-coloured dog was registered under the name “Lucifer” in Anjou and that its owner had identified it as a Boxer.
  • No charges were laid against the dog owner.
  • Attorney Audrey Amzallag said her client’s dog, had a history of behavioral issues which her client had sought help for. The Boxer had “attacked a gentleman on his jacket” outside a convenience store and attacked the owner’s cousin, leaving him with bites on his arms and legs and even though these attacks were reported, the City of Montreal never sent in Animal Control to investigate. If they had, and the dangerous dog was dealt with swiftly, the Pit Bull Ban would never have materialized to what it is today and Christiane Vadnais would still be alive.
  • Attorney Audrey Amzallag said her client, who lives with his parents, left the dog inside the house and went to school. The owner isn’t sure how the dog got out and that his parents were out of town when the incident happened. Did Lucifer know how to open locked doors all by himself? The fence that separated the two homes was insufficient to contain this extremely aggressive Boxer.
  • The attack kicked off the city’s debate over whether Pit Bulls should be banned in Montreal even though the breed of the dog that killed Christiane Vadnais was NOT a Pit Bull.

The Montreal SPCA challenged the Montreal Pit Bull ban and the court date will be announced next month.

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre announced that more animal control inspectors will be hitting the streets. The City of Montreal will hire full-time inspectors with revenues from dog licensing. Several councilors said the ban is unenforceable due to the lack of funds resulting from the Mayor’s frivolous over spending on granite tree stumps for Mount Royal at 3.45 Million dollars, a rebuilt Gazebo also on Mount Royal for close to a Million dollars which private contractors offered to rebuild for free and $200,000 dollars for plastic wall paper for a few bus shelters which the Mayor thinks will boost tourism. We have never heard of tourists coming to a city to take pictures of a bus shelter but apparently, the Mayor knows of such bus shelter seeking tourists. The list continues, these were just a few examples.

The City Stated:

Montréal and its boroughs will enforce the by-law. They are informing pet owners and making them aware of their responsibilities. They can issue fines for non-compliance such as not having a permit, uncleanliness, off-leash pets, noisy barking and biting. Animal control patrols will make the rounds of the city to ensure that the by-law is obeyed but where were they before Christiane Vadnais was killed? They never responded to calls about “Lucifer” the mis-treated and neglected Boxer, most likely because there was no financial incentive to do so.

Knowledge is power. Let’s get to know more about Montreal’s Animal Control By-law.

The By-law concerning animal control came into force on October 3, 2016. Guardians of Pit Bull type dogs must apply for special permit before March 31 2017. They must pay $150.00 and show the following:

  • Photo I.D.
  • Proof of residence within Montreal city limit.
  • Proof that they are the legal guardian of the dog on December 1, 2016.

At this stage the legal guardian will receive a temporary tag for their dogs. To complete the application, the guardians have a deadline of June 1, 2017 to provide proof of the following:

  • The dog is spayed or neutered.
  • Microchipped.
  • Vaccinated against canine rabies.
  • Certificate of successful criminal background check for the dog’s legal guardian because anyone with a criminal record is obviously automatically incapable of properly caring for and training a dog.

At all times, Pit bull-type dogs must:

  • Be muzzled when outside their home.
  • Be on a maximum 1.25 m leash except when you’re in a dog park or an enclosure surrounded by a fence at least two metres (8 feet) in height.
  • Be supervised by an adult.
  • Wear their city-issued tag.

All dogs must be spayed/neutered and microchipped by December 31, 2019.

Throughout the city’s 19 boroughs, your dogs can receive a microchip implant for the low price of $20.

So that’s $20.00 for the micro-chip, $60-70 dollars for the vet visit, $150.00 for the special tag, $50-100 dollars for a professional muzzle, $20-50 dollars for a special leash and $105 dollars to obtain a certificate that you do not have a criminal record. Let’s not forget that taxes are not included in these prices.

That’s roughly $600 dollars or more that you as an owner must come up with right away to comply with this Pit Bull Ban, even if your dog isn’t a Pit Bull.

With people struggling to pay their bills as it is, getting hit with a $600 dollar “buy in to keep your dog” tax should be seen as what is really is. Extortion.

To Obtain a Certificate of Good Conduct or Judicial Record Check:

Quartier Général

Vérification des antécédents
1441, rue Saint-Urbain
Ground floor
Montréal (Québec)
H2X 2M6

The office hours are from Monday to Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

You must bring with you:

2 pieces of valid ID, including at least one with a photograph and one with a current address. (Unless a current address appears on one of the ID cards, proof of residency will be required.)

The proof of residency must be one of the following documents:

(a) Photocopy of a lease agreement.

(b) Copy of an invoice or statement of account from a telephone, electricity or cable company, or a school or municipal tax bill bearing the name and address of the individual.

The fee is $105, payable in cash or by credit or debit card.

What are the Fines?

Any person who contravenes any provision of Montreal Animal Control by-law or any ordinance adopted pursuant to this by-law is guilty of an offence and is liable:

In the case of an individual:

(a) for a first offence, to a fine of $300 to $600;

(b) for a second offence, to a fine of $600 to $1,200;

(c) for any subsequent offence, to a fine of $1,200 to $2,000;

 

In the case of a legal person:

(a) for a first offence, to a fine of $500 to $1,000;

(b) for a second offence, to a fine of $1,000 to $2,500;

(c) for any subsequent offence, to a fine of $2,500 to $4,000.

For your dogs, to bite or attack, or try to bite or attack a person or another animal:

In the case of an individual:

(a) for a first offence, to a fine of $500 to $750;

(b) for a second offence, to a fine of $750 to $1,500;

(c) for any subsequent offence, to a fine of $1,500 to $2,000;

 

In the case of a legal person:

(a) for a first offence, to a fine of $800 to $1,500;

(b) for a second offence, to a fine of $1,500 to $2,500;

(c) for any subsequent offence, to a fine of $2,500 to $4,000.

What is Pit Bull-Type Dog?

(1) a dog belonging to the American pit bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier or
Staffordshire bull terrier race;

(2) a dog born of a crossbreeding between one of the races mentioned in paragraph (1)
and another dog;

(3) a dog showing several morphological traits of the races and types of crossbreeding
listed in paragraphs (1) and (2);

What is Prohibited Dog?

(1) a dangerous dog;

(2) a Pit bull-type dog whose guardian does not hold a special licence for a Pit bulltype
dog in accordance with this by-law;

(3) a hybrid dog;

(4) a dog that has not been sterilized by December 31, 2019, except a dog that cannot
be sterilized in written opinion of a veterinary surgeon or a breeding dog whose
guardian holds proof of registration as such with a recognized association;

(5) a dog that does not have a microchip by December 31, 2019.

What is Considered as A Dangerous Dog?

(1) a dog that has caused the death of a person or of an animal of a permitted species.

(2) an at-risk dog having been declared dangerous by the authority having jurisdiction;

What is Defined as Public Places?

Designates, in particular, a street, lane, pedestrian path, park, public playground, public swimming pool, school yard, median, bike path, green space, public garden;

The authority having jurisdiction exercises the powers granted under this by-law and, in
particular, may:

(1) visit and inspect any occupancy unit for the purposes of this by-law;

(2) have or give orders to have euthanized any animal that is dangerous, at-risk,
prohibited, stray, dying, gravely injured or highly contagious;

(3) demand proof of sterilization of any dog or cat;

(4) demand that the guardian produce any documentation relevant to the application of
this by-law

(5) apply to a judge to obtain permission to capture and seize, at the place where it is
being kept, any animal that contravenes this by-law or for which the guardian
refuses or neglects to comply with an order issued by the authority having
jurisdiction.

Any owner, tenant, or occupant of an occupancy unit, must, upon presentation of a piece of identification by the authority having jurisdiction, give access to the occupancy unit.

No person may hinder, in any way, the capture of an animal by the authority having
jurisdiction.

It is an offence under this by-law to inconvenience, to insult, to prohibit or impede in any manner the access referred to in paragraph (1) of the first paragraph or to otherwise obstruct that access, as well to deny or neglect to comply with a request that is made under this by-law.

What is an at-risk Dog?

  • A dog that tries to bite or attack.
  • A dog that has bitten or attacked.
  • A dog that exhibits behavior that could compromise a person or another animal’s safety.

What Happens if a Dog is Deemed at Risk?

The owner of a dog that bites someone has 72 hours to advise the city. The dog will have to be muzzled in public until further notice.

What Happens to Dangerous Dogs?

A euthanasia order will be issued for any dog deemed to be dangerous.

Are only ‘Dangerous Dogs’ Susceptible to Euthanasia Orders?

No. Dogs that have bitten someone may be forced to undergo an evaluation. If the evaluator deems the dog to be dangerous, they may issue a euthanasia order.

Also, Pit bulls protected by special permits but whose owners don’t adhere to the conditions may also be euthanized.

The Bottom Line:

The Pit Bull Ban was a clever way of using fear to find a way to financially rape all dog owners in Montreal. Requiring owners to license their dogs will not make the city safer, it just leaves thousands of animal lovers with less money in the bank all the while the City of Montreal finds itself with a new revenue stream. The Mayor, Denis Coderre has succeeded in creating an atmosphere of fear and hatred that did not exist before. To attack dog loving citizens and make them fearful of taking their pets out for a walk cannot be tolerated. Montreal was known as a pet friendly, laid back city that people felt proud of. Mayor Denis Coderre has turned the city into a divided, fearful and angry city with pet owners constantly looking over their shoulders worried that money hungry animal control security agents are stalking them and ready to pounce, fine them and take their dogs away if they so choose to do so. One can only hope that a judge will reverse the damage that Mayor Denis Coderre has done.