• John Jantak

Stringent by-law enforcement demanded after dog killed in Ste. Anne’s


PHOTO COURTESY OF LYNN SERRE

‘Ozzy’, the Serre family cockapoo was mauled and killed by a larger, aggressive dog on Rue Meloche in the north sector of Ste. Anne de Bellevue last Wednesday evening, September 5.

A Ste. Anne de Bellevue resident is demanding the city enforce its dog by-laws more vigorously after their family pet was mauled and killed by another large aggressive dog in the north sector of the city last Wednesday evening, September 5.

Lynn Serre, 49, and her 15-year-old daughter were walking their small four-year-old cockapoo along Rue Meloche when the large dog reportedly managed to break free from its handler, an elderly woman who may have had difficulty controlling the dog, as it was being led into the house. The dog then immediately ran to the curb and began attacking ‘Ozzy’.

Severe injuries

Both mother and daughter tried to stop the attack but couldn’t because of the size and aggressiveness of the dog who was finally subdued by its handler. Ozzy was immediately brought to the vet but he died from the severity of his injuries which included lacerations and ‘missing pieces’.

“We were punching it on the head and I was trying to get him into his muzzle but couldn’t. Our neighbours were watching and after that a car stopped. I put Ozzy into the car and asked to be driven to the vet,” Serre told Your Local Journal during an interview on September 12 outside her home as she held back tears while describing the incident.

“He was still alive when we got there but by the time the vet saw him, he was already dead. It was a brutal attack,” said Serre.

Family traumatized

The event has deeply traumatized the entire family, especially Serre’s daughter who witnessed the viciousness of the mauling. Serre said it was bad enough to lose a member of the family but she is also concerned that a similar incident could happen without warning and an adult or child could be severely injured or even killed. “That dog could have turned on my daughter or on me,” Serre said.

In June 2016, 55-year-old Christiane Vadnais died after she was mauled when a dog – first reported to be a pit bull later found registered as a boxer – jumped into her backyard from a neighbouring fence in the Montreal borough of Pointe-aux-Trembles. In response to the incident, the city of Montreal implemented a new by-law in October 2016 to strictly regulate the possession of dog breeds deemed as ‘dangerous’.

PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

A pictogram at the intersection of Chemin Ste. Marie and Rue Meloche in the north sector of Ste. Anne de Bellevue advises dog owners to keep their dogs leashed when walking their pets along the bicycle path.

City’s dog by-law

Ste. Anne’s has a similar by-law that requires owners of large dogs to keep their pets under their control at all times and to ensure that aggressive and dangerous breeds are always muzzled and secured with a 2.1 metre leash attached to a collar when being walked in public. A pictogram must also be visible from a dog owner’s front window to advise visitors that an aggressive dog may be present.

Mayor Paola Hawa said she was distressed to hear about what happened and the city will issue three infraction tickets to the owner of the dog that attacked Ozzy. She added the incident will be investigated by the Station 1 Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) detachment and followed up by the provincial Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation du Québec (MAPAQ) who will assess the dog.

“Ste. Anne’s not doing enough”

The matter, which was also raised during question period at the Monday evening council meeting on September 11, prompted one resident to say the city seems to put more emphasis on ticketing residents who put out their garbage and recycling bins at the curb ahead of schedule than on ticketing owners of large dogs and aggressive breeds who violate the city’s by-laws.

“It’s absolutely impossible to be everywhere at the same time,” said Hawa. “We only have one municipal patrol. It’s not an excuse; it’s an explanation. I can assure you that in terms of what happened last week, we have taken it under control. We have only a certain scope under our authority. The proper authorities will do what they need to do.”

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