• Carmen Marie Fabio

Hudson's Sandy Beach closed to dogs following bite incident


PHOTO BY JAMES ARMSTRONG The closure of the beach to all dogs was announced today though at least one canine was still spotted at the locale in the early afternoon.

As of July 12, Hudson’s Sandy Beach is off-limits to all dogs following the July 11 pit bull-type dog attack on a Hudson resident, leaving him with four puncture wounds in his arm and a week’s course of antibiotics.

“It’s not just one dog,” resident Greg Baumeister told The Journal. “This is an issue that’s been going on for years.” The popular spot on the shores of the Lake of Two Mountains has been used by both local and out-of-town dog owners for years and while dogs were always expected to be leashed, the municipal by-law was not always followed or rigorously enforced.

“I was actually walking in the water, about five feet from the shore to avoid all the dogs,” Baumeister said of the recent incident. “A pit bull on a 10-foot leash lunged at me and got away from its owner.”

While he was able to get the dog to release its grip by hitting it under the neck with his free hand, Baumeister speculated on what possible scenario would’ve taken place had it been a young child instead of his arm.

When he confronted the owner, a young woman reportedly from Île-Perrot, to ask why she couldn’t control her dog, he recounts being told, “I’m still learning,” before she and a friend tearfully wrapped the dog in a blanket. He was further admonished by other dog owners who told him to back off, that the owner had apologized.

While waiting for the Sûreté du Québec to respond – a reported 1 hour, 40 minute wait due to shift change – Baumeister said he spoke with a Hudson Public Security officer who told him dealing with the issue of unleashed dogs on the beach had become a difficult and time consuming endeavour.

PHOTO BY JAMES ARMSTRONG

Signs prohibiting dogs from Hudson's Sandy Beach were erected the afternoon of July 12.

Mayor Jamie Nicholls confirmed the recent news and said the decision was made to close the beach to all dogs, whether local or visiting.

“We need to protect citizens and ensure the safety and security of Hudsonites,” said Nicholls. Leashed dogs have been permitted for years but Nicholls said the law has not been respected.

“Community Patrol’s budget was cut by 52 per cent in 2015 which affected the enforcement ability of the by-laws,” he said. “Council will be looking at implanting more ‘boots on the ground,’ especially for the summer.” Community Patrol is also tasked with crowd and parking management at popular attractions like Finnegan’s Flea Market and the Hudson/Oka Ferry.

Nicholls said council will also meet to discuss the pet by-laws currently in place. “As it stands right now, it’s not enforceable.”

Council has just passed a ‘Harmonized Peace and Order’ by-law with the Municipalité régionale de comté Vaudreuil-Soulanges (MRC-VS) in order to give the SQ a degree of predictability when working to enforce the law in the 23 towns in the county.

“It hasn’t yet touched on pets in particular,” said Nicholls. “That has to be revised to make it workable.”

Baumeister said he has not ruled out the possibility of taking legal action against the Town of Hudson and the dog owner.

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