• John Jantak

Ste. Anne’s by-law clarifies canine guidelines


PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

Ste. Anne’s unanimously adopted a new dog by-law this week with an emphasis on dealing with dangerous dogs. Pictured from left to right Councillors Dana Chevalier, Ryan Young, Francis Juneau, Mayor Paola Hawa and Denis Gignac. Councillors Tom Broad and Yvan Labelle were absent.

Council follows Montreal’s lead regarding potentially dangerous dogs

The City of Ste. Anne de Bellevue adopted a revised by-law with an emphasis on managing potentially dangerous dogs at its Monday evening council meeting on March 11.

The by-law changes come in response to an incident that happened just over 18 months ago when a small dog was mauled and killed by a larger aggressive breed who had reportedly managed to break free from its handler in September, 2017 in the north sector of the city.

New tools to handle situations

“At this point in time we realized we didn’t have many tools available to handle situations like that,” Mayor Paola Hawa told The Journal. “We did the best we could with what we had, but we needed to upgrade our tools. We basically adopted the same thing that Montreal has. We held back a little bit because they have an entire department that’s responsible for looking after dangerous dogs.

“We toned it down, being realistic with what we can do within our resources. We also handle dangerous dogs a little bit different than Montreal does. In Montreal, it’s actually the canine inspector who does the evaluation of whether the dog is declared dangerous or not. For us, a person will have to go to a vet or recognized facility like the SPCA.”

Potentially dangerous dogs

Potentially dangerous dogs are not being identified according to their breed but on whether they’ve attacked anybody or not, even another animal. “Based on that, who knows what dangerous dogs are out there. It’s happened several times where dogs have attacked another dog. I heard through our municipal patrol that they’ve encountered situations like that,” said Hawa.

Potentially dangerous dogs will have to be muzzled at all times when they are outdoors, even on their properties. The guardian of a dog at risk, and potentially dangerous, must display, in plain sight, a pictogram at the main entrance to the residence and yard, according to the by-law.

The pictogram must be posted so that it is easily visible to anyone who may have access to the residence or property. All potentially dangerous dogs will have to be identified in a registry accessible to the public.

THE JOURNAL FILE PHOTO/ LYNN SERRE

‘Ozzy’, a family pet was mauled and killed by another dog on Rue Meloche in the north sector of Ste. Anne de Bellevue in September, 2017.

Dangerous dogs

If a potentially dangerous dog bites, attempts to bite, attacks or attempts to attack a person, without causing death, or if it kills another domestic animal by lacerating the skin, the competent authority will declare it a dangerous dog.

It is forbidden to have custody or possession of a dangerous dog on the territory of the city. The guardian of a dangerous dog must have the dog euthanized within 48 hours after receiving the euthanasia order by issued by the competent authority. The keeper of the dangerous dog must provide the written attestation from the veterinarian who euthanized the dog within 72 hours after the death of the dog.

Hawa said she’s hopeful people will become more aware and that the new by-law will curb incidents involving potentially dangerous dogs. “If it doesn’t, at least we have the tools to react to it,” she said. “Hopefully this will keep dogs and people safe.”

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