On July 26, 2012, Wicca, a dog deemed dangerous by the City of Montreal, was put to death at Le Berger Blanc pound, after the City refused to consider a report prepared by a certified veterinary behaviorist who had assessed Wicca. Wicca’s story, which caused indignation both locally and worldwide, highlights the inherent flaws in Montreal’s current animal control by-law.
However, the new proposed by-law to be put forward by the City raises even bigger concerns, as it would provide for automatic and mandatory euthanasia in cases where a dog causes a skin laceration, regardless of the context or the severity of the injury. If a dog were to superficially scratch another dog while playing at a dog park, or bite someone in self-defence, the City would be required to sentence that dog to death. The new by-law could thus potentially result in hundreds or even thousands of dogs being killed, many of whom pose no real threat to public safety. Though the proposal establishes a review process for dog owners who wish to contest a euthanasia order, owners would only have 24 hours to obtain a behavioral evaluation, which is insufficient given the wait list for canine behaviorists in Montreal.
The Montreal SPCA is asking citizens to contact the Mayor’s office to express their concern over the current by-law and proposed new by-law and to ask that these by-laws be amended to appropriately ensure for public safety without imposing undue consequences on the animals and citizens of Montreal.
A model letter to the City of Montreal for Montreal residents is available here. Please download it and send it to the mayor of Montreal.
A model letter to the City of Montreal for persons not currently residing in Montreal is available here. Please download it and send it to the mayor of Montreal.
Thank you for your cooperation!