File photo

Montreal judge rejects bid to save pit bull from euthanasia

The dog attacked six people last August, including four children

A judge on Tuesday rejected a legal bid from a prominent Montreal lawyer and a U.S. animal shelter to save a pit bull-type dog from euthanasia after it attacked six people last August, including four children.

The attack was highly publicized at the time and officials in the Montreal borough where it occurred immediately declared the animal “dangerous” and ordered that it be killed. But lawyer Anne-France Goldwater, a well-known animal rights activist acting on behalf of the dog’s owner, as well as a specialized animal refuge in New York, asked the court to spare its life.

The refuge, called Road to Home Rescue Support, wanted to take control of the animal and ensure it would never be adopted to a home. Goldwater argued in court last week the section of a municipal bylaw declaring a dog must be euthanized once declared dangerous contravenes provincial animal welfare legislation.

She argued that section of the bylaw should be declared “inoperative” because it contravenes provincial legislation that describes animals as “sentient beings” that have “biological needs.”

READ MORE: Animals seized from North Okanagan property

But Superior Court Justice Lukasz Granosik ruled Tuesday the request to have the dog named Shotta sent to a refuge rather than put down came too late. And he upheld the bylaw’s provision on dangerous dogs. Granosik added the U.S.-based refuge had no standing to petition a Quebec court. He said the municipality has the right to order the dog euthanized.

A lawyer for the City of Montreal, Alexandre Paul-Hus, had said the dog’s actions on the day of the attack clearly showed it was dangerous.

Goldwater acknowledged at the beginning of the hearing last week that the animal in question had attacked people — including several children — and was “not the best of dogs.” But she added it is often the most difficult cases that test the laws and rights society puts in place.

“We’ll never advance our rights with the nice little neighbourhood dog who never does anything (wrong),” she told Granosik. “We test them in a difficult situation to see if the laws have claws and teeth.”

Among the victims were the two grandchildren of the woman watching the dog. The dog first attacked a four-year-old girl, wounding her in the head. The animal was then enclosed, but managed to escape and wounded the girl’s seven-year-old brother in the arm later in the day.

The Crown announced last week there would be no criminal charges against the woman who was watching the dog when the attacks took place. She had agreed to take care of it when the owner had a medical emergency.

READ MORE: Pitbulls put down after attacking children on Vancouver Island

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

White Rock butterfly release ‘emotional, uplifting’

Second annual event raises $1,250 for Peace Arch Hospice Society

Securing Olympic spot the latest test for Canadian softball squad at Surrey tournament

Softball hasn’t been included in the Games since 2008 when Canada finished fourth in Beijing

South Surrey-White Rock candidates weigh in on SNC-Lavalin affair

Polls show support for top federal parties even after ethics report

City Dream Centres hands out 1,000 backpacks at back to school event in Surrey

This is the fifth year the charity is hosting the event in the city

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. Lions fall to 1-9 after 13-10 loss to Ticats

Lowly Leos have dropped six straight CFL contests

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. man who died after rescuing swimmer was known for helping others

Shaun Nugent described as a dad, a coach, a hero and ‘stand-up guy’ at celebration of life

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Border crossings across Lower Mainland seeing lengthy delays

Sumas, Peace Arch and Surrey-Blaine border crossings seeing long wait times

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Racist confrontation in Richmond parking lot caught on camera

Woman can be heard yelling racial slurs, swear words at woman in apparent parking dispute

Most Read

l -->