“Citizens’ Reflection on the Amendment to the Animal Control By-Law (16-060).”
(March 3, 2018 at the Georges-Vanier Center 2450 Workman Street, South West Borough)
I now give you the statement that reflects my vision, mission and soul of Clanimal:
“I believe that the human, by demonstrating a certain degree of responsibility towards animals and being closer to them, reconnects with his instinct and thus becomes a better human being in life.
Our commitment is therefore to work with determination, passion and respect of all beings for the constant improvement of relations between humans and animals, with respect for each other and the environment, particularly through a strong community, education, information and social involvement! ”
Finally, I’m 58 years old and after practicing law for 35 years, I made the choice to follow my vision and my passion for animals by founding an organization of services and support to animal lovers around the world, based on the statement I just gave you.
Now, let’s get to the heart of the matter:
“Suggested Measures to Improve Animal Control in Montreal:
1) Compulsory training for future guardians of a pet:
This compulsory training is already followed in Germany, Switzerland and other European countries, and leads to a much more responsible behavior on the part of the majority of animal guardians, while also allowing a more pleasant behavior on the part of the animals.
The training could be designed by a team of trainors, behaviorists and specialists (biologists, or other discipline related to the breed or type of animal) and these future guardians would be trained to: physically care, manage nutrition, have basic training in obedience and behavior of the animal acquired.
Also, the training would be adapted to the type and breed of the animal, for example, powerful dogs requires a more “structured” frame of training as well as for certain reptiles.
We believe to be appropriate to ban the acquisition of some exotic animals, not currently covered.
In addition, a refresher course would be necessary every 3 or 5 years, and if the future guardian does not succeed in his training, he could be kept from acquiring the coveted animal, or lose custody of the animal!
We submit that the Plante-Dorais administration could, under the proposed approach, readjust the cost of the animal medals according to the chosen refresher course period and consider, in some cases, to use modern means of communication combined with person to person encounters, to do this.
The costs of such a measure would be used to pay for the mandatory training program.
Finally, we are convinced that a well structured program will build the current and future guardians of Montreal’s animals confidence, by helping them to take care of this new member of their family, both in private and in public, and this confidence will be reflected in a better cohabitation of humans and animals!
Clanimal offers itself to take the mandate to set up such a program, as well as those proposed hereinafter.
2) Animal Education for Children:
The goal of this measure is that a well-educated child will grow up to become a responsible adult towards animals.
To that effect, a training similar to the one given to adults (ie: make humans more responsible) could be given to elementary school children as a basic course. And who knows, this might give children an interest in becoming a veterinarian or in another related job in the animal world, and certainly to make them better citizens of Montreal!
A team of 2-3 people would be set up, whose task would be to give one-hour trainings, at regular intervals, through out both Montreal school boards;
3) Animal Education for Business Owners:
In addition, an educational program (as given to children,
obviously adapted to adults) could be given in the private and public sectors, to prepare business owners and their employees for the more frequent presence of animals (especially service animals) in public places, on how to behave and to prevent and react in certain situations (like fights, etc.).
Many animal guardians want to contribute to the Montreal economy, and have access to several places (commercial and public) with this new member of their family and are prevented to, often because of a lack of knowledge on the part of business owners or other guardians who have not had the necessary training or, unfortunately because some of them are being totally disrespectful of the etiquette.
And to avoid any misunderstandings, the animal guardian whose animal damages anything during his presence in a commercial or public place, will be responsible to pay for it, otherwise would be given a ticket for public mischief!
You will notice, however, that there is more and more businesses, managed by the “newer generations” who are more and more opened to the presence of animals in their establishments.
4) Increased accessibility in public places:
At Clanimal, we submit that there are many responsible animal guardians who, without abusing this “new privilege”, would like to be able to go to their Borough Hall for example, to get the “medal” for their pet.
You think allergies or other “calamities”, do not worry, it will always remain the prerogative of the business owner or the manager for the public space, to accept or not pets on their premises.
Moreover, until now no “Cholera epidemic” has been declared on the island of Montreal.
I want to give you now some examples of completely incongruous situations, where access was forbidden to me because I was with my dog, and am not referring to “every day” visits either:
Southwest Borough City Hall (and Ville-Marie Borough city Hall of Montreal):
for 2-3 years (under the old administration) I could not even get into the Southwest borough city Hall to get my dog’s medal! Yet before, I could freely enter Montreal City Hall (in the Ville-Marie borough) and do the same thing!
It’s like saying to the SAAQ: “Come renew your driver’s license or your registration and do not take your vehicle to come here!”
Recently, I went to the Southwest borough city Hall and if you had seen the smile on the staff’s face and their interest in learning how to meet my dog. I bought the medal and then left without any major incident or outbreak of any deadly epidemic (!)
Resident of the southwest borough, since 2008, I happened (and still happen) to go to the Atwater market to buy fruits and vegetables or eat at one of the open-air restaurants ( and sit at a table at the northwestern end near the north exit of the Atwater Tunnel and Atwater Street);
Since 2015, the market administration requires the animal guardian who goes to the market to tie his animal at the entrance, on the grounds of public health concerns (1).
In itself, this could cause unfortunate or dangerous situations (biting, animal being stolen, etc.) while being carefree and irresponsible on the part of the market administration, directly engaging the responsibility of the latter and the city!
This “philosophy” has caused, at least 3 times during 2015-2016, the market administration to call the police to escort me outside the market premises, even though I was sitting at the place described above!
Also, several times I had the market “security” following me constantly, as soon as I was putting the “four legs of my dog” in the parking lot.
Even though every time, I demonstrated that my dog did not urinate anywhere on market products, or that it did not bother anyone, that it didn’t bark and always remained by my side … or to invite police or security to look at the geographic location of the market (like the presence of many cars driving around, etc), nothing helped.
Finally, I also asked the administration or its representative to provide me with the frequency of the extermination operations services at the market (after all, food is sold there, and if it is not done, the administration Plante-Dorais should worry about public health!) And to date, I have not received anything yet!
In 2017, the market administration “innovates” by providing a written explanation of the ban on animals in the market (2).
When reading this “explanation”, should we understand that for years, the administration invited people to act in contravention of the municipal by-law, and this without saying that, by always being in movement, the dog would not be prohibited to the market public?
These two examples illustrate how much paranoia has set place in the city of Montreal with respect to the presence of animals in the public spaces, without being justified in any way, shape or form.
Should we close the city every time we do public works, because of the omnipresence of rats, or raccoons or fox more and more downtown?
Moreover, regarding the public health aspect so often invoked, Clanimal recalls here, a public intervention of our famous Dr. Béliveau, which confirms the presence and dissemination of significant amounts of bacteria from humans, in space public … And does that make us ban the humans in public spaces on the island of Montreal?
So, Clanimal requires the City of Montreal, to do an analysis of the regulations in place giving access to a better accessibility to pets on its territory, right now!
The article 5 defined that can be granted a “license” of guardian of a dog or a cat, according to the regulation 16-060, currently in force in Montreal. We do not refer to Articles 16 to 18 of the same regulation given the decision of the Plante-Dorais administration to abolish the “pit bull” aspect of the said regulation.
Clanimal is for restricting the “possession” of certain types of pets when the person applying for a permit under section 5 and 6 of By-law 16-060 has been found guilty (following a judgment) of specific criminal offenses relating to the violation of the integrity of the person or the trafficking of drugs and narcotics or the abuse of animals.
In addition, Clanimal would invite the Plante-Dorais administration to use the existing psychological expertise in this area to determine the type of criminal profile inclined not to use a pet, in the best interests of the pet and other humans.
In the light of the decision rendered in the Karim Jean-Gilles of Brossard case on February 22, it is clear to us that the psychological profile of this individual represents the type of animal guardian that the city is responsible to prohibit acquiring any animal and to ensure that those who meet the specified criteria, and who are in possession of animals, are dispossessed of them.
In addition, we believe that before the coming into force of the new regulation, and immediately thereafter that it would be the priority of the managers of the animal policy of Montreal, to proceed to the establishment of a computer registry, including individuals with the profile described above and proceeded to a verification of the possession or not of animals from them and to dispossess them of these animals;
6) Article 21: obligation for dogs over 20 kg to wear a harness or halter:
. From the outset, as in the articles I wrote on the subject (3), there is no scientific study that supports the basis on which the Coderre administration had relied to determine that the harness or the halter ” would prevent biting and / or controlling aggression in dogs “!
. And this obligation continues to be enforced … This is also discrimination against guardians of dog over 20 kg!
. Also, this regulation is applied without discrimination towards the assistance dogs (and curiously MIRA never raised this issue, only Clanimal spoke about it!)
. the RSPCA South-Australia (4) has determined that the harness / halter, are: “training tools to be used under the supervision of a behavioural veterinarian”*
* (nb: in Quebec, we have only 3. ..Dr. Martin Godbout, Diane Frank and Marion Desmarchelier (resident) in Saint-Hyacinthe) and did you know that a behavioural veterinarian must do more than 10 years of university education! ”
. So, what to say as well of the thousands of dog guardians in Montreal, forced in 2016 to buy harnesses in a “disaster scenario” that aren’t by any means “behavioural veterinarians” and for which the vast majority of these harnesses, do not even meet the minimum requirements of functionality (like attaching to the front of it!) and also
. also what about the halter that are used the wrong way (the dog can either not show the normal signs of appeasement or can clearly bite despite its use …)
. I have an impressive collection of videos that show that despite wearing a harness, there are many people in Montreal that despite these measures in section 21, have become true “musher, worthy of dog sled racing in Alaska!”
. It will be my pleasure to show these to the Judge of the Municipal Court, when I get a ticket of $ 500 for not wearing a harness or a halter to my dog. I will even go to a first offense at $ 1,000 and a second offense at $ 2,000 and why not go to the Supreme court, as long as to challenge this type of absurdity in the regulation currently in place!
. Yet, as Mrs. Plante and Mr. Sauvé have never stop since their election to say, time and time again, that BSL was DISCRIMINATORY towards “pit bull type dogs”, we at Clanimal say that Section 21 is even more discriminatory towards all guardians of dogs above 20 kg, who are responsible citizens because:
. again, there is absolutely no scientific proofs that wearing a harness or a “halter” will keep any dogs from biting or becoming aggressive!
. how are the worthy representatives of the “canine gestapo of Montreal” are able to determine the weight of an animal to determine the commission of a violation to Section 21?
. do they have a bionic eye or a metric balance eyesight to determine the weight of a dog?
. moreover, what about the economic impact of the severity of the fines, for the vast majority of guardians of dogs over 20 kg! (5), because according to the City of Montreal’s own figures, more than 145,000 dogs, of which at least 50% are dogs over 20 kg (72,500) vs the clear object of this which is legislation (“Pit bull”) at max 2000, which is 1.3%!
. The result is that the purpose of this article 21 is simply a “cash grab” in the pockets of Montreal taxpayers while being profoundly and clearly discriminatory against the vast majority of Montreal dog guardians & tax payers!
. Finally, you must know that the famous Calgary by-law, so often referred to cited by the Plante-Dorais administration, contain no provision “forcing” dogs over 20 kg to wear a harness or halter!
. We are also assured that, failing to correct this, the by-law will be subject to a court challenge that is likely to succeed. In this regard, Clanimal will make a point of proceeding quickly to this legal challenge!
. Finally, on this point Clanimal deplores that during the “epic” fight between the SPCA and the City of Montreal, before the Superior Court and also before the Court of Appeal, the SPCA, despite the clarity of its mandate (of represent the interests of ALL dogs in Montreal) chose complete silence on this point, why? It would be important to ask the question and answer it;
7) ban retractable leashes (section 21 by-laws 16-060)
This represents for Clanimal, the most underestimated element according to Section20 (control of the animal).
Indeed, since 2009, this type of leash is considered dangerous and according to several reputable dog trainors, here are at least 5 reasons to declare this type of leash illegal:
ground 1: by virtue of the way its built , this type of leash, consisting of a very thin wire, can easily cause severe burns, or even the loss of a limb;
ground 2: The dog learns to pull. The principle is to give the dog freedom whenever he “pulls” on the leash. So when the dog finds his “regular” leash, he is already used to pull. Just need to look at all the dogs walking far ahead of their guardian during their daily walk (I have a well-stocked photo album of such behaviours!)
ground 3: There will be inevitably an increase in the chances of fights between dogs, especially during unexpected encounters! And this kind of situation generates undesirable or even unpredictable behaviour in dogs;
ground 4: the dog can get away from its guardian, considering the ergonomics of the handle of the leash, conceived for a maximum ease in its use, and when the dog takes distance from his guardian, the amplitude and the velocity experienced could cause the guardian to drop the leash and get the dog involved in an accident!
ground 5: moreover, returning to the ergonomics of the leash, it can fall from the hand of the guardian and scare the dog, who caught by surprise, can be placed in dangerous situations like being hit while crossing the street or chasing a squirrel!
8) counter expertise (case of dogs with dangerous behaviour) (art 30, 32, 35 regulations 16-060)
As soon as by-law 16-060 came into force, we noticed that there was a dangerous gap by the absence of an opportunity to get a counter expertise to the City of Montreal’s determination of a “dangerous dog ” status with all the consequences that accompany this status.
Therefore, Clanimal submits that the opportunity to allow the guardian of the animal subject to this measure, to get a counter expertise by a recognized expert in the matter, to allow compliance with applicable legal principles, such as the right to provide a complete proof and the right to a fair and equitable hearing (“audi alteram partem”) is important.
Like the situation described in article 21 here, we are assured that, failing this correction, any settlement will be subject to a court challenge that is likely to succeed.
9) Attitude of enforcement officers (Articles 1 and 2 of Regulation 16-060)
Now, I cannot ignore the “aggressive and constant confrontation” attitude of “Canine Gestapo” attendants with Montreal animal guardians.
They harass and issue tickets in illegal situations (ex: along the Lachine canal), having myself been harassed for more than twice in the summer of 2017;
They certainly require training in customer service and human psychology, because by continuing to have the attitude shown above, the animal guardians of Montreal will eventually rebel and take the administration Plante -Dorais seriously in aversion;
10) Spaying and neuter:
If there is a “delicate” subject and deeply misunderstood, it is the spaying of the female and the neutering of the male.
Many animal guardians unfortunately keep alive some stubborn myths about when it is appropriate to neuter the male or spay the female.
That’s why our first comment will be of importance in the mandatory training outlined above to help future animal guardians to understand the behavioural and medical issues surrounding neutering and spaying their pets.
Our second comment, based on our personal experience, concerns the respect of the moment of neutering and spaying certain breeds, especially large dog breeds.
It is imperative, in our opinion, to respect optimal growth curves in large dog breed and cat breeds in order to maximize their chances of growing healthy.
As a consequence, we recommend that the optimal growth curve criteria for the best timing for neutering and spaying of certain breeds of dogs and cats follow the combined recommendations of the veterinarian and the breeder when the animal comes from a breeder, and the veterinarian and shelter, when it comes from a shelter.
Also, in the event that the best moment for neutering and spaying exceeds a maximum of 6 months, Clanimal recommends making the guardian to undertake to act with the highest level of responsibility, combined if necessary, with a financial commitment as well.
As for other cats (domestic, abandoned and wild), Clanimal proposes until the issue of stray cats and in shelters, has reached levels of management acceptable by the authorities, the application for cats other than wandering and wild, of the same measures as above in the case of dog breeders:
And, given the serious problem of stray cats, Clanimal also supports the implementation, in all Montreal boroughs, of a policy of capture, spay/neuter and release (failing to determine that the animal subject to this policy is determined to be adoptable according to the procedure in place);
Finally on this subject, why not also put in place one of the following measures:
. a spaying/neutering program for low-income individuals, and / or
. 2 mobile veterinary clinics that would travel across Montreal boroughs offering spaying/neutering services, and / or
. a City of Montreal joint spaying/neutering program with the Order and / or the Association des médecins vétérinaires du Québec;
Moreover, why would the Montreal SPCA not take the example of the British Columbia SPCA, which is setting up a spay / neuter program with a $100,000 injection (8)!
Doesn’t the SPCA raise several million dollars a year in public funding! (By the way, the SPCA could make its financial statements public as it collects its funds via the public!)
Clanimal believes that these programs can easily be self-financing, while representing a extraordinary vehicle of visibility for veterinary doctors in Montreal (as of Quebec) as well as for any corporate sponsor seeking to gain positive visibility.
And what about tax incentives that could be negotiated with Quebec to support these programs? Just be original and creative to succeed!
11) Unethical breeders
It is imperative that the City (in the absence of collaboration with the province) act towards the back yard breeders, as well as irresponsible guardians who, having no training as breeders, act in a carefree and unethical way (according to the standards determined by the industry and authorities) breeding dogs and / or cats, to have a range, more once a year or more than one year in a row:
. in particular by requiring the payment of a license by anyone who wishes to breed on its territory, failing which, this will constitute an offense;
. in particular by seizing any material used for the illicit activities described above, including any dwelling or residence or premises, and any dogs/cats/puppies/kittens still on the spot at the time of of the offense, as well as any information, in any form and support deemed relevant to the application of the by-law;
Clanimal.com argues that the economic prosperity of Montreal depends in part on the way the Plante-Dorais administration will implement an animal control policy that will respect its citizens and animals on its territory.
Indeed, according to US mayors representing 30 states, who voted on June 23, 2017 at the 85th Conference of American Mayors (6):
. 82% agree that providing pet friendly accommodations can have a positive overall economic impact on their community;
. 74% agree that providing pet-friendly amenities will help rental communities improve tenants’ stability, and
. 81 per cent agree that the availability of pet friendly amenities can help increase the value of home ownership;
. 69% agree that implementing an accountability education campaign for responsible pet guardians would help make their city more pet friendly.
We therefore believe that the proposals made above by Clanimal.com could, if the Plante / Dorais administration has the courage to choose them, demonstrate:
(a) it has vision and responsibility for the welfare of its citizens and living animals in its territory,
(b) it is committed to creating an animal control regulation that empowers all its citizens towards the animals and
c) that it has the determination to make Montreal a city at the forefront of animal management and give the image of a city where life is good with animals and whose economic prosperity is undoubted.
Clanimal.com: ready to serve Montrealers and their pets!
(2) New Notice ban dogs Atwater Market (2017)
(3) See www.clanimal.com in the period from June 2016 to the present;
(4) RSPCA South Australia en 2016 et Grohman, K, Dickomeit, MJ Schmidt, MJ Kramer, M (2014) Severe brain damage after punitive training technique with a choke chain collar in a German Shepherd dog. Vol 8, issue 3, p-180-184;