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

Annual Home and Lifestyle Show coming to Sylvan Lake

The inaugural event will showcase local businesses at the NexSource Centre’s curling rink on May 11

$100,000 grant allows Sylvan Lake to address elder abuse

The funds are from the Aging Well in Community Grant and will be distributed over three years

Young Sylvan Lake woman nominated for a Women of Excellence Award

Tatyanna Stoesz, 16, was nominated for the award by her drama teacher at H.J. Cody

Sylvan Lake student crowned Miss Teenage Central Alberta

14-year-old Hope Cummins raised the most money for charity in her group leading up to the pageant

Bull Arena returns to Eckville first weekend of May

Eckville’s Bull Arena is sanctioned by Bull Riders of Canada

Homeless activists outside Notre Dame demand ‘a roof too’

Wealthy people have donated millions to effort to rebuild cathedral after devastating fire

Robbery in Leduc County estimated at $40,000

Leduc RCMP investigate break and enter and theft of firearms

Singh says childhood abuse steeled him for scrutiny and stress of politics

He recounts the assaults for the first time in his book Love & Courage

Despite five extra weeks’ parental leave in Canada, dads still face stigma: survey

One reason people said dads don’t need leave is because they can just bond with their kids at weekend

Calgary’s public school board responds to Syrian child’s suicide after bullying

Amal Alshteiwi, a newcomer to Canada from Syria, took her own life several weeks ago

Child, 11, accidentally shot in the chest at Alberta religious colony

Child taken from Hutterite colony to nearby hospital

Woman in critical condition after motorcycle crash on Edmonton highway

Police say both women were thrown from the bike, and the van continued forward, hitting a Nissan Altima

Ceremonies, vigils planned in Toronto to honour victims of deadly van attack

Many of those who helped that day — first responders and Good Samaritans alike — still affected

New study suggests oilsands greenhouse gas emissions underestimated

New study is the first to use actual field measurements taken from aerial overflights, or top-down measurements

Most Read