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The Hammer Comes Down:
Is Reimbursement Due?

An update on Animal Bylaw enforcement and ticketing by Montreal Canine Inspectors

By Linda Hammerschmid

Concerning Montreal Dog Tickets, it should interest many dog owners out there to know that probably half the dog tickets handed out by Montreal Canine Inspectors / Police may not be valid.

Why? Because when the City enacts legislation, which includes fines for contravening its rules, it must also delegate the power to enforce said rules and this delegation must be voted on by Council before enforcement can be legally performed.

… probably half the dog tickets handed out by Montreal Canine Inspectors / Police may not be valid.

Apparently, in their rush to “crack down” on Pit Bull types and non-licensed dogs in general, city officials gave out tickets prior to when the delegation of power was voted upon.

Although the Court suspended part of the Animal Bylaw, the Coderre administration has refused to put a hold on all files already opened before the Court ruling of October 5, 2016.

Ergo, those citizens who paid fines should verify their ticket dates and make a request for reimbursement if the date or payment was before enforcement powers were delegated.

Read also: The Hammer Comes Down on Dog Breeds and Permits


Re: DOGS OF MONTREAL
The Gazette
Saturday, December 3, 2016

As most know by now on December 1, 2016, The Court of Appeal lifted the temporary suspension on the Coderre Animal Bylaw regarding requirements for permits, harnesses and muzzles on Pit Bulls. Therefore, Pit Bulls ‘define’ as Pit Bull type dogs must be muzzled.

So when I was perusing the HomeFront Section of the December 3 Gazette, and more particularly saw the photo for Dogs of Montreal and the 2 Pit Bull ‘type’ dogs, the lawyer in me immediately wondered on which date the photo was taken. Why? Because, sadly, if it was before December 1, then the dogs (or shall I say their owners) were not breaking any laws. But if the photo was taken between December 1 and 3, (when the article appeared), the owners were committing, as the Bylaw states, an infraction since neither dog was wearing a muzzle.

… The Court of Appeal lifted the temporary suspension on the Coderre Animal Bylaw regarding requirements for permits, harnesses and muzzles on Pit Bulls. Therefore, Pit Bulls ‘define’ as Pit Bull type dogs must be muzzled.

Nothing like being a willing (and more likely an unwitting) participant in supplying proof against oneself. As Verdun is a borough of the City of Montreal, such unfettered walks for these pups are now a thing of the past, at least until final judgment is rendered on the proceedings brought by the SPCA, and other organizations such as CPSPC, which is intervening in the case, contesting the new Animal Bylaw.

In conclusion, perhaps the columnist of Dogs of Montreal should pay more heed to the laws in place so as not to make perpetrators (per Coderre) of the dog owners and their dogs profiled each week. To be safe, come to Westmount or Montreal West to take photos, towns where dogs still matter!

Read also: Open Letter from the CPSPC

© 2016 Linda Hammerschmid

Image: Audrey via StockPholio.net


linda hammerschmid
Me Linda Hammerschmid is an attorney and has been practicing Family Law since 1982. She is the Senior Partner at Hammerschmid & Associates at 1 Westmount Square, Suite 1290. She is a founding and current member, and past Secretary (28 years) of The Family Law Association of Quebec. She is a frequent guest on CBC TV/Radio, CTV and CJAD, providing commentary on Family Law. You can also hear her regularly on the CJAD show “Passion” with Dr. Laurie Betito, the last Thursday of each month. She and her dog Mac are members of Therapeutic Paws giving joy to the less fortunate. Me Hammerschmid can be reached at (514) 846-1013 or by e-mail at <hammerschmid@vif.com>. All inquiries will be treated confidentially.


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  1. Kay Salomon

    We live on the line between Westmount and Montreal. My dogs always turned right and loved walking on the Montreal side, now we can’t go because two of my dogs are too big. Daisy, is small but now she doesn’t want to walk anymore than 5 minutes because she can’t go on her favourite walks which were on the Montreal side.. I cant take her alone because she won’t walk without the other dogs who are wonderful, not pit bulls or look alike, just big. Coderre has changed the life of all of us in so many different ways.


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