Dog owners in the Sud-Ouest borough are up in arms because their dogs are no longer allowed at the Atwater market.
Some have complained they’ve been threatened with fines and are wondering what’s going on.
The fines come as a surprise to some because there used to be a rack right outside the market. Pet owners could leave their dogs – on a leash – while they shopped.
But the rack was removed last summer and several owners say lately, they have been confronted aggressively by Montreal’s canine squad.
“I’ve heard of people getting approached just for being in the parking lot premises, just for stepping foot onto the premises and being threatened with a $400 ticket,” dog owner Daniel Moscovitch told Global News.
Moscovitch says part of his routine is to walk his dog Bugsy along the Lachine canal, then stop for groceries at the market.
But that’s no longer an option for him.
“I didn’t realize that the market had disdain for us and our dogs. I guess it kind of hurts if you look at it that way,” Moscovitch said.
Global News reached out to Marchés Publics de Montréal, the organization in charge of the Atwater market.
A spokesperson said Montreal’s canine squad was the one to ask them to remove the racks and remind them of the rules: no dogs are allowed in public markets.
City councillor Craig Sauvé says the city doesn’t rule over public markets.
“They set their own bylaws as to whether dogs are allowed or not,” Sauvé explained.
“They actually called us to ask us to do some patrols around the markets because they had some issues with some dogs and their owners.”
Sauvé went on to say the city doesn’t ban dogs anywhere but dogs aren’t allowed to be left unattended.
“It’s for security of Montrealers and the well-being of dogs,” he said.
Sauvé said the market could re-evaluate its bylaw or ask the city to stop patrolling the area.