An attempt to save a dangerous dog from being euthanized has now become a challenge of the city’s animal control legislation.
A pitbull who bit two young children in Montreal North in August, causing serious injuries, was supposed to be euthanized after it was deemed dangerous by the city.
But the dog is still alive, living at the SPCA, and a dog rescue organization south of the border wants to adopt him.
“My goal has always been to have this dog adopted by Road to Home Rescue in upstate New York, rather than being killed by the state,” said lawyer Daniel Goldwater, who has been arguing the dog’s case in court.
On Thursday, he learned that means he will have to challenge parts of the city’s animal control bylaw.
“The bylaw prohibits any third party from adopting any dog that is deemed dangerous by the administration, by the city,” Goldwater explained. “I have to now challenge those provisions of the bylaw.”
Goldwater will also contest the part of the law that says an animal deemed dangerous must be euthanized. He says that part goes against the provincial rules.
“I think that contravenes the Animal Welfare and Safety Act, which says any decision made by the administration must consider the biological needs and consciousness of the dog,” the lawyer told Global News.
Meanwhile, longtime dog trainer Joe Rosen thinks the pitbull that attacked the children can be rehabilitated.
“As long as it’s in the right hands and given a proper training, it can be a perfect dog,” said Rosen, who has been training dogs for 36 years.
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A few Montreal dog owners at Percy Walters Park agreed.
“I think that dog should be given a chance, it’s not like they’re asking to rehabilitate it here,” said Christine Archer, while acknowledging the matter was complicated.
“Send it to New York and they can do something with the dog,” said Beatrice Guzman.
Another dog trainer who spoke to Global News, who didn’t want to go on camera out of fear of reprisals, wondered if people would be willing to test out the dangerous pit bull’s rehabilitation with their own children.
“To have your children around the dog after, I would not do that,” said Guzman.
“If I trained it myself, yes, I would,” said Joe Rosen, the dog trainer.
Goldwater expects a trial in the case will begin early next year. The city would not comment as the matter is before the courts.