Service de la concertation des arrondissements

In 2016, we had processed some thirty complaints linked to the new requirements regarding Pitbull dogs. In 2017, we receive approximately 150 additional complaints. As a result, 87 enquiries of complaints plus 1 own motion file were processed.

All complaints disputing the new rules are denied without intervention: these rules were adopted as a result of a political decision and therefore, our office has no jurisdiction.

Our 88 enquiries focus on the fair and equitable application of the rules.

15 Files Linked to the Application of the New By-law

These interventions (14 complaints and one own motion file) led to the following improvements: better access and improved clarity of information on the new rules, namely on Ville de Montréal website and in the Bureaux Accès Montréal (BAM); more standardized procedures to implement the By-law in Boroughs; improved oversight of Animal Controllers by providing them with clearer procedures.

Following the municipal election, the new Executive Committee suspends the application of the rules related to Pitbull dogs. Our office then closes the files that are still pending.

11 Complaints from Citizens whose Situation is Particular

Some owners explain that they were unable to complete in due time all the steps required for purchasing the Temporary Special Permit for various reasons such as hospitalization or other inability to proceed, etc. Other people claim that they had been given incomplete or wrong information as to the documents to be produced before March 31.

Upon examination, we find that 8 of the 11 complaints are founded. The City allows these owners to pursue their dealings in order to obtain their Temporary Permit.

62 Complainants Dispute the Notice Asking Them to Dispose of their Dogs.

Some 600 Pitbull dog owners, including our 62 complainants, receive a letter notifying them that their application for a Special Permit is denied and that they have four weeks to dispose of their dogs.

Our office swiftly adopts a systemic approach to ensure that our interventions benefit all impacted citizens, whether they filed a complaint or not.

All of these citizens have paid the $150 fees, produced proof of identity, residence and pet ownership and obtained a Temporary Special Permit for their dog but other documents required by June 1, 2017 have not all been submitted.

Upon examination, we regroup the files into 4 main categories for the purpose of our discussions with City representatives.

1 – Files without further proceedings

Once they obtained their Temporary Permit, some owners did not proceed further with their case to obtain the official Special Permit. In these cases, the OdM does not plan on intervening.

2 – Files which citizens claim are complete

Some files are compliant in every detail with the City requirements. Denying the Permit is a mistake: the Special Permit is issued. In other cases, the provided documents do not match exactly what the City was hoping to receive. The City shows flexibility: the Special Permit is issued.

3 – Files in which only the Negative Criminal Record Certificate is missing

Several citizens invoke the fact the City requirements were unclear and that the steps required to obtain these documents are complex. Upon examination, it appears that there was, in fact, confusion and that, in several cases, the explanations offered were mistaken or lacked clarity.

4 – Files related to owners who were unable to complete the steps required within the given deadline, for various reasons

All these citizens wish to comply with the regulation. Many plead their financial incapacity to incur all the required expenses (vaccination, micro-chip, sterilization, etc.) in the mandatory period: these fees can reach several hundred dollars.

Regarding the cases described in 3 and 4 above, our office begins talks with the Service de la concertation des arrondissements and the Mayor’s Office. We recommend more flexibility toward the owners who wish to be compliant.

These negotiations are successful: on September 8, the Mayor’s Office notifies us that the June 1 deadline will be deferred to December 21, 2017. This decision is officially sanctioned by the Executive Committee on September 13.

Some 600 impacted owners, therefore, have until December 21, 2017 to complete their Special Permit Application. In the meantime, they can keep their dog.

When the new Executive Council suspends the application of provisions for Pitbull dogs on December 20, 2017, almost all of our 62 complainants had already obtained their Special Permit.

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