A citizen complained to the Ombudsman de Montréal to contest an order for the euthanasia of a dog who had attacked another dog.

The Statements of offence regarding these same events had been contested and the files were pending, before Cour municipale de Montréal.

Generally, information contained in a penal or criminal file awaiting trial is not available but, in order to investigate our file properly, we needed the information contained in this specific file.

The Ombudsman de Montréal discussed the matter at length with the Procureur de la couronne responsible of this penal case and, more particularly, she explained her legal right to obtain any information and documents she deems relevant, within the investigation.

Following these discussions, the Ombudsman de Montréal received all the information she had requested.

As to the merit of the file, the By-law concerning dog and animal control, R.R.V.M., c. C-10, provides that when a dog bites a person or another animal, the director can order that the dog may be euthanized, if he believes the animal represents a health or safety hazard for the public. In the present instance, the director’s decision had been based on a legal opinion and on a statistical evaluation of the risks of re-occurrence.

Since the Ombudsman could not conclude that the order was arbitrary or unreasonable, she did not issue any Recommendation against the contested order.

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