Owners fined after poodle leaves neighbourhood
A poodle owner in Montreal’s Westmount area is irritated after the family was handed a fine, simply for walking the dog outside their neighbourhood.
Zoe Mintz says the family’s dog walker took their poodle Ringo out for a walk last week. Because the City of Montreal has stepped up a crackdown on unlicensed pets, she made sure Ringo was wearing his registration tag.
But as Ringo and the dog walker stopped at an intersection, a City of Montreal dog inspector stopped them and asked to see their tags. After informing them they had left the boundaries of Westmount and entered the City of Montreal, the inspector issued them a fine.
Mintz was stunned.
"It’s $149. I mean, that's three times the amount for a parking violation. And he was just walking on the wrong side of the street," Mintz told CTV Montreal.
The family lives close to the border between Westmount and Montreal but chose to register in Westmount so Ringo could use the off-leash parks there.
"From my understanding, we pay a little more to do so,” Mintz said. “The benefits of having a Westmount dog is having access to the wonderful parks they maintain and wooded areas where the dogs can go off leash in certain areas.”
All boroughs in Montreal require annual permits for dogs, as well as for cats in most boroughs -- even if the pets are kept indoors. The dog permits range in price from $25 to $55, depending on the neighbourhood and whether the dogs are neutered or microchipped.
After a 55-year old woman in the Montreal area of Pointe-aux-Trembles was killed by a dog in her backyard in June, the city began stepping up its animal control efforts, sending out canine inspectors in mid-July to patrol the city's boroughs.
The inspectors are told to ensure that all dogs have registration tags and keep an eye out for leash infractions. Fines for violations can run as high as $250.
Mintz says she understands the need for the rules but thinks the fine her family received is excessive.
"I understand there's a crackdown going on, but this is not the way to go about doing it," she said.
The family says they will contest the fine, since their dog was properly registered.
Montreal city councillor Anie Samson believes the ticket the Mintzes received may be a misapplication of the bylaw.
"Except for pit bulls and dangerous dogs, all dogs can come in the territory… but they have to have the licence of their city and it has to be legally okay, with the date and everything. If not they are not … allowed to come here," Samson told CTV Montreal.
While the Mintzes wait to contest the ticket, they have decided to pay for an extra tag so that Ringo can be registered in Montreal as well.
With a report from CTV Montreal’s Denise Roberts