Family accuses city of lacking teeth on animal bylaws after dog attacks pet

An RDP family is accusing the city of not enforcing its dangerous animals bylaw, saying they received little response after their dog Albert was attacked by another dog.

While Montreal’s dangerous dogs bylaw was meant to prevent attacks, a Riviere-des-Prairies family is accusing the new rules of lacking teeth.

Brandon Paterno MacQueen said he was walking his schnauzer Albert in a park in May when he was attacked by another dog.

“I was screaming really loud, ‘Don’t hurt my dog, don’t kill my dog,’” said MacQueen.

The family rushed Albert to a vet for emergency treatment. Albert sustained deep cuts in the attack.

“If it was a little bit deeper there’s a good chance he’d be dead because it split open right near the artery,” said MacQueen’s father Donald.

While MacQueen’s family called police, officers told him to instead call the city.

Brandon’s mother Ida Paterno said police told them things would have gone differently if the other dog had killed Albert or injured Brandon.

“I’m like ‘Yeah, that’s it, it’s always wait until something happens,’” she said.

Montreal’s new animal bylaws, adopted last year, state an at-risk dog is one that attacks or bites another person or pet. Montreal officials, including Mayor Valerie Plante, said that when such an attack happens, Montrealers should call 311 and the animal will be evaluated.

Donald MacQueen said that’s what the family did, but didn’t receive a response until after three months and five calls.

“We called them several times, the last time we called, the person actually took the report,” he said.

Montreal currently has 89 dogs on its potentially dangerous list, with breeds running from mastiffs to chihuahuas.

The MacQueens said that while they want the city to act, they also want the other dog’s owners to cover Albert’s $350 vet bill. Brandon said the incident has made him weary of other dogs.

“I’m scared now sometimes,” he said. “I ask my mom if I can pet them or not.”