Family of Montreal woman mauled to death by dog 'disappointed' owner won't be charged

Not long after 55-year-old Christiane Vadnais was mauled to death by a dog in her Pointe-aux-Trembles backyard, police said the owner could be charged with criminal negligence. But that won't be the case.

Crown spokesperson says 'after a rigourous analysis' dog's owner won't face charges

Christiane Vadnais, left, died in June after she was attacked by a dog believed to be a pit bull. The Quebec Crown now says no charges will be laid against the dog's owner. (Facebook)

The sister of a Montreal woman who was mauled to death by her neighbour's dog earlier this year says she and her family are "very, very disappointed" the dog's owner won't face any charges.

Christiane Vadnais, 55, was killed in her Pointe-aux-Trembles backyard in June.

The dog that attacked her may have been a pit bull.

Police had said not long after Vadnais died that the dog's owner, Franklin Junior Frontal, could be charged with criminal negligence.

But Jean-Pascal Boucher, Crown spokesperson, confirmed Wednesday that "after a rigorous analysis," the prosecution won't lay charges. Frontal won't be charged.

Couldn't prove negligence

In an interview on Radio-Canada's Gravel le matin, Lise Vadnais said police and a prosecutor met with the family and explained that their problem was with proving criminal intent.

They were told that in order to move forward with lay charges, the Crown would have had to prove Frontal was aware of the danger the dog posed and negligent about it. 

Lise Vadnais said she finds the laws that are in place don’t do enough to make people responsible for their animals. Her sister Christiane died this summer when she was attacked by a dog in her backyard. (Radio-Canada)

She said it's clear the dog was dangerous, but it's still unclear how the dog escaped Frontal's house and got into her yard.

Lawyer Audrey Amzallag, who is representing the dog's owner, has said her client left his dog inside the house and went to school the day Vadnais died.

Lise Vadnais also said the family was told the dog wore a muzzle when people came over because it had bitten people before.

"When a dog gets to the point where it bites and has to wear a muzzle in its house, maybe it's time to ask if it's normal to have a dog like that," she said.

Quebec needs better laws, sister says

Lise Vadnais and her family are worried about the message the decision not to lay charges sends to owners of dangerous dogs, particularly of pit bulls.

"For me, it's our laws that aren't strict enough, that won't force people be responsible for their animals," she said.

Police officers had to shoot and kill it in order to reach Vadnais safely.

Vadnais's death spurred the adoption of Montreal's revamped animal control bylaw that included sections banning new ownership of pit bull-type dogs.

Those sections are being contested in court.

Speaking to reporters at City Hall, Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre said he believes that if the bylaw were in effect the outcome may have been different for Vadnais. 

"I feel even stronger about the bylaw we've put forward," said Coderre.