Family of Montreal woman mauled by dog wants Quebec-wide pit bull ban

The family of a woman who was found dead after being mauled by a dog earlier this week wants pit bulls to be banned in Quebec.

Pit bull involved in mauling had attacked people at least twice before

Christiane Vadnais, left, died Wednesday after she was attacked by what police described as a pit bull. An autopsy is expected to take place next week. (Facebook)


  • Police are still waiting for the results of a DNA test to confirm if the dog is a pit bull.

The family of a woman who was found dead after being mauled by a dog earlier this week wants pit bulls to be banned in Quebec.

Christiane Vadnais's body was found in her Pointe-aux-Trembles backyard Wednesday after the attack.

Her brother Serge Vadnais says the only way to prevent something similar from happening to someone else is to ban the breed.

"We will work … to push the government to change the law," he said. "As soon as possible, not in two years, now. We will change the law to limit the pit bull in Quebec, the same as in Ontario." 

Pit bulls have been banned in Ontario since 2005.

Victim was full of life, well-liked

A view of the backyard in Pointe-aux-Trembles where 55-year-old Christiane Vadnais was attacked on Wednesday. (Steve Rukavina/CBC)
Serge and Gaston Vadnais described their sister as someone who was full of life and always smiling.

She was one of 12 siblings. Her brothers last saw her a week ago at a family picnic.

She was a long-time and well-liked employee of Montreal's public transit agency, the STM.

Several of her co-workers were in shock after learning of her death Thursday morning, Radio-Canada reported. 

Dog was left inside the house

Audrey Amzallag, a lawyer representing the dog owner, says on the day of the incident, her client left his dog inside the house and went to school.

"Was there some kind of break in the gate? All those questions are being asked to my client and my client unfortunately has no answers, because when he left for school, [the dog] was in the apartment," she told CBC's Homerun.

Lawyer Audrey Amzallag is representing the man whose dog attacked 55-year-old Christiane Vadnais Wednesday. (Radio-Canada)

She also said this isn't the first time the dog attacked someone. It had been aggressive in at least two other situations.

"One [incident] happened when the owner had tied his dog [outside] a dé​panneur [convenience store] ... on a post and from what I understand when he came back, [the dog] was on the jacket of an individual that he doesn't know," she said.

The dog also attacked the owner's cousin, because it thought the cousin was an intruder, she said.

Quebec studying the issue

The Quebec government announced Thursday it is creating a working group to review, and if necessary, overhaul the regulations surrounding the dogs.

Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux said he isn't ruling out banning the dogs, but that all options will be considered.

Montreal announced last month it would be creating regulations to deal with so-called "dangerous dogs" by 2018.

Both the province and City of Montreal are considering banning pit bulls, but nothing has been finalized. (Alex Brockman/CBC)

Officials have said the municipal rules will also focus on educating the public on responsible pet ownership, including proper medical care and training.

The Montreal SPCA has said breed-specific legislation gives the public a false sense of security because it doesn't work and leads to non-aggressive dogs being targeted. 

Read the latest about Montreal's pit bull ban:

With files from Natalie Nanowski and Radio-Canada