Montreal

Proposed new rules for dangerous dogs leaves victim's family 'sad and very angry'

The sister of a woman mauled to death by a dog in June says the draft recommendations of a panel on dangerous dogs in Quebec don't go far enough.

Advisory committee's draft recommendations favour case-by-case approach over breed ban

There's no mention of banning pit bulls from a government-appointed advisory panel to look into the matter. (Sarah Leavitt/CBC)

The sister of a Montreal woman mauled to death by a dog in June says she fears a panel on dangerous dogs in Quebec won't go far enough with its recommendations.

"I am sad and very angry. I can't believe what I've read, or what I've heard. I'm asking myself how did we get here, to protect pit bulls like this," said Lise Vadnais.

Her sister, Christine Vadnais, was found dead in the backyard of her home with a neighbour's dog mauling her body.

Police at the time said the dog was a pit bull, but the Montreal SPCA has disputed that claim, saying it was in fact a boxer.

"It's like we're afraid to name this breed of dog, which we know has it in its genes to attack. They've shown time and again that they're completely unpredictable," Vadnais said.

New rules for owners proposed

There's no mention of banning the breed from a government-appointed advisory panel to look into the matter, according to recommendations in a draft document obtained by The Canadian Press.

The panel was created to advise Quebec on laws affecting pit bulls and other dogs considered to be dangerous.

The group is recommending a law that would set conditions to owning dangerous or potentially dangerous dogs and would include an awareness campaign aimed at preventing dog bites and educating the owners of such dogs.

The group also recommends establishing a bite reporting protocol to gather reliable data on the number and severity of assaults.

Vadnais said she wants rules like the mandatory sterilization of pit bulls and the prohibition of new pit bulls entering Quebec.

"We don't need attack dogs," she said.

Nancy Martel, who was attacked by a pit bull in October, said she agrees with the panel's draft recommendations.

"The trouble is not just the breed… a lot of people have had good experiences with pit bulls," she said.

"The fact that they are thinking about dangerous dogs and not just one breed will put the onus on people that want to have a dog at home to be more responsible."

The office of Quebec's Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux said he would not comment until he has the panel's final recommendations.

With files from Shaun Malley and The Canadian Press

now