Dangerous dogs: a petition to illuminate areas of darkness
Women who have been victims of violent dog attacks in recent years, or even months, are fighting back. Under the auspices of the new Quebec Association of Victims of Dog Attacks (AQVAC), they launched on Monday a petition calling for more preventive measures in Bill 128, which aims to regulate more severely the behavior of dangerous dogs.
The AQVAC is an organization in the process of being registered set up by Anne Castaigne, the daughter of Geneviève Piacentini – the Rougemontoise attacked by two dogs in July in Saint-Césaire -, in concert with this one, Dominique Alain, the jogger who was attacked violently by three dogs in Potton, and Lise Vadnais, the sister of Christiane Vadnais, killed by a pit bull in June 2016.
“These three women live with the physical or psychological consequences of ferocious attacks caused by dogs [and] want to avoid the repetition of such attacks. They give you their main recommendations, “it says in the preamble of the petition.
“We sent our recommendations to the National Assembly. Dominique, Lise and my mother went to the Orford constituency office in September, but we have never had a return since, says Castaigne, in an interview with La Voix de l’Est. We wonder where it’s going. ”
There are currently several gray areas in law 128. The liability of dog owners, but also the determination of dog breeds being considered dangerous or not are not clearly established, allege the petitioners.
Moreover, they write, “the right of dog owners seems to prevail over the right to the security of the citizens. Our recommendations are aimed at restoring fairness and empowering owners of dangerous or potentially dangerous dogs. ”
The petition proposes many recommendations to improve public safety, facilitate the identification of dangerous dogs and make the owners of them liable for damage that may be caused by their pet.
Some ideas are inspired by measures elsewhere in the world, including France and some US states. “We have looked everywhere and what we have discussed. We realized that the legislation was more severe in some places and less elsewhere, “says Anne Castaigne.
It is first claimed that any dog owner has a liability insurance policy, proof of which must be produced when registering the dog to the municipality, failing which the master is liable to a fine. The beast must also be necessarily microchipped.
“It is the insurance companies that will be responsible for setting the rates according to the criteria they deem appropriate. They may determine risk-based pricing, which may be a deterrent to an avid hobbyist of a dangerous or potentially dangerous type. On the other hand, the municipalities must assume an animal control role on their territory, “explains one to justify this recommendation.
“We see that dog attacks are extremely costly for society,” says Ms. Castaigne. It is our opinion that the insurance would ensure that not all taxpayers pay for this type of incident. ”
To this end, it is recommended that all animal adoption organizations and breeders provide the municipality with information on the adoption of a dog on its territory, namely the name and contact information of its new owner. .
Following the proposals of the petition, the petitioner should also receive, at the time of adoption, a complete file on his new animal including the name and address of his former owner, the reason (s) why the dog was placed in adoption as well as a list of behavioral problems observed in the beast and the interventions carried out to correct them.
“The behavioral record of the dog is as important as his medical record,” says the AQVAC. The information must be as complete as possible to enable the adopter to make an informed decision. ”
The very definition of what is a dangerous dog not yet a consensus, the ladies propose that a simple attack or bite, towards a human or another dog, becomes the determining criterion. In these cases, the animal should be euthanized, they argue, and in the event that the victim is human, the owner should be the subject of a complaint to the police and criminal prosecution.
The principle of zero tolerance must be applied in order to avoid a repetition of attacks, it is mentioned. Recall that in some high-profile cases of dog attacks, the latter had already demonstrated aggression in the past.
It is also proposed to create a provincial registry of dog-to-human attacks, “regardless of the severity or absence of injury.” The registry would compile data that would provide a portrait of the kennel characteristics and circumstances surrounding each event, which should be reported to the local police department or municipality.
“The establishment of a provincial registry will provide statistical data that can be compiled and analyzed scientifically to better identify the breeds of dogs involved in attacks on humans. Ideally, this record should contain photos, a DNA sample, behavioral information from the animal and details of the attack, “said the petitioners, which can be viewed and signed on the Change.org platform by searching by its title: “Recommendations for a draft regulation governing dangerous dogs”.
No signature goal has been set. “What we want is to be heard by the government. So yes, the bigger the number, the more impact it will have, “acknowledges Ms. Castaigne.
The AQVAC is not yet officially registered, but that will not be long, explains the young woman. “The process is ongoing,” she says, “but we will soon have to define its mission. ”
The body could become a resource for people who have been attacked by a dog. And the victims are numerous. “We are three to have gathered for the moment, but each week, we see new cases, reminds Ms. Castaigne. It never stops. “