Westmount poodle fined for walking in Montreal
The city of Montreal has beefed up its efforts to crack down on unregistered pets this summer but even having a dog registration tag isn't enough to avoid a harsh fine.
Three-year-old poodle Ringo lives in Westmount, and is registered there, never leaving home without a leash and a dog tag.
But last week, while walking at the corner of Victoria and Queen Mary, a city of Montreal dog inspector stopped Ringo and Ringo's dogwalker and issued a $149 fine.
Zoe Mintz, the daughter of the dog's owner, was incensed.
"Yes, $149! I mean that's three times the amount for a parking violation and he was just walking on the wrong side of the street," said Mintz.
She and her family are seeking legal advice and will contest the fine, since the dog was properly registered in Westmount.
"In my opinion it's just an overzealous police man. I understand there's a crackdown going on but this is not the way to go about doing it," said Mintz.
"From my understanding we pay a little more to do so. The benefits of having a Westmount dog is having access to the wonderful parks they maintain and wooded areas where the dogs can go off leash in certain areas," she said.
In Mintz's case, Executive Committee member Anie Samson believes the ticket may be a misapplication of the bylaw.
"Except for the pit bull and dangerous dogs, all dog can come in the territory but they have to have the licence of their city and it has to be legally okay with the date and everything. If not they are not, they are not allowed to come here," said Samson.
Montreal has seen a surge in dog registrations since announcing in July that it would be increasing patrols, but the city believes that fewer than one in five dogs in Montreal are registered.
Councillors are expected to approve changes to the city's animal control bylaw next month that would see the cost of registration of pit bulls and other dangerous dogs increase, but that would not affect poodles like Ringo.
In the meantime Mintz has registered Ringo in Montreal too, saying even if it's unnecessary the family doesn't need any extra stress in their lives right now.