A license on every dog: Montreal cracks down on pet owners

The City of Montreal is cracking down on unregistered dogs as animal control inspectors step up to enforce pet bylaws.

“They’re going around in the parks and see the owners of the dogs to see if they have a permit, if they’re on a leash and if not they’re going to give out some fines,” said Anie Samson, vice-chair of the city’s executive committee.

The city insists registering pets in Montreal is not a new rule, but after a string of serious dog attacks, officials have decided to ramp up their animal control laws.

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    “We need to know how many dogs we have, what kind of dogs we have because we have to plan; if we want to put a dog place in the park,  we have to know how many dogs we have,” said Samson.

    According to city officials, only 14 per cent of the estimated 150,000 dogs in Montreal are properly registered.

    They said the goal is to get every dog in the city registered by the end of the summer.

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    However, animal owners seem to have mixed feelings.

    “It’s not a big issue, you just have to pay or whatever it is, it’s fine,” said NDG resident Rodrigo Galvin.

    “They do take care of the dog parks and everything that comes with it, so I have no issue with it whatsoever.”

    To make the process simple and easy, the city has set up a section on its website that lists every borough’s rules and fees.

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    Still, some residents said they don’t think it’s necessary.

    “They want us to spend the extra x amount of money to go register them for what?” said NDG resident Caroline Seguin.

    “To say ‘yeah, they’re a part of Montreal?’”

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    Dog owners who fail to comply and get caught could face fines of up to $250.

    “I rescued two dogs, I think I did a good deed by rescuing the animals, giving them a second chance and now you guys are going to fine me for not registering them with the city?” said Seguin.

    Meanwhile, the city says registering pets is only part of their tougher animal laws.

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    The city is looking at whether to enact a bylaw this fall that would ban specific breeds, such as pit bulls.