The Montreal SPCA To Challenge No-Pet Clauses in Court

The Montreal SPCA has filed a declaration of intervention with the Tribunal administratif du logement (TAL) to have its perspective heard in a dispute between a tenant and her landlord over the validity of the clause in her lease prohibiting animals in the unit.

For over a decade, the Montreal SPCA has been fighting relentlessly to ban no-pet clauses due to their devastating effects on both animals and Quebec families, more than half of which now include a companion animal. On May 25, in response to the SPCA’s sustained efforts over the past few years, Bill 494, An Act to amend the Civil Code to render without effect the clauses of a lease of a dwelling tending to prohibit companion animals, was introduced at the National Assembly.


This is a problem that does indeed impact residents of Côte Saint-Luc who are told they cannot have a dog or cat in their apartment. Only pet owners and animal lovers can understand the cruelty of this act. I could never move into a place  that would not allow me to bring my beloved cat.

I appreciate the MNAs for Québec Solidaire for bringing this motion forward. I am sure that our D'Arcy McGee Liberal MNA Elisabeth Prass, who has always supported our CSL Cats Committee, will speak up on this as well.

“In addition to tackling the issue of animals in housing on the legislative front, by supporting this bill and encouraging the public to do the same, we also wish to submit to the courts several legal arguments challenging the validity of no-pet clauses," explainedSophie Gaillard, Director of Animal Advocacy and Legal and Government Affairs at the Montreal SPCA. "More specifically, we consider this type of clause to be abusive, unreasonable and contrary to certain fundamental rights set out in the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. 

“As an animal shelter directly affected by the problem of mass abandonment caused by no-pet clauses but also as the largest animal protection organization in Quebec, the Montreal SPCA would like to have its voice heard on this issue at the Tribunal administratif du logement.”

In its intervention, the Montreal SPCA will argue, among other things, that the clause prohibiting animals in the residential lease of the tenant involved in the dispute:

  • Violates the new status of animals as “sentient beings,” granted to them in the Civil Code of Québec in 2015, insofar as it forces the tenant to get rid of her animals—a dog and a cat—as if they were any other movable property, when in fact they are sentient beings to whom she has a deep emotional attachment and to whom she has obligations;
  • Violates the right to privacy set out in section 5 of the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, which protects the right to make fundamentally personal and private decisions without undue external influence. The choice to live with an animal companion, often perceived as a family member in their own right, is an inherently personal decision that must be protected;
  • Is abusive and unreasonable, especially given the shortage of affordable housing, which seriously undermines the balance of power between landlords and tenants. Forcing a tenant to give up her animals in order to keep her residential unit is completely disproportionate to any hypothetical harm to the landlord or neighbours that such a clause is presumably intended to avoid.

“Every year, thousands of Quebecers are forced to make the heartbreaking decision to give up their animal, whom they consider a member of the family, in order to find affordable housing," points out Gaillard. "The current state of the Quebec rental market is exacerbating this already difficult situation, especially for low-income individuals,” . “Moving is one of the main reasons animals are abandoned in Quebec shelters. On average, more than one animal a day is abandoned at the Montreal SPCA for this very reason.”

Representing the Montreal SPCA in this case is Marie-Claude St-Amant, a partner at Melançon Marceau Grenier Cohen, LLP, who also chairs the SPCA’s board of directors.



A disturbing number of dangerous dog reports coincides with plans for CSL to toughen our by-law

When I was in my early teens I had an after school job delivering the old Montreal Star Newspaper. One of my homes had a dog named Blackie. He was a small thing, but vicious and no matter how many times I begged the owner she continually let him outside without a leash. When Blackie saw me with two bags over my shoulders to carry the papers (like a postman), he went right for my leg, trying to bite me. It got so bad I was prepared to drop the route. Finally, the owner made an extended leash and kept him on their front lawn.


Blackie was a dangerous dog. I had approached our city councillor at the time. But she did nothing.

Fast forward to 2023. I am in my 18th year as a city councillor. For the past three mandates I have been responsible for Animal Protection. We have a Dog Owners Committee and a Public Safety staff, notably Manager of Operations Jean-Marc Dubois (a dog owner himself), in our corner.

Over the last few months Manager Dubois has been working with me and the Dog Owners Committee, chaired by Jonathan Goldman and Anna Katz, on strengthening sections of our by-law dealing with dangerous dogs.

You can read our complete by-law here.

Beautiful Pika in a photo taken last summer.


Well, this cannot come soon enough. Just in the last week alone I have been alerted to some very disturbing incidents.

The owners of Pika were at the Dog Run on Mackle Road. Pika was attacked by another dog who rushed in and grabbed him by the neck and more. Pika needed surgery. The  woman and her teenage daughter who owned this dog, driving a white BMW, reportedly took off.  Thanks to some good old fashioned detective work, Anna Katz found out where the owner lives. The owners of Pika spoke to her. A police report has been filed. 

Pika shown here with multiple stitches.


“What kind of dog does this?” asked the owner of Pika. “What kind of woman runs from the scene? Pika is in excruciating pain. He can't lie down at all.  Our dog though stopped breathing in surgery and needed to be intubated and revived. He has been in hospital since. “

Article 5 of our present Dog Bylaw is already pretty severe.

For the purpose of the application of the present By-law, a dog can be declared dangerous or potentially dangerous if the dog:

a) has a propensity, potential or disposition to attack, bite, threaten, chase, or injure, with or without provocation, any Persons, property or other animals; or
b) with or without provocation or physical injury, attacks, bites, threatens, chases, or injures a Person, property, or other animal; or
c) has been trained for dog fighting or to attack upon a command

If you or your dog are the victims of a dangerous canine, please go to the police station on Westminster Avenue and file a report. Our Public Safety Department needs this to act. The by-law can even result in a dangerous dog being euthanized, which is not only very sad but almost always the fault of the owner who does not act when he or she sees the aggressive behavior being exhibited.

A constituent of mine just contacted me with another disturbing story. She says that her dog, a mini dachshund, was attacked by a French  bulldog mix in front of the  apartment building elevators. The dog, she said,   needed to be rushed to the vet and treated. “My dog is ok, “ the owner said, “but his ear will never fully heal back together and he is on 14 days of antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and other topical treatments. The other dog is known to be violent and aggressive and should not be living in a condo building with children and other dogs. At the very least he needs to be muzzled when in public and living in a single home with a fence."

Friends of the owner of the dog that allegedly carried out this attack have a different viewpoint, which they said they wish to share with me.

There is a police report, so when our Public Safety Department carries out its investigation that person and any other witnesses will be able to give their side of the story.

Today, another  resident shared a story. She and her partner were confronted by a large black and tan dog of mixed breed. “ I was walking with my partner on that street when the dog, off leash, charged at us very fast from their front door onto the sidewalk while barking aggressively,” the resident shared with me. “The dog pushed us into the street and to the other sidewalk, as we tried to back away from the dog while it kept charging at us. We couldn't approach the house or speak to the owner because the dog was growling and guarding the property. The owner didn't come out and bring the dog back in for at least five minutes after the encounter, despite the loud barking.  It was very irresponsible of the owner to leave their dog out at night, off leash, especially one who is as aggressive to strangers as this one.”

Sadly, there are many more of these disturbing stories and to the credit of our Public Safety Department appropriate action has taken place in every case where we had the necessary information.

A refurbished Dog Run and words of advice from our Public Safety Department

As the city councillor responsible for Animal Protection in Côte Saint-Luc,  having committee meetings via Zoom have been challenging. Sometime it is nice to be on site to discuss certain issues. That is indeed the case for our Dog Runs.

This gentleman introduced me to his new rescue dog.


Earlier this week, CSL Dog Owners Committee Co-Chairs Jonathan Goldman and Anna Marie Katz met me at the Mackle Road Dog Run. We were very fortunate to have CSL Public Safety Manager of Operations Jean-Marc Dubois with us. A dog owner himself,  Jean Marc takes this dossier to heart.

First let me thank the team at Public Works who have undertaken some attractive modifications to the Dog Run. Six new benches were installed in the park on concrete pads to prevent dogs from digging along with 30 tons of additional river stone  while the vines growing along the CP fence were removed.  We  are now waiting for the delivery of some large concrete pipes for dogs to run through and jump on.

Manager Dubois meets with members. You can see the new benches and stones.


I must say it is always an “upper” to visit the facility and watch the dogs run and play. We do have  a sign at the entrance which dog owners are asked to adhere to. It is a little difficult to see so I will ask that it be reinstalled facing sideways.

Manager Dubois was joined by a public security officer at our meeting.  We will now make sure that an officer visits the site at least once per shift. From time to time we do have issues with aggressive dogs. There is no place for them at this location.   Our officers do have the authority to label a dog as potentially dangerous. The owner will be asked to leave with his or her canine and if they return a fine can be issued.

Meet this beautiful dog named Moose.


Manager Dubois shared with us a disturbing incident that occurred recently in our city. A man was walking on the street and attacked by two dogs and they perforated his skin. The owner had them off leash. Police were called and since neither dog had a license there was an automatic fine of $500 each.

After incidents like this, a dog behaviorist is called in. The owner must show up for an appointment or face a $1,000 fine.

We were also told that the number of dog licenses issued this year is significantly down.  If you are among the dog owners who have not updated or obtained a license, then prepare for a possible spot check.

Here is how to purchase a license. You can even do it online

Dog and cat micro-chipping is mandatory in CSL. If your animal gets loose, this is  the safest thing to getting them back.

All dog owners should follow these guidelines. notably cleaning up after your animal. Please always carry a plastic bag to pick up their waste.


It is the first ever Scoop the Poop Month in CSL

Four years ago at this time I was completing my door to door campaign for the 2017 elections, with a pledge to create a Côte Saint-Luc Dog Owners Committee and allow dogs in parks.

It was mission accomplished on both counts. Jonathan Goldman, Anna Marie Katz and Tamar Hertz (representing non-dog owners) were among those who stepped up. Jonathan and Anna paid special attention to our two dog runs, notably the one on Mackle Road.


One idea I had was to create a system of special reps in each district. These individuals would serve as our eyes and ears, taking note of any developments and speading the word on our mandate to other dog owners. We just needed someone to steer that ship. In recent months a leader surfaced in Sivan Rehan, who just happens to be the wife of Jonathan Goldman.

Sivan has recruited a committee and a meeting will be held sometime after the election.

In the meantime, we have declared November  Scoop the Poop Month.

Sivan lists the following reason why you should pick up after your dog:

1) Common Courtesy 

2) Dog waste can carry diseases that are harmful to humans and other pets.  families walking around may step on it and carry it to their homes creating an unsafe environment.

3) Dog waste is not a fertilizer.

Since dogs' diets are high in protein, dog poop is exceptionally high in nitrogen and phosphorus. It can cause burns on lawns. 

4) Dog poop will not wash away on its own - dog waste can take as long as a year to naturally break down, especially in colder climates. 

Go to Section 4.2 here from our bylaws  to learn more about the rules of picking up after your dog. It is part of the law.


Establishing a Dog Owners Committee was a proud achievement of mine

During the last election campaign, as the city councillor responsible for Animal Protection, I promised to create a dedicated Dog Owners Commmittee. Prior to that I had already established an advisory committee on our Dog Runs headed by Abe Haim.

The election was in November 2017 and at the beginning of the following January I held the first Dog Owners Committee. Jonathan Goldman and Anna Katz stepped forward as co-chairs and many others came on board as well. Community activist and Côte St. Luc Families Facebook page moderator Tamar Hertz even volunteered to serve as our non-dog owner advisor, which proved to be very helpful.

One of the first things we did was talk about having dogs on leashes allowed in parks. A bylaw was adopted and this has worked out well. Dog owners have been very responsible.

Even the dogs were invited to this meeting.


While the committee was meeting regularly at City Hall and the Aquatic and Community Centre before the pandemic, we shifted a lot to Zoom the past 18 months. On August 18 we convened at the Mackle Road Dog Run. It was nice to chat as the dogs ran about. Councillor David Tordjman was also on hand.   This is a great space, with a specific fenced off section for smaller dogs. Many people come there each day. They have become friends; the same thing for most of the dogs. Regrettably, there have been some individuals who have shown up with vicious dogs. If these canines get aggressive, we ask them politely to leave. There have been some incidents where smaller dogs were attacked. Although rare, this does occur. The best recourse is to call Public Security or go to the Police Station on Westminster and file a report.

We also have a Dog Run on Côte St. Luc Road next to Richard Schwartz Park.

Maurice Tietolman and his dog Henry are among the newest residents to my District 2.

Dog owners are very passionate and I heard a lot of very good ideas. Jonathan’s wife Sivan Rehan agreed to chair our District Information Network. Sivan will assemble reps from our eight electoral districts to serve as eyes and ears regarding canine activity as well as ambassadors to advise dog owners they meet about our Facebook page, the dog runs etc.

We hope to arrange our next meeting with Public Security to discuss some issues. Thanks to all of our dog owners for picking up after our pets and keeping our community clean!

Why microchipping your dog or cat is mandatory - and important!

Microchipping dogs and cats became mandatory in Montreal and Laval last January. The law also applies to Côte Saint-Luc and we decided to give pet owners more than a year's grace, but that time is almost over.

Starting April 6, 2021, all Côte Saint-Luc cats and dogs over six months of age must be microchipped. A proof of microchipping will be asked when you renew your annual dog or cat tag.

What is a microchip?

A microchip is computer chip, the size of a grain of rice, with a serial number associated with the owner’s contact details. It is inserted, by a veterinarian, under the skin of the animal.

Why microchip?

A microchip makes it possible to identify a lost animal and quickly find its owner. The device cannot be lost and accompanies your pet throughout its life. Dog and cat ownership information is accessible to veterinarians. This avoids overloading shelters and most importantly carrying out avoidable euthanasia.


My Cleopatra was microchipped the moment we adopted her as a kitten.


Where can I get my pet microchipped?

You can get your pet microchipped at your local veterinarian or at the SPCA.

What is my view?

All of my cats have been microchipped. My 11 year old  Cleopatra never goes outside. But we worry heaven forbid if she ever escaped (when I open the sliding door for the barbeque she heads in the opposite direction) what would happen? I hope to never find out, but a microchip is a vital purchase if you love your pet. We have all heard stories about dogs breaking lose from a backyard or off a leash.

You have to be a pet owner to understand this. Our dogs and cats are family. We care about them, well at least I do, like they are your own flesh and blood.

So please, adhere to this new regulation!





Revised by-law aims to provide a basis for reducing the risk of attacks and tragic incidents related to dangerous dogs.

At the last Côte Saint-Luc council meeting I moved a motion to modify our by-law  for the regulation of dogs. This was deemed necessary to be in line with new provincial government legislation.

You can watch the full meeting, which was conducted via Zoom Video, here.


One minor change was done to the draft by-law that was tabled at the April 6, 2020 meeting, namely, that the coming into force of the obligation to microchip all dogs on the territory of CSL will be on April 6, 2021.

The remainder of by-law 2555 will come into force as of July 11, 2020 (in order for Public Security to inform the City of Montreal of the modifications), with the exception of the microchipping articles.

This new regulation  aims to provide a basis for reducing the risk of attacks and tragic incidents related to dangerous dogs. For instance, dogs 20 kg and over must wear a halter or harness at all times. Wearing a leash with a maximum length of 1.85 meters is also now compulsory, except in a dog park, hunting, in a training course or a dog competition (the latter three will unlikely occur in CSL).     Doctors are  obligated to report serious dog bites. Veterinarians must report dogs they believe to pose a risk, and municipalities will enforce the rules and order any dog responsible for an attack to be euthanized. 

We have had issues in the past with dangerous dogs. But usually, it is the owner who is fault.

In  CSL we have an active Dog Owners Committee I launched after the last election. I know many people would like to see our Dog Runs reopened. Regrettably, in our  effort to avoid gatherings, council  groups the Dog Run in the same category of playgrounds. While I am personally confident our dog owners would respect social distancing, we must give this situation some more time to evaluate.




Autism Speaks Dog Walk a big succcess

As the city councillor responsible for Animal Protection, I was  thrilled to once again be part of the Autism Speaks Canada Promenade de chiens/Dog Walk on Sunday September 8. This was the second year for the event, both times occurring at our own Trudeau Park. Mother Nature cooperated and the sun was shining. A nice crowd  turned out - man, woman, child and of course many dogs of different shapes and sizes.

Aren't these dogs beautiful?

Krista Leitham worked tirelessly to make it all happen, seconded by ever-so charismatic ambassador Matthew Moses. Originally Matthew was looking forward to bringing his beloved Rookie along. Sadly, Rookie passed away a week earlier. While still very much in mourning, he needed to fill that gap in his love. He and his family adopted a large puppy they named Houston and the canine made his first public appearance at the walk.

With the Goldman family.


There were a number of kiosks set up,  including sponsor Nutrience. Greyhound Rescues were  on hand as was Cindy Davis from Inspirations Newspaper and Principal Nicholas Katalifos from the Wagar Adult Education Centre, where Matthew is a student. The Laval Rocket setup a booth as a tribute to Matthew, who is one of their most devoted fans.

With Matthew Moses and Houston.

The Dog Walk is a fundraising initiative for dog lovers and the autism community to celebrate the unconditional love of these fur-babies and the therapeutic benefits of dogs to families and individuals living with autism. "Together, we can increase awareness, understanding, acceptance and inclusion for the autism community," said Krista.

It was a wonderful sight to see so many people doing the walk together through the pathway at Trudeau Park.

Jonathan  Goldman, the chair of our CSL Dog Owners Committee, was on hand with his dog and members of the family. It was  nice to catch up with my old friends Mark Wineck and Warren Gornitsky, both there with their dogs. I hope we can help this event get bigger and bigger each year!

Time for dog owners to renew licenses -special evening set aside

All dog owners must ensure that their dog has an annual license, payable by May 1 each year. The annual license fee for each dog that is neutered or spayed is $20. The annual license fee for each dog that is not neutered or spayed is $30.

You must make this payment in person at City Hall.  Normally this option is only available during daytime hours. However, after having received a few phone calls from people whose work schedules will not allow this we have decided to remain open for one night only: Thursday, April 25 until 7:30 pm.

For those people who cannot make  this date due to the Jewish holiday or who wish  to pay via another method, I am excited to announce that our Finance Department is prepared to pilot eTransfers. You can pay for your dog or cat license via the email address of [email protected].

The resident will have to send us an email with the required information (name, address, dog/cat name, age, color, neutered or not, etc.), then they will be given the confirmation to proceed with the e-Transfer. We will send the receipt and tag in the mail

Please take note of this.

It is very important to have your dog licensed for identification purposes and  heaven forbid if  they get lost.




Autism Speaks Canada bringing a Dog Walk to our very own Trudeau Park

The City of Côte Saint-Luc is proud to be hosting  the  Autism Speaks Canada  Dog Walk  on Sunday, October 21 (9:30 am to 11:30 am) at Pierre Elliott Trudeau Park on Mackle Road. The event goes  rain or shine. I cannot think of a better way to start my birthday off.

EngDog Walk POstcard

One in 66  individuals is diagnosed with autism. Autism Speaks Canada aims to raise awareness and fundraise to support family community services and research into causes and better interventions for autism and related conditions.

“We recognize and value that dogs provide unconditional love to all,” said Krista Leitham, the Regional Walk Coordinator. “Specifically, to the family living with autism, dogs also provide important therapeutic support.  Both research and pet therapy providers alike support that dogs provide important pet therapy to individuals with autism which help improve their social interaction, increase attention and cooperation, decrease anxiety and provide support for independence skills.”

Our Dog Owners Committee, chaired by Jonathan Goldman, is supporting this wonderful initiative. I urge all dog owners to register with their dogs of course.  

Dog photo - Andria 1

“This is the first time ASC will hold an ASC-branded Dog Walk,” said Leitham. “At our signature Walk events across Canada, we have an increasing number of pet therapists participate, in addition to families with trained therapy dogs. The idea for an ASC-branded dog walk is inspired by an ASC supporter in Alberta, a veterinarian with a son on the spectrum and he has organized a local dog walk for the past few years.”

Leitham notes how research supports that dogs (pets) help improve social interaction, increase attention and cooperation, decrease anxiety and provide important tools for independence skills. Research articles are available on the Autism Speaks (US) website, an example is here.

Also, an increasing number of schools are including trained therapy dogs into the classroom pedagogy or after-school programs. This is a true grassroots initiative with local community support. Merchants with dog care services are new to participate at an event like this and welcome engaging with the community by exhibiting their services and leading family-friendly and dog-friendly activities.

The response on social media has been consistently strong. A noted number of community groups and organizations are sharing our posts. We encourage participants to register online so we can best prepare for the number of participants.

Registration is online at (English) or (French) Event-day registrations are welcome, but online is preferred. The cost is $30 fee per family or team; just one person needs to register to represent the family or team. Registrants with their family or team are encouraged to fundraise. Donations are preferred by credit card online or cash/cheques can be remitted on event day.

Event day activities will include the following:

  • Exhibitors: Dog care specialists, local community organizations, each will lead a family and dog-friendly activity.
  • Event day contests: Best Dressed Dog, Best Dog Trick, Best Doggie-Owner Look-a-Like, Best Halloween Costume, Best Dog Strut, etc.  Contest winners receive a gift.
  • Pre-event contest for Best Dog Photo :Registrants are invited to send in a dog photo with the dog’s name and breed, and share their story how their dog is important to their family, especially if they are a family living with autism. The photo and story is posted onto the Montreal Autism Speaks Canada facebook and event Instagram @ascdogwalk leading up to the event. The public vote will be announced on event day.
  • Prize Draws: Fundraising Reward tickets are remitted to registrants on event day based on their fundraising. The more you fundraise, the more tickets you receive. On event day, registrants select which Prize Draws to place their tickets towards to increase their chances to win.
  • 1 km Dog Walk: To close the event to empower families both directly and indirectly affected with autism.

For more information e-mail [email protected]  or log on to