Coroner makes recommendations following death of woman by pit bull type dog

By , on October 2, 2017


FILE: The recommendations were in a report released Monday in Quebec City by coroner Ethan Lichtblau into the death last summer of Christiane Vadnais. (Photo by Gordalmighty (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)],)
FILE: The recommendations were in a report released Monday in Quebec City by coroner Ethan Lichtblau into the death last summer of Christiane Vadnais. (Photo by Gordalmighty (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)],)
A Quebec coroner has recommended a half-dozen changes to proposed legislation aimed at cracking down on pit bull-type dogs.

The recommendations were in a report released Monday in Quebec City by coroner Ethan Lichtblau into the death last summer of Christiane Vadnais.

The 55-year-old Montreal woman was found dead June 8, 2016, after being attacked by what was believed to be a pit bull that had escaped from a nearby home.

There has been a string of dog attacks in Quebec in recent years.

Lichtblau underlines that his report is aimed at families and organizations “for the protection of human life.”

One recommendation calls for any injuries caused by dog attacks to be recorded in a provincial registry.

The information would be made accessible for research and prevention, the report said.

The coroner suggests that municipalities be required to annually register all dogs and he encourages their sterilization — regardless of breed.

Lichtblau also recommends that Bill 128 include definitions of a “dangerous” dog or the owner of the dog — or both.

He calls for measures to be implemented that would target such an animal or its owner.

The coroner also recommends Bill 128 be amended to require municipalities to set up animal control teams to inform and encourage the public to respect existing rules that apply to canines.

In his report, the coroner said that, despite an analysis of its DNA, he was unable to formally identify the dog that attacked Vadnais as being a pit bull.

Its owner had registered the animal as a boxer.

The Montreal SPCA said in a news release Monday that it commends the Coroner’s office for “its excellent report.”

It said the dog was a victim of neglect and most likely had been poorly socialized.

Lawyer Sophie Gaillard said the independent investigation supports what the Montreal SPCA has been advocating for over a year.

“An effective solution to the problem of dog bites must target the factors that truly contribute to the development of aggressive behaviour, instead of focusing on arbitrary criteria such as breed or physical characteristics,” she said.