PRU had old pig pens converted for dogs with running water and an automatic cleaning system; HSI had travel crates stacked up which need to be manually cleaned. PRU welcomed the media and public with open arms to visit their facilities while HSI turned a Transport Quebec garage in Lachute into Fort Knox, an impenetrable fortress.
What did HSI have to hide?
A LOT of the small dogs were so lethargic they couldn’t even stand up on their own.
Many of the big dogs were VERY thin…. I won’t say skinny…. because I do know healthy dogs that are VERY thin because of their metabolisms… So I wouldn’t say weight was my main concern..but for some…yes it was. These dogs were like this when they arrived.
NOW…. what I found even more appalling was the way this place was organized. UNFORTUNATELY… I was not allowed to take pictures or video.. or I would have. I am not sure who was leading this thing… the humane society??? not sure so many organizations were around….
All the volunteers seemed to have the best intentions. HOWEVER…. the conditions these dogs were in were insane.
I work at a Grooming Salon…. and I went in to help with the more severe grooming needs…..like medicated baths…. shaving out very bad mats that could lead to skin irritations…. cleaning out ears & paws to help with infections etc…..
When I got there… there was a very badly organized grooming team. They had a list of dogs that had to be done in order of priority…however when we got these “priority” dogs out of their cages… they were OBVIOUSLY not that bad. A few knots here and there but nothing like what we were seeing…when we tried to take out the dogs that were most in need… we would get in trouble.
FINALLY… we just left to cut some nails where the big dogs were (their nails were INSANELY LONG and we were worried about the dogs splitting them and than causing infections) When I saw the big dog warehouse.. OH MY GOD Sophie..it was bad. I think they might have been better off at the puppy mill. The cement floors of the kennels were COVERED in pee and poo…… and I KNOW the volunteers cleaned every cage VERY often.. almost every hour or 2.. but the paws of the dogs were never cleaned. These dogs were getting infections and sores between their pads… I THINK because they were soaking in their own waste!!!
We wanted to take each dog out individually to wash their paws and maybe apply some kind of paw wax to help protect their pads…but apparently that was not a “priority”…and even though we said we would stay later than our 8 hours we were originally gonna stay.. we were not allowed.
ANOTHER THING… only the big dogs are taken out of their cages, and even at that.. only the VERY large ones like the great danes….dogo argentinos etc.. and they only get to go outside to pee and poo and then come back in their cages right away. I UNDERSTAND that they have limited time and volunteers…but there were people willing to stay extra time to do it and they were not allowed! the little dogs r not taken out of cages unless to clean the cages or to wash the dog.
ANYWAYS… I just wanted to let you know my point of view since I saw how the dogs were when they arrived and how they just got worse staying there….
By an Anonymous volunteer.
With HSI collecting $800,000 in donation, charging PRU $500,000 in boarding fees which MAPAQ by law is responsible for, one would think these dogs were now provided with the best possible care. HSI makes off with $200,000 in profits for putting these dogs in conditions worse then where they originated from! Why were volunteers forced to leave their cell phones and cameras at the door? What about the 150 or so dogs that needed around the clock vet care? Dog shit it was, the only one on site around the clock was the security guard.
Does HSI, AQ and MAPAQ only care about the end sales?
La Société pour la prévention de la cruauté envers les animaux (SPCA) de l’Outaouais prévoit une hausse de ses dépenses avec l’arrivée de la nouvelle loi sur la protection des animaux, en juin prochain. Pour amortir ses coûts, l’organisme devra se fier davantage sur la vente d’animaux retirés des chenils et chatteries insalubres, comme elle l’a fait avec les bêtes saisies dans le Pontiac, en septembre dernier.
The new version of the P-42 as suggested by Bill 51 solves this problem. HSI failed to provide better conditions and it was allowed to legally plunder PRU by doing what real puppy mills do, that is, to provide as little care as possible for a profitable return. So how was the animals’ welfare to benefit from this seizure? HSI sold the puppies, PRU would have sold the puppies. This wasn’t a case of hoarding, eventually the puppies all face the same faith by being purchased by humans. So why do we allow such legal plunder to financially benefit HSI and SPCAs? It solved nothing.
Section 55.9.8 of the Act is amended by adding the following paragraphs at the end:
“The seized animal may be kept at the place of seizure if the owner or occupant of the premises agrees to it in writing, according to the terms agreed to by the parties. If the owner or occupant of the premises does not agree to such custody or fails to respect the terms attached to it, the seizor may apply to a judge for authorization to keep the seized animal on site, according to the terms and conditions that the judge deems appropriate.
In the case of an emergency, the seizor may, before obtaining authorization from a judge, establish interim custody measures to ensure the safety and welfare of the animal.”
Tired of hearing the same broken record over and over again by the “system” when dealing with animal abuse and neglect? The same tune keeps on playing, time after time, the “system” claims it has weak laws, no funds, and bigger problems to deal with. Do we really lack laws? Is the P-42 even constitutionally legal? What’s the deal with Anima-Quebec and it’s partnered SPCAs?
I think the problem is none of the above, the problem I see is simply incompetent people in charge. Anima-Quebec is a joke, MAPAQ the author of said joke. Only Anima-Quebec and MAPAQ can enforce the P-42 law (The Animal Health Protection Act of Quebec), the police can’t touch it. MAPAQ and Anima-Quebec make deals in order to avoid pressing charges, because the Crown Prosecutors are usually unwilling to accept said charges due to a lack of proof showing “intent” on the part of the defendant, as well as due to a job poorly done by the “system” in creating the so-called information file, the file used to prosecute the case in front of a Judge.
If one branch of the system is incompetent, we look at another branch such as the police to enforce the Criminal Code. Articles 445 and 446 specifically. The criminal code is a Federal law, applicable to all Provinces.
Causing unnecessary suffering
445.1 (1) Every one commits an offence who
(a) wilfully causes or, being the owner, wilfully permits to be caused unnecessary pain, suffering or injury to an animal or a bird;
(b) in any manner encourages, aids or assists at the fighting or baiting of animals or birds;
(c) wilfully, without reasonable excuse, administers a poisonous or an injurious drug or substance to a domestic animal or bird or an animal or a bird wild by nature that is kept in captivity or, being the owner of such an animal or a bird, wilfully permits a poisonous or an injurious drug or substance to be administered to it;
(d) promotes, arranges, conducts, assists in, receives money for or takes part in any meeting, competition, exhibition, pastime, practice, display or event at or in the course of which captive birds are liberated by hand, trap, contrivance or any other means for the purpose of being shot when they are liberated; or
(e) being the owner, occupier or person in charge of any premises, permits the premises or any part thereof to be used for a purpose mentioned in paragraph (d).
(2) Every one who commits an offence under subsection (1) is guilty of
(a) an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than five years; or
(b) an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable to a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term of not more than eighteen months or to both.
Failure to exercise reasonable care as evidence
(3) For the purposes of proceedings under paragraph (1)(a), evidence that a person failed to exercise reasonable care or supervision of an animal or a bird thereby causing it pain, suffering or injury is, in the absence of any evidence to the contrary, proof that the pain, suffering or injury was caused or was permitted to be caused wilfully, as the case may be.
Presence at baiting as evidence
(4) For the purpose of proceedings under paragraph (1)(b), evidence that an accused was present at the fighting or baiting of animals or birds is, in the absence of any evidence to the contrary, proof that he or she encouraged, aided or assisted at the fighting or baiting.
2008, c. 12, s. 1.
Causing damage or injury
446. (1) Every one commits an offence who
(a) by wilful neglect causes damage or injury to animals or birds while they are being driven or conveyed; or
(b) being the owner or the person having the custody or control of a domestic animal or a bird or an animal or a bird wild by nature that is in captivity, abandons it in distress or wilfully neglects or fails to provide suitable and adequate food, water, shelter and care for it.
(2) Every one who commits an offence under subsection (1) is guilty of
(a) an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than two years; or
(b) an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable to a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term of not more than six months or to both.
Failure to exercise reasonable care as evidence
(3) For the purposes of proceedings under paragraph (1)(a), evidence that a person failed to exercise reasonable care or supervision of an animal or a bird thereby causing it damage or injury is, in the absence of any evidence to the contrary, proof that the damage or injury was caused by wilful neglect.
R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 446; 2008, c. 12, s. 1.
So the Police can replace SPCAs, Anima-Quebec and MAPAQ to investigate and lay charges, they at least know how to build these so-called information files! The problem in laying charges, is it won’t allow the police to seize unless they can see immediate danger to the animal. They can’t “search” without a warrant, a failure to provide reasonable care won’t validate a seize as per the criminal code. Animals are property and expropriation laws apply. If the police can’t legally seize, why can MAPAQ, Anima-Quebec and SPCAs? Why replace the police with administrative authorities? In order to violate Human Rights using the P-42 as law!
Getting the police to act is not easy, most officers claim they have humans to protect, animals are not on their list. It’s the SPCA’s job they claim. Wrong they are! Enforcing the Criminal Code is their job. If they refuse to act, or if an SPCA or City refuses to act, said “authorities” can be charged under the Criminal Code, article 180.
180. (1) Every one who commits a common nuisance and thereby
(a) endangers the lives, safety or health of the public, or
(b) causes physical injury to any person,
is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.
(2) For the purposes of this section, every one commits a common nuisance who does an unlawful act or fails to discharge a legal duty and thereby
(a) endangers the lives, safety, health, property or comfort of the public; or
(b) obstructs the public in the exercise or enjoyment of any right that is common to all the subjects of Her Majesty in Canada.
R.S., c. C-34, s. 176.
The question to ask; is an animal considered both the public & property? The City of Montreal claims it needs to protect the public, thus outlawing a dog to bite another dog. So the usual answer to this question is yes. Animals are “the public’s property”. Article 180 can swing a good punch in a multitude of scenarios. If anyone such as an SPCA refuses to act within a legal right and duty to do so, they can be charged if it refuse to do their job (fail to discharge a legal duty). Criminal charges have been laid against the “system”, in our case the SPCALL and Anima-Quebec. I can see hundreds of scenarios where charges like this can be laid against the system, all from past experiences with these so-called “administrative authorities”. If only I knew then, what I know now.
I’ve declared war with Anima-Quebec, MAPAQ and all it’s affiliated SPCAs because of their inaction over the years. I’ll be gathering more proof, laying multiple charges over and over again. The first step is to prove in Criminal Court that they have committed a crime, thus leading to civil lawsuits against the system in order to invalidate and nullify the P-42, and in turn tearing down Anima-Quebec & MAPAQ. The plan is to replace the P-42 with real laws, laws within the “Public Security Act” since a dog is both property and the public as the City claims, something that the police could use. With the “system” committing a crime, you can demonstrate bad faith in Civil Courts. The Superior Court of Quebec can trash the law if it’s proven that it was used in bad faith, or replace those in charge if bad faith can be proven.
Municipal police have a duty to enforce municipal By-laws! The Municipality is their employer, which means the police can seize in hoarding situations by using municipal By-laws. However they cannot seize without a warrant, so why is it they don’t want to act and go get one? Now that we know, we can charge the cops of a crime too, that is if they refuse to do their job. Knowledge is power they say…
So next time the “system” says “nothing we can do about this”, tell them them that Articles 445, 446, and 180 of the Criminal Code show the contrary. If you have to, lay charges at the police station against the City, Municipality, SPCA, pounds, etc… If a police officer refuses to act, get proof and file a report at la deontologie policiere.
Since Quebec allows private prosecutions versus Crown prosecutions (a public prosecutor, hired by the Province or city) in criminal & penal cases, why do the SPCAs keep passing off the charges to the Crown? Would it not be better to do a private prosecution, like the Royal SPCA does? After all, it was the first SPCA and it’s very well aware of the lack of resources available to public prosecutors, be it a city prosecutor or Crown prosecutor. The old saying still holds true; if you want the job done well, do it yourself.
After weeks, even months of trying to get some dogs rescued via the “competent authorities”, it is now time that I, Sophie, take a few minutes to explain my position in the ChowChow Man and Paws R Us “sagas”, as well as clarify some of the questions people may have.
Those of you who know me well, know that my priority is and always will be the well-being of dogs, BUT you also know that I will fight for my (and everyone’s) constitutional rights if they are violated.
Some people have come to the conclusion that I seem to be on “the other side of the fence” now, which I am NOT, and never was. HOWEVER, Anima-Quebec, SPCALL and MAPAQ have been refusing to help a pack of close to 100 dogs in desperate need, however have decided to go after dogs who were not in desperate need, and in one case as revenge against my actions towards them, in the other, to make a big media thing and look good.
I will be posting the facts and the WHOLE story and you will all understand why I am now so upset with the so-called competent authorities.
Some of you are rejoicing at the new amendments Pierre Corbeil wants to bring…. Don’t fool yourselves, puppymills like Paws R Us will not be shut down based on this new law. The ones affected, will again be the little guys, like the rescues and pet owners. Not the breeders, once again.
Early August, as some may recall, I was involved in trying to help some 37 Huskies that were tied to trees in Lachute. These dogs belonged to Daniel Charbonneau and had lived their entire lives tied outside. SPCALL had a file since May 2011 as he owned (with his wife Johane Parent) close to 100 dogs who were mostly kept outdoors. By July 2011, Daniel was worried that the SPCA would take his dogs due to the many “chances” he had been given via “notices” and reports.
He asked for help to place the Huskies who were so skinny the average Husky there weighed 22 lbs, and he claimed he had not been able to feed them. I got involved by locating the dogs that a “so-called” rescue was going to take in. That turned out to be a fraud, and left with a dozen people in front of these dogs and no solution, everyone turned to me and said : we have to do something, this is pathetic, this guy should go to jail for the conditions these dogs are in”.
To make a long story shorter – only some of the dogs were “handed over” by Daniel, the others we took to save their lives since the SPCA had been “working” on this file for months, and obviously felt it was OK to leave the dogs there. We were arrested when Daniel changed his mind about us taking 15 more dogs the next day, Marc Levasseur (SPCALL/MAPAQ inspector) had made a deal with him to sell some of his dogs to his good friend, the dog catcher/dog breeder Alexandre Roy. I personally asked the SQ officer to get me Corinne Gonzalez on the phone on Sunday at 10:00 pm, since this Marc Levasseur was lying to my “ear” when the cops contacted him, and Corinne herself threatened to have me arrested if we did not “tie the dogs back to their trees”. She lied through her teeth telling me they were planning to “seize” the dogs the next day, yet she had had this file for months. I tried to convince her to let me take the dogs to safety, have them checked, vetted, documented and then brought to the SPCALL, but she said NO. I offered to bring them all down to Ste-Agathe right away, Sunday night, just open their doors, she said NO. I offered to keep them overnight, bring them to Ste-Agathe the next day, she said NO. I had to tie these dogs back to their trees, where they had NO SHELTER AT ALL, no food and no water. They were so emaciated it made everyone cry, but yet, Corinne made me put them back as they would not be able to “press charges” if we took the dogs. So we did (I refused to tie mine back, I just drove my car and let the “owners” grab them like garbage bags and bring them back to their chains in the woods. This was August 5, 2011
SPCALL showed up that next morning, and made a deal with Daniel Charbonneau, in order for him to surrender these 37 Huskies, and they would not charge him with anything….. He agreed, and at the same token, gave up 7 puppies he had at another location….. Squatting on Lachute City property, with the Mayor’s permission, Daniel Mayer, in tents, with another 50+ dogs and his family. Corinne Gonzalez claimed on the news that she had just been made aware of this new site, and those dogs would probably need to be “investigated” and seized………
I know for a fact these dogs were not in any better shape, if not worst, than the Huskies, however they are CKC registered dogs……Knowing some dogs were dying at the end of their 5′ chains, Daniel and Johanne having no home, no money, no way to care for these dogs either, I started pushing SPCALL to act on taking in these dogs as well. The only story I got over and over again, was “we have no laws that can allow us to seize these dogs”. So back and forth I went with MAPAQ, Anima-Quebec, SPCALL, telling them their P-42 gave them the power to seize the dogs for 90 days, and if they had no charges in the end due to a lack of laws, that they would return the dogs to Daniel and Johanne, but at least in the 90 days they would get food, water, shelter and some vet care… They kept arguing that NO. We have no laws, we cannot act, the fact they have no shelter is not illegal, the fact they have no food and water, we have to prove “intent” of the neglect, these people are going through rough times and we need to help them….
The media talks about the poor Huskies seized, in an E-Shelter (a barn) in St-Jerome, so I go see SPCA people and continue putting pressure on them to act. I am then sent on a wild goose chase, am told by Elizabeth Pierce that if I can get proof (visual confirmation) that there are still dogs without food, water nor shelter, that they will “have to act immediately”. So off we go with some volunteers from the E-Shelter to obtain the proof, these people are willing to sign an official complaint. Of course, Daniel Charbonneau is no fool and realizes it was a ruse to get our proof……and he starts “panicking” that I am trying to steal these wonderful, exotic, expensive dogs. His “investment”. I worry about the dogs, on the 16th of August, some volunteers (who were involved in the Husky saga) and I go through the woods in Lachute trying to locate the carcasses of the dogs who have already died (3 that we know of) and possibly dogs abandoned far in the woods, as they are “on the run” from me. Daniel makes death threats to these volunteers towards me, claims he will shoot me if I come on “his” property as he is protecting his goods, and he has “friends” in the SQ. So I make an official complaint, I am told that they cannot arrest him, cannot give him any conditions… they will give this to the prosecutor to see if they will press charges…..
I continue to press SPCALL, MAPAQ, I am unable to reach Corinne Gonzalez as she only works from home and obviously refuses to return calls left for her concerning this crucial situation with dogs that are starved, and eventually contact the Municipality to get them to act on municipal by-laws (more than 2 dogs, no tags, etc…) as some of you may know, Cities have all the power in the world to seize a dog without a tag, right out of your home). But this canine inspector, Alexandre Roy (oh wait – is he the one who was supposed to “buy” Daniel’s Huskies for his breeding?), tells me he has no power, his by-law doesn’t allow him to act, there is nothing he can do. Like Mme Hebert from MAPAQ, he told me not to tell him how to do his job. So we’re back to no help for these dogs…….
On August 26th, Lachute City Councillor, Mme Louis-Seize, tells me Daniel Charbonneau has been evicted from the City land and cement blocks have been installed so he cannot come back. I contact SPCALL and leave a message for Corinne Gonzalez, telling her they have won, he has “left the area” and is no longer their “problem” as I suspected they were allowing him to leave and disappear in order not to have to seize his dogs. Remember, I know that he had been given another couple of “notices” and reports were made to the SPCA about the conditions of his dogs (very thin, no shelter, etc…)
I then head to Lachute to confirm that he is “disappeared”, which I post online with pictures of the lot blocked off. I then spot his truck in town, assuming he’s still in the area, I wait around….. He sees me, and has me arrested ON THE SPOT for “criminal harassment” by what I now refer to as ” bad cop”, Sgt. Filion (who had met me several times during this saga). He threatens to detain me until Monday (3 days) if I do not sign the papers in front of me, which include restrictions to set foot in Lachute!!! A pedophile doesn’t have these restrictions. I do not want to stay all week-end, so I sign, but I ask what is happening with my complaint of the death threats he made 10 days prior. Nothing I’m told. Can’t arrest him for that. The prosecutor will decide if he should have conditions, restrictions or even be charged… Meanwhile, I better not set foot in Lachute or I will be arrested……
So I leave, not knowing where Daniel and his pack have moved to……….yet I know they are still outdoors, with no shelter, no food, no water, as he and his family are still living in tents with all their belongings………and the pack tied to trees wherever they can find room…… Oh I forgot that on the 16h, he had chased me at high speed (along with the volunteers in their cars behind me) on back roads, before he made the death threats later that day. Mirabel police told me they could do nothing, because there was no impact. It would be a ticket for reckless driving. I asked the officer later that day to take that into account along with the death threats…. which he said he would. Still on the 26th, no one had laid any charges nor arrested him….while I was being arrested for “criminal harassment” because he saw me in town….hmm. Friends at SPCALLMAPAQ (Marc Levasseur) the City (Daniel Mayer) and now the SQ (Sgt. Filion)……????
So for a quick ‘recap’ so far: Since May 2011, SPCALL has been closely monitoring Daniel Charbonneau and Johane Parent (CKC Breeder) and their 100 dogs.
In July, they end up homeless after not paying their rent for months, decide to leave 37 Huskies tied to trees in the woods nextdoor, pack their stuff and camp out on City dump property with the Mayor’s approval.
Beginning of August, Marc Levasseur (SPCALL/MAPAQ) is really pressuring him to find a solution, yet reports say “dogs are very thin, have no food, no water, tied to trees”, but upon giving this to Corine Gonzalez, his boss, they feel they cannot or will not act for whatever reason.
August 5th, a rescue mission goes bad, media gets involved, people are outraged, SPCALL has to do something. They show their face on the 7th, make a deal with Daniel, pretend to just hear about the other 50 dogs, pretend they will “investigate” and it just kind of goes away… Except for Sophie. She won’t go away, she wants them to act and seize the dogs for 90 days, give them shelter, food, water, vet care and if nothing can be done, return the dogs in 90 days, but at least they will have had that. Answer: They cannot do anything, do not have the power to seize, need a warrant (I ask them to get one by phone -cannot be done)…..
SPCALL sends me to Lachute to obtain “proof” in order to act about a week later. I come back with proof, I’m told “we’ll give this to Corinne Gonzalez”… Yeah right!
SPCALL had also told me they couldn’t seize the dogs even if they had the laws to back it up, since they had no room in Lachute to put 50 dogs…..
On the 16h, we go try to find evidence in order for SPCALL to act.. I get almost run into the ditch, I get threatened to be shot at, nothing happens….
On the 26th, I get arrested, Daniel Charbonneau leaves town, and oh wow!!!! Chow Chow Man’s dogs get seized by none other than Marc Levasseur….
I get a call a few days later from a guy who calls himself the Chow Chow Man, Johanne Parent told him his dogs were seized because I was the one who was out to get him…I had been pressuring the SPCA to seize his dogs “tied to trees”……
I what????? I had spoken to the Mirabel police about Chow Chow man on the 26th, while filing my report about his trying to run me off the road, and they had told me they knew of this guy in a bus with 40 some Chows, but they never did anything about it as his dogs were in great shape, he just broke municipal by-laws because of the number, and they didn’t want to incur the costs of seizing his dogs.
That’s when I decided I needed to get involved to find out what this was about. I myself had heard about this guy on a bus for about 5 years, and could not understand we had so little laws to prevent that, but I also always heard this man took extremely good care of his dogs, they always came first. I had NEVER heard one person over the years tell me his dogs should be taken. I did hear many times “how can we allow that in Quebec”? but never his dogs were neglected. He just bred and sold dogs from a bus instead of a farm or a house like other “breeders”.
This man’s pack was taken in revenge for me putting pressure to seize Daniel’s pathetic looking dogs, dogs who in my opinion were all going to end up dead, and instead they go take some beautiful Chows? Something was wrong there. And to make it worst, it happened on the 26th of August, they day I left a very detailed message to Corine about acting before Daniel left or I would press charges on them…….Revenge is a beautiful thing in their eyes I guess. But wait, since I got directly involved in helping find out what was up, I have proof of what I am saying. This was strictly revenge on me, and a better way to give Daniel a chance to run… By some even stranger coincidence, I did locate him later, in Val des Lacs, and guess what, he “squatted” in those woods as of August 26th. What a day that was!!!
So now we have 37 Huskies surrendered against no charges, 50 dogs out of sight, out of their hands (SPCALL), excuses, chances to act, threats from Daniel, SQ telling me not to “get involved”, I didn’t know who I was dealing with, MAPAQ telling me they could not act due to lack of laws, SPCALL sending me on a wild goose chase to get “proof” so they can act while in fact protecting Daniel and his wife Johanne. I was told by Elizabeth Pierce (from SPCALL) “oh Sophie, how could she have gone bad like that? Are you sure? I know her, she’s a great CKC breeder”….
What is one supposed to think at this point? That they are protecting Daniel and Johanne because her breeding business was once CKC registered? I did find out that she once was, however she falsified documents and was banned from the CKC, so she has now registered her “breeding” business to her oldest son, a teenager….. Anyone can be a CKC breeder, they don’t do any verifications. You pay your dues, have “certified” dogs, and you’re good to go. What you do from there, is up to you. No one will stop you from selling, breeding, and no one will come check the living conditions, because you”re CKC!!!!
So I got really involved. Investigated the Chow Chow Man, met him, met his two dogs (yeah they left him one, a 12 year old female, and he got one back that he had sold, a 7 month old female). Unless you know what the facts are, no one can judge this man. My investigation revealed that he always took excellent care of his dogs, they always came first, they had all the care they needed, when needed (in fact he had the medication for the ones they took – no one asked him for any proof – they just seized)…..I saw his contracts, I spoke to this man at length, he is not some weirdo who lives in a bus, he is a very intelligent, educated man whose life has brought him many setbacks, and he had found a “legal” way to take care of his “family”, his dogs, by selling the puppies they would produce. He never inbred, had 20 females and 10 males that were his family, and yes he sold their puppies to supply for his and his dogs’s needs.
Remember, in Quebec it IS LEGAL, regardless of how you do it, and this man, despite his living conditions which most of us would not want, he was a happy man, with a happy pack of dogs who admired him and had the best of lives in my opinion for pack animals. The first thing I told this man when I met him in the woods, is “hey man, you have it made here. You and your dogs are in Heaven”. What I saw was a natural water source (Spring water), tons of dog food, shelters of all kinds, an enclosed area where the dogs could run and be contained, and then acres and acres of wooded area. Honestly, the ones who know me well will believe me when I told him I want to live like him in 20 years, just me and my dogs, in the woods, on a heated school bus. What more can you get? Shelter, natural water, food was never an issue for him, many people provided him with not only food, but hollistic food. He knew garbage from quality and did not feed his dogs junk. He may not have eaten well, but his dogs sure were. We are talking about Chows who weighed in the 40lbs each. They were all of average size, it was summer, they may have been a bit thinner, they ran and exercised all day.
Do any of you who know me really think I would fight for a man whose dogs were even remotely neglected, abused, mistreated or unhappy? So now to talk about that fight:
Facts: Marc Levasseur, Corinne Gonzalez, SQ agents, a social worker (yeah they claimed a crazy man was up there) and some volunteers came on his property (way out in the woods), told the owner of the land they were seizing all his dogs but not to tell him, he didn’t know yet…..
They proceeded to do an inspection and seize all the dogs. They later told him there was no water source, the food was not stored in “appropriate containers” (he had just opened 2 new bags and fed the dogs), the dogs could break their ropes, run kilometers through the woods, end up on the street (a dirt road no less) and cause an accident…… So that was their reason for seizing.
He was told they would check out his dogs and return some, they left him one…..He never heard back, then I got involved and trying to locate where his dogs had even been placed became a mission. This was high secrecy, everyone I spoke to, including Neil of the Montreal E-Shelter, told me they had signed confidential agreements and could not say where the dogs were being hidden. No “valid” reason was ever given to me for the seizure, other than “they didn’t have the best quality of life, living on a bus” and there was no water on the bus that day during the inspection… It was a really hot day (and do I ever remember that day – the 26th!!)… So those were the reasons to take 39 dogs, keep then in hiding and let this man freak out because his “family” was taken away. He had puppies ready to be sold, that was going to be his money for the next few months……They took his family and his livelihood in one shot. Too bad, too late. Sophie wanted us to seize some dogs, yours are the lucky winners!!! We’ll show her.
And so they did…….Meet the man before you judge, don’t hurt someone in order to piss me off while you’re trying to protect someone else. Why is Marc Levasseur protecting Daniel Charbonneau and Johanne Parent? Why are they being given chance and chance again to clean up their act, yet the Chow Chow man doesn’t even get asked where the water source is? Where are the drops for his dogs ears and eyes?
And why are they hiding his dogs? Because they’re not in bad shape? They don’t want Sophie to get her eyes on them to compare with the 22lb Huskies that they claim they cannot charge the guy, therefore can’t seize? Then why can they seize 39 ChowChows in good health, and then claim in court stuff like “their nails were long, their coats were matted”…….
And the way the Chow Chow thing ended? The SPCALL/MAPAQ asked the courts to award them custody of the dogs to “dispose” of (meaning do whatever they want) since this man obviously did not have the $60,000 to pay the boarding fees they incurred for the last 90 days, while they decided if they were going to charge him with anything. Total charges: 4 minor infractions that he is fighting: no food, no water, no “salubrious” living conditions and the 4th I don’t even remember it’s so bogus. No neglect, no malnourishement,.,. I saw all the vet reports (remember I got involved – saw all their evidence)… NOTHING…..
And his day in court is yet to come, but meanwhile he has lost his dogs because P-42 is written in a way that allows them to do this. I call it financing their new facilities, paying their salaries, all on the backs of poor helpless people who may not necessarily make the best judgments in life, but protecting Daniel and Johanne because they breed Finnish Lappins, Tchekoslovakioan Wolfhounds, Eurasiers, Chinese Crested? That’s OK even though they are starved, tied to 5 food heavy chains, no shelter whatsoever (forget a heated bus), and they steal this man’s life?
The rest will probably come tomorrow, as we now fall into the whole illegal Paws R Us seizure, and believe me, I got involved in that as well and you will fall off your butts when you read what I have to say about that.
All of you who really know me should realize that I would in NO WAY be supporting either Chow Chow Man or Paws R Us’s “legal” battle if I thought for a minute these seizures had merit or had been legal.
Daniel gets notices, Chow Chow Man and Paws R Us (who pay taxes and have a legal business) don’t get a chance? They just steal and run off with the ” goods” to sell under the “adopt these poor dogs” banner????
Give me a break….
The details of the “court case” on December 1st, I will address later… But before the PRU seizure happened, I was determined (even more so with CCM”s dogs being taken away) to get help for Daniel & Johanne’s 50+ dogs (who seemed to drop from 50 to 35, then we heard 29, the numbers kept changing). I was determined to find them despite my prohibition to go to Lachute.
I tried to get these charges and conditions revised, with no luck as “the cop may have had reason to think that Daniel could be at risk” because of my “harassment”….. So I decided to file a complaint against the cop at the Deontologie Policiere, and to press criminal charges against the SPCALL for “failing to discharge of a legal duty” against Daniel’s dogs (article 180 of the Criminal Code)…..
After finding a jurisprudence in a wrongful arrest case, and after pushing Deontologie to get back to me for my proof I had to submit, I received a call from Sgt. Filion advising me that all charges had been dropped and I was free to return to Lachute. By then, I had heard through the media and other sources that the PRU dogs were sheltered in Lachute…. Down the road from where Chow Chow man was seized, and a few roads from where Daniel was squatting, in the town where they had “no room” for his 50 dogs and therefore could not rescue…….
While my complaint against SPCALL was being investigated by SQ, I managed to “relocate” Daniel. I decided to see if the pack was relocated with him, kind of hoping they had been rescued but kept hush-hush, and with Rick’s help we confirmed that the pack was in the woods, in Val des Lacs.
Unfortunately, Daniel saw my car very early in the morning, and decided to start hunting me down. I was waiting for 8:00 am to go to the SQ and see where the investigation against the SPCALL was going, but Daniel saw my car a couple of blocks away, and started once again chasing me at high speed. I decided to turn into a private property as I was going up a dead end, and he blocked me into the driveway so I pulled out my phone and called 911 (again)… They arrived, he claimed I was “harassing him”, yet it was clear who had followed who based on the location of both vehicles.
I proceeded to leave town and later on go to SQ in Ste-Agathe to speak to the investigator, at the same time I decided to press criminal charges against Daniel, not for the death threats and chasing, obviously that was getting nowhere, but for violation of the criminal code, article 446, for not providing shelter to his dogs.
They took the complaint, were blown away at my story of how this all started and obviously they had heard bout the Huskies in Lachute, but like everyone else, were convinced there were no more dogs…..Remember these Huskies were about 20 lbs and MAPAQ had claimed they were “thin but acceptable”. The investigator in fact told me the P-42 was nothing. Her own words, “c’est un torchon ca madame. Ca n’a aucun pouvoir, MAPAQ l’a cree, MAPAQ seulement peut l’appliquer” And from what I can see, they do when it suits them, like getting beautiful ChowChows by claiming the owner will never be able to pay the boarding fees of $60,000, but knowing Daniel would not be able to pay, they refuse to seize his dogs as they will be stuck with dogs who now need lots of medical care, and no one to pay the bill. Unfortunately I had more “power” to get evidence than they did, so I continued to work with them to provide them with pictures of the “shelters” that Marc Levasseur kept telling his boss, Corinne Gonzalez, were acceptable.
Unfortunately, that day he also pressed charges again for criminal harassment, which I was “investigated” for 3 hours at a later date, still waiting to hear if the prosecutor will proceed or not. They did tell me not to worry about the charges, as they totally see the big picture here, and told me I’ve pissed off some people in high places and that it was part of the game. I also found out that Corinne Gonzalez had put out an APB on me to be on the lookout. They did not tell me it was her, I am no fool. She feared for her 40 cats Rick mentioned she had in her home in Val David….. Hmmmmm….
Daniel is convinced I want to steal his dogs, that it looks good for rescues to have “exotic” dogs, that we are all out there to make a buck from his investment, but anyone who knows me knows if no one helps these dogs, I would take them, but I CANNOT afford to take these poor souls. They will cost me an arm and a leg to bring back to health, let alone sterilize and vaccinate all these dogs who have not seen a vet in ages. What I want is for “competent authorities” to do their job and save these dogs, not me.
The criminal charges were taken, he may be charged, but that still did not give SQ the right to seize the dogs, so I was really hoping the SPCALL would finally get involved. That did not happen, I pushed that municipality, and eventually Daniel left again after trying to intimidate me by getting someone to pass himself off as the owner of the property and threaten lawsuit……Yeah right, I shut him up pretty quickly and that dropped.
Yet another day, since SQ was not getting back to me on their search warrant, I decided to get proof to submit to them on the conditions and confirmation of the dogs in Val des Lacs, and upon one of those times I was up that way, Daniel pulled out of the woods, stood in front of my car, aimed a gun and started shooting. Thankfully, they were pellets, not bullets, but my biggest fear while trying to get out of there, was not to run him over and kill him…. Can you believe it?
So back I was at SQ to open a 4th complaint about the guy coming after me… Nothing. Still waiting on those 4 files to see what will happen, so far no charges have been laid, no arrest has been made, no conditions to stay away from me have been given……That’s what they call equality of the law in Quebec.
Right now, I’m waiting to hear back from the prosecutor in both cases, as both have been submitted, the SPCALL (article 180) and Daniel Charbonneau (article 446).
Tried to rescue Daniel’s dogs, Media got involved so SPCALL had no choice. Made a deal in exchange for the Huskies. Tried to push for the other dogs to get help, nothing. Called MAPAQ, told Mme Hebert how they wrote P42, they can apply P42, and P42 gives them power to seize dogs for 90 days, build their “case” and if nothing, return the dogs to the owner…. At least they would get shelter, food and water, and possibly vet care while in MAPAQ’s care. She told me they had no such power, that they would need a warrant, I told her they could get one on the phone, she claimed it didn’t work that way, I said he was not in a home, he was on public property, she claimed she still needed a warrant to search and seize. It took more than what I had on Daniel’s dogs situation to do a seize, unfortunately there was nothing MAPAQ could do. They tried to “blame” Anima-Quebec for the inaction, I told them they created Anima-Quebec, they WERE Anima-Quebec, not to play games with words…. She told me not to tell her how to do her job and hung up.
Same thing with Alexandre Roy, the canine inspector for Lachute. He told me he had no power, I told him to check the by-law if he wanted to get the contract next year, he told me not to tell him how to do his job, and hung up on me.
After the Chow Chow Man and PRU seizures, I called Anima-Quebec and spoke to Sylvie Carriere, who claimed she knew nothing of these two seizures, and could not help me. I wanted to know under what grounds they seized PRU dogs, CCM dogs, she claimed she knew nothing about it, to contact MAPAQ and that everything was confidential.
I then called HSI to see what they could tell me, who mandated them since I had tried to get them to help with the Daniel saga and the 50+ dogs SPCALL would not touch, and I was told that they had offered their help, but were helpless if not mandated, and that SPCALL had refused their help in that situation.
For the PRU dogs, they were mandated directly by MAPAQ/Anima-Quebec, and guess who actually took the decision to seize the 527 dogs? Sylvie Carriere, the girl who answered the phone and swore she knew nothing of the PRU seizure…… This I found out at the PRU court case where Anima-Quebec was asking for the dogs to be awarded to them since the bill was already at $550,000.
Then I find out (before I was free to return there) that the PRU dogs were in Lachute? Are you kidding me? You have no space for 50 dogs that are dying on trees, but you have room to put 527 dogs that were in fairly decent living conditions? Which I did not know at the time, I assumed that what we all saw on the news was fact…. Once I saw the evidence in court, the facilities and their installations, I cannot deny that it may have needed a good cleaning, painting, but there were no neglected dogs, there was water, there was food, and in this case, there was very adequate shelter and a business that was not going to skip town with their dogs…. What was wrong with this picture?
So after trying as hard as I could to save some helpless dogs from a man and his family who only see them as an investment, with no worries about the ones who died at the end of their chains, just “disposed” of them probably at the dump since he was squatting on their land….. I was determined to see what they had on Chow Chow Man and PRU that could merit a seizure if they didn’t have enough for Daniel’s pack…
Well surprise, the outcome basically comes to this. If you are not CKC registered, your dogs are nothing and you should not be allowed to breed. If we don’t like your “methods” of breeding/selling, despite the fact it is legal in Quebec, we pick on you and decide to seize the dogs since we can. P-42 that we wrote, gives us that power, then we charge you outrageous amounts just for boarding your dogs, and we ask the courts to give us custody due to the outrageous costs you will not be able to pay, regardless of how the “charges” will come out. But to be able to collect this money, you MUST have some infractions…..
Charges for PRU: 17 minor infractions (cobwebs, dust on the windowsill, rat excrement on the barn floor), 1 “thin” Afghan, 2 dogs with “undetermined” minor skin problems (I believe Bull Terriers – aren’t they known for that???) and that’s pretty much it. So if they wanted their dogs back, they had to pay $549,000 owed already, and since the trial could be sometime next year, they ask for the pre-payment of future boarding costs until a judge has ruled on these minor infractions and whether you deserve to have your dogs back…….
For PRU, that meant an additional $500,000 at least as their trial date is set for February 2012. However, once they have laid “charges”, they can then ask for this legal custody in front of a judge, and give you 3 days notice to prepare your defense, which is impossible as their is no defense to the P42 that says you must pay the boarding fees regardless of whether you are guilty or not. They jump the gun ahead of time, that way you give up the dogs in exchange for no bill……
Charges on CCM: 4 infractions (no food, no water, no “decent” living conditions, and honestly I forget the 4th one). All “tickets” and really things for which he should have at the least gotten a notice. And on those 4 charges, the no food no water charges, will definitely not be proven in court. But they used the fact the dogs were “matted” according to them, “long nails”, 5 minor eye infections due to antropions (which he was treating with drops), ear infections (which he was treating with Ottomax) but they didn’t ask anything. They came onto his property on the 26th, with 2 SQ officers, a social worker, 3 volunteers who jumped 3 on a dog to tie them up and take them to the truck, not letting him approach any of his dogs, not giving him any reason on the spot as to why they were seizing, the charges came about 1 month later.
Puppies were born in the SPCA’s care, and while I was trying to find these dogs for him, I called SPA Mauricie to ask if they had these dogs. Spoke to Serge Marquis, the director of SPA Mauricie, who swore that the dogs were not with him, that he had heard of the seizure, but he didn’t know anything.
Upon reviewing the “evidence” they submitted, it was obvious that the pregnant moms were in fact in his care, down in Trois Rivieres. The SPCALL claims 2 or 3 litters had stillborn puppies, yet CCM never had any dead pups? Could it be the stress, the horrible separation from not only their pack but their leader, the fact it took 3 people jumping on those dogs to “grab” them as they were freaked out and not happy with these strangers, could it be they delivered puppies in cages instead of their natural environment which is the forest? With their leader right there making sure all goes well? Could it be they actually caused these puppies to die? Can they blame the CCM for dogs who died at birth after being in their care for more than half the pregnancy? Is he the awful man who tortures and abuses his dogs? Do you know how horrible I have been feeling for that pack of dogs? They had love, friendship, exercise, a leader, their packmates, their “partners”, their routine, their regular rituals, brushing, walking, going to town in tow around him a few at a time, running through the woods, going to play in the creek, do you really think these guys are better off in some shelter cages, waiting for homes with kids who think they’re cute to adopt them and then dump them?
These are dogs who were socialized with him, with their pack, they listened to him at the click of his fingers, they admired and respected him, they followed him and stuck to him through thick and thin, just like he did for them. And the “competent authorities” who want to rule out animal “cruelty and abuse” actually think this is OK? Those of you who really know me, will understand why that is NOT ok.
As for PRU dogs, I went to see the facilities, and I expected to see what one knows to be a “puppymill” like we see on the news. This is not PRU. This is a large scale kennel who wanted to breed dogs as a living and be the best and largest dog kennel in Quebec. They were proud of their business, and as immoral as we all think it is (and I have told them that), it is legal and the way to stop puppymills is not by putting them on Welfare and stealing their merchandise in exchange for half a million bucks, but giving them strict rules and regulations to abide by and make sure they are complied with.
At the PRU trial, I found out that Sylvie Carriere, not only planned this search and seizure, but knew before September 16th, she would not be able to obtain a warrant from the local courthouse as there was no Judge in that day, yet she went to get this through the “back door”, by going to the SQ and asking that she get a “tele-mandat” a warrant issued by phone based on her “impression” and her swearing that the safety and welfare of the animals are at risk…. Excuse me? These are at risk and Daniel’s are not????? So it turns out Mme Hebert lied to me, they can in fact get a warrant over the phone if a Judge is not in that day……
So on a business decision, PRU decided not to pay for the return of their dogs, and Aima-Quebec basically told them to go buy other dogs… Which is what they are doing in order to stock up for the Holidays. We accomplished what?
Getting the news to make Anima-Quebec, through HSI, look good. We got people like you out there donating their time, efforts, money, gas, etc… to “help these poor dogs”… “we need $6,000 a day to help take care of them”. Meanwhile they go in foster homes, there are no “sick or injured” dogs, just a few minor things, the pictures you all saw – who knows where they come from….One dog had a problem with his leg. On 520 dogs, 7 or 8 may have some minor problems? That certainly goes under “cruelty” in MAPAQ’s book, but Daniel’s dogs that are down to bones, that is “acceptable”
Hence my frustration, my decision to help the ones who have been wronged, not because I approve of what they do, but because I have seen no evidence of neglect, abuse, or anything worst, yet I have seen with my own eyes, 40 dogs so emaciated tears were falling down my friend’s cheeks. I have seen so much, I have unfortunately been hardened, but what I saw was disgusting. People like Daniel should be jailed, people like the Chow Chow Man should be given notices and told what needs to be improved to their satisfaction, same goes with PRU. Give them the impossible to do in 24 hours, then threaten to take them to court, but don’t take their livelihood in one day, with no notice, and expect them just before Christmas to apply for Welfare because their “legal business” was taken away in 2 hours.
I call MAPAQ the new MAFIA… They take, they put bogus charges just to be able to pass Go and collect $200, and the longer it takes to “press charges”, the more they can collect. You don’t have the money, you lose. You have the money, you win for now but we’ll get you another time….
So now let’s look at the new proposed “law”…..
Anyone owning more than 5 pets will have to register them, anyone having more than 20 (like rescues) will have to get a permit. This will allow them to come into your home/business with no warrant, to inspect, and then seize. Even easier than now. However, Mira Foundation, Berger Blanc, other pounds, will just pay their permit fees, and keep right on doing as they do. They will again pick and choose who they want to target, regardless of whether you will have your permit, registration, or what not. The only difference is now everyone is at risk of having this “pet police” come into your house, like the City inspector did to me (which I obtained a ruling in Superior Court claiming it to be unconstitutional and invalid), but now everyone will have to fight it themselves in Superior Court. Like PRU and CCM, they were told by these judges who awarded custody of their dogs to Anima-Quebec, that if they feel the law is unfair, they have to take it to a higher court. This P-42 is written in this way, and they have to rule on the law in front of them…
To give just a few examples: Mira is no different than PRU in their facilities, ARN probably doesn’t fit the “sanitary conditions” Anima-Quebec is imposing on PRU, Berger Blanc and SPCA’s, etc… certainly doesn’t meet those standards. Remember, they pretty much have to be like sanitized hospitals. So, does the rescue you know risk getting all their rescue pets seized because of cobwebs or dust on the windowsill?
So is PRU really guilty of anything other than supplying “goods” in the form of dogs to the demands of the market? Should we not be educating the population instead of blaming the businesses who supply the ever-consuming population? We live in a disposable society, puppymills are only filling that need since we change dogs like we change shoes. Out with the old TV, in with the new Plasma TV. Out with the old Lab, in with the new Portuguese Water Dog.
So CKC breeders can breed, and breed, with an average of 40 dogs in their kennels (as per Lucie Paradis in the PRU case, who evaluated the value of their dogs based on the fact they were not “pure” regardless of how pure they looked, as they are not CKC registered). She herself breeds Corgis, is a Judge for the CKC and part of the Corgi Club of something or other. So she really knows what a breeder should have. She only has 8-10 dogs in her home at any given time. Conflict of interest??? She is also hired by Anima-Quebec…..
Of course, that is totally acceptable. Whether they live in sanitized cages piled in her basement, or whether “fake” ChowChows are living free in the forest, it is not comparable….
Do we provide sanitized shelter for the few we can rescue due to the extreme high costs of sanitizing everything, or do we kill the majority that cannot be saved because we don’t have the money to sanitize our facilities… Do we try our best or do we have to eat on the floor? What’s good for the goose, is good for the gander.
Everyone attacked Barnotti without checking facts, just because the media “said”, which led to Berger Blanc getting most of the contracts, and now we are attacking PRU without checking facts, just because the media “said”, which will lead to SPCA’s getting all these dogs to fund their bank accounts. Boarding fees, donations from the public (it seems HSI raised close to $800,000 of your donations for PRU dogs… and yet they are asking for a million to return the dogs)……the sale/adoption of the dogs. Good business to get into if you’re an SPCA or HSI who is awarded custody of dogs for whatever reason…….through MAPAQ. Next will be rescues being shut down, inspectors will come look under your bed and in your closet (like City inspectors did to me for 8 years until I fought back) and your rescues will be awarded to HSI, SPCA’s, Anima-Quebec or whoever they choose. What I’m seeing is HSI seems to be some marketing firm who is smelling a lot like SPCA at the time of Barnotti. Beautiful website asking for your money, their American division racks in millions a year to subsidize them, but they come to “help our dogs in need” by asking for your dollars.
Lots of questions, not many valid answers that I have seen so far, and I have driven hours to make sure I get the facts, not just what the media says.
Meanwhile, it is December and Daniels’ dogs are still in need of rescuing and nobody but me really cares. The Chinese Crested have given birth probably in his truck or in a tent…. Sad reality for hairless little dogs. But that’s acceptable.
Let’s bust the nice man on his bus with his family of dogs, and let’s shut down a very legitimate business, we’ll look really good on the news!!!
Let this family run as they are “recognized” CKC breeders. Once the dogs have all died of either starvation or cold, no one will have to worry about them anymore…..
On Friday August 5, 2011 at approximately 9:00 pm, I received a phone call followed by an e-mail asking me to help locate 29 Huskies in Lachute, tied to trees in the woods, as dog rescuer groups on-line were trying to help, with the help of a rescue organization in Ontario called Canine-Feline Rescue.
At or around 12:00 am on the 6th, I located the dogs tied to trees in Lachute (video recording of dogs barking in the dark) and actually confirmed there might be more than 29, and they were extremely thin, no shelter was available to any of them, there were no signs of food nor water in sight. At or around 12:30 am, I confirmed that the dogs had been located to ****** who had organized the transport/rescue for these dogs (after an ad had been placed on the internet by the owner of the adjacent property asking for these dogs to be taken or they would end up at the Berger Blanc by that following Monday).
On Saturday August 6th, at approximately 12:00 noon, I directed the “organizers” to the location, and upon seeing these dogs, everyone was appalled and couldn’t wait to see them get rescued. We then waited for the Ontario rescue group to arrive with their transport, and unfortunately it turned into a fiasco, as the “rescue group” was just a fraud and no one was coming to help these dogs.
With the help of another Montreal rescue group who had come to help with transport if needed, it was decided that we could not close our eyes to this situation and re-grouped to find other rescues to help take these dogs in.
At approximately 3:00 pm, Mr. Daniel Charbonneau (the owner of the dogs) comes to the site (with no food nor water in sight), and decides he no longer wants “rescue” groups to take in his dogs, he wants people to come on the site to “adopt” these dogs (who are obviously not yet adoptable in their state/condition). Some discussions are undertaken, the SQ is called in to help resolve the situation (Sgt. Fillion is among the officers), and Mr. Charbonneau decides, after speaking to the SPCA/MAPAQ personnel in the file, to surrender some dogs to the rescue groups on site.
The owner of the property that Mr. Charbonneau was evicted from (next door to the wooded area where the 37 dogs were tied), had arrived within minutes of Mr. Charbonneau and mentioned to the SQ officers that the City had been advised, that the SPCA was aware, that he had another 50 dogs elsewhere, that he was squatting on “city land” and that the owner of the wooded area where these dogs were tied, had complained on several occasions. At this point, Mr. Charbonneau said that the SPCA and MAPAQ were in the file, and that they had “told” the owner she had to accept these dogs on her property until the case was “resolved”…. I did think that very weird, wanted the SQ officer to locate and reach the owner of the lot, but Sgt. Fillion claims that was impossible….
At approximately 7:00 pm, we leave with 10 dogs that Mr. Charbonneau surrendered and the agreement is to return the next day to take more in, as we had no “plan” yet as to where to put more of these Huskies if we took more in. The SPCA would then take whatever dogs were left on Monday morning.
At approximately 9:30 pm, CTV covers the story on-line
On Sunday August 7th, at or around 12:00 noon, CTV shows up on follow-up on the story, no one has yet arrived and they are turned away by Mr. Charbonneau. The “group” arrives at approximately 1:00 pm and plans are made to take in the dogs. We load 15 dogs into several cars, and as we are leaving the property, the SQ pulls me over, asks me what I am doing, I explain I am taking more of the dogs as agreed yesterday, and I am told to have a nice day and leave. We all meet up at the local McDonald’s in order to see which dogs are going where, and 2 SQ cars show up, at which time we are told by Sgt. Fillion that Mr. Charbonneau has changed his mind, that he does not want us to take the dogs and we must return them to the trees in the woods. I insist on speaking to Corinne Gonzalez of the SPCA Laurentides/Labelle, who was in charge of the file for the last several weeks/months, and after much effort to negotiate with her to bring these dogs into the SPCA right away in order for them to be safe, fed and sheltered, she assured me that they had a “file” and a “plan” to seize the dogs that next day, Monday August 7th, therefore insisting we return these dogs to their original locations, with no food, no water and no shelter (it had rained quite heavily that day).
Under the threat of being arrested, at approximately 10:30 pm, we all complied, drove back to the location to tie the dogs back up to their chains, and were let go.
Monday August 8th, 2011, CBC covers the story, showing the SPCA getting involved, at which time the SPCA declares they were “just informed” of this situation, but did not “seize” the dogs, instead, they made a deal with the owner to “surrender” the dogs to the SPCA in exchange for no charges being laid against him. In that same news report, Corinne Gonzales is clearly heard saying they had just “discovered” a new location with as many as possibly 50 other dogs, also in bad shape, that will need to be “investigated” and the dogs may need to be seized. It is also mentioned that Mr. Charbonneau is squatting with the dogs, his wife and kids.
On Monday August 8th 2011, at approximately 10:00 pm, we heard that following the Media and SPCA visit, Mr. Charbonneau had “left” the land he was squatting on. I also got confirmation from people who had been following the story, that there was in fact 2 kids living with them. At approximately 11:00 pm, I contacted Youth Protection to make them aware of the children living in this situation.
On Tuesday August 9th, 2011, I went to the Montreal SPCA to see if and how they could get involved. I was told they could not get involved as it was in the SPCA Laurentides/Labelle jurisdiction. I inquired to see if Humane Society International (HIS) could get involved, at which point I was told they could only get involved if the SPCA asks for their help….
On Wednesday August 10th, I received a call from Alana Devine of the Montreal SPCA, who assured me that she spoke to Corinne Gonzales of SPCA Laurentides/Labelle, who confirmed they very much had an open file, were following up and would be taking action. I was told that they had been “checking” on him daily, the dogs were fed and all was “under control”. However, I knew at this point Mr. Charbonneau was no longer on the site where the SPCA had “checked” on the dogs.
On the 10th, I received a phone call from Youth Protection telling me they went to the location and could not locate Mr. Charbonneau. I informed them the SQ knew exactly which lot he was on, and they could get the information from them. I tried to find the lot number from the SQ at that time, and spoke to Sgt. Filion who told me I had no more business in this story, that he had no reason to give Youth Protection any information, warned me to “stay out of this” as I didn’t know who I was dealing with.
On Friday August 12th, my “source” tells me that Mr. Charbonneau is broke, wants to borrow money as his dogs have not eaten in at least 2-4 days., at this point he was losing his mind, his wife said she would rather kill herself and all the dogs then let the SPCA take their “investment”. The oldest kid was old enough to be on his own, the youngest could go live with his grandma…
On Saturday August 13th, at approximately 1:00 am, we confirm that he no longer is on the site CBC/SPCA knew of. We could hear the dogs, but could not locate their new site.
On Saturday August 13th, at approximately 10:00 am, we drove to SPCA Laurentides/Labelle (Ste-Agathe) to see what their next step was as it was obvious nothing had yet been done. Couldn’t speak to anyone, so drove down to St-Jerome where the “seized/surrendered” huskies were temporary housed.
Upon arrival at approximately 11:00 am, I spoke to Elizabeth Pierce, employee of the SPCA Laurentides/Labelle, who tells me they cannot do anything…. A file is open, they’re investigating. I, along with my source, confirm to her that the dogs have no food (it’s now been anywhere from 3-5 days), that the wife has threatened to kill all the dogs rather than let the SPCA take them, and try to see what exactly they are waiting for in order to act on the P-42 by-law. She tells me it’s the MAPAQ…. They are the ones in charge, and are also investigating. I insist that they have to act on the very weak laws (P-42) as the dogs have no food, water nor shelter… She then tells me that if I can “re-locate” them, get visual confirmation that there are still approximately 30 dogs on site, that there is no food/water visible and still no shelters, and that if these people “sign” an official complaint, the they would have to act immediately. She tells me I would not be “credible” as I am directly involved, so it must be someone else. 4 volunteers there at the moment, decide to do this as they are appalled at the conditions of the Huskies, and certainly want to help these other dogs.
We drive back to Lachute, and at approximately 1:00 pm, we locate Mr. Charbonneau and his pack of dogs, on another City lot in the same general area of the Lachute City Dump. We come back with visual and video confirmation, hoping to get the inspector to act immediately, and I am told by Mrs. Pierce, “this information will be given to Corine Gonzales on Monday morning, for the MAPAQ to open a file”……
On Sunday August 14th, I contact Youth Protection in order to update them on the location of Mr. Charbonneau and his family.
On Monday August 15th, I contact MAPAQ and speak to Mme Hebert, trying to see why no one has acted on this file yet, why dogs have to suffer with no food, water nor shelter, when they are the ones who wrote the law, and can enforce them. She tells me they have no power, that they need a “warrant” to seize dogs, I tell her they have the power to seize the dogs for 90 days, while they “study” their case and if need be, the dogs would be returned to Mr. Charbonneau. At least they would be sheltered, fed and given water to, but she does not agree and hangs up on me.
On Tuesday August 16th, 2011, Corine Gonzales declares publicly that this case is not one of animal cruelty, but one of neglect, as according to the MAPAQ veterinary report, these dogs have been malnourished and are too thin.
At approximately 12:00 noon, a group of us decide to go looking into the woods to see if dogs have been left behind every time Mr. Charbonneau moves location, and/or to see if we find any of the dogs that have been reported through different sources, to have died…. 8 people, within 5 vehicles, meet at the local Church parking lot to organize a search through the wooded area of the City Dump, in order to locate dogs if any are there. At this point, we were unsure of whether these lots were located within Lachute or Mirabel city limits, who they officially belonged to, and wanted to see if Mirabel would uphold their municipal By-Law concerning dog control as well as to see the City cadastre map in order to locate exactly in which City the lot Mr. Charbonneau was squatting on, belonged to.
At approximately 1:15 pm, upon turning on Sources Road, off Charles Renaud road, Mr. Charbonneau happened to be at that very stop sign, heading in the opposite way. He looked directly at me, then in a rage, cut off the second car after me, almost sending the 3rd one off the road, and went after us. Feeling a little scared, I contacted all the cars behind me and told them not to stop anywhere, that the “white van” following me/us was in fact Mr. Charbonneau and his wife. Not sure of what to do (I have a broken front driver window), we thought of driving into the Dump property to get help, but having no “visible” personnel, we continued driving towards the nearest police station (which happened to be Mirabel). Mr. Charbonneau continued to follow us, at one point on a long stretch, he cut off the cars behind me and got right on my bumper. I speeded up to 115km/h (on an 80km road), hoping for an SQ officer, having to go through stop signs by fear of him catching up. At 1:27 pm, I pulled out my cell and called 911, at which point he passed me and applied the breaks (tape can probably reveal my fear at that point)….. He then drove off, up the hill a ways, waited while I was still on the phone with 911, once he “disappeared”, I drove myself and the other cars directly to the Mirabel police station where a report was made. I was told it would be “wreckless driving”, and nothing much would happen, however I explained my whole situation to the officer at the time, who explained a little about the costs associated with “seizing” dogs, and how the “Chow-Chow man” had never been stopped because of financial reasons……
We then left and proceeded to City Hall in Mirabel, checked the cadastre lots, tried to locate the “owner” of the lot to see if it was public or private land, they told us it was in fact Lachute. Not sure of where to turn to at this point, we decided to return to Sources road to look for dogs as originally planned, and not to let this high-speed chase intimidate us. We also knew at this point that SQ was in fact acting as local police, and that if no one else, they had the power to enforce municipal By-Laws (dog control). After searching the woods and finding no dogs nearby, ****** (who had a talking relationship with Mr. Charbonneau) and another lady from the group, decided to go bring him a large bag of dog food and gallons of water, as well as try to talk to him about this situation.
Upon their leaving the site, we all met at the McDonald’s in Lachute, where she relayed that Mr. Charbonneau had made direct threats, saying “si Sophie se presente sur mon terrain, je vais la tirer/tuer et ca ne sera pas un meurtre car je protege mon terrain, et la SQ sont mes amis”. The other people and myself all looked at each other and said “so he does have guns”…..At which point ***** was a little “scared”, as she had not heard about him having guns.
I proceeded to the SQ office to press charges for these death threats, and to have them investigate the high-speed pursuit of earlier that day. I met Agent Lafleur, who took our 3 statements, told us if we agreed to go to court and testify, they could act right away. I did at this point fear for my safety, thinking that even though he may not pull a gun and shoot me, he could easily hurt me with one of the chains he uses for his dogs if he was to spot me in town, track me down, follow me and corner me……I told them I could totally see him vandalizing my car, flinging one of those heavy chains at my head and wanted to see some “conditions” given to him. I also wanted Mr. Charbonneau to know that this was not going to intimidate me into letting these dogs die at the end of their chains, which is why I was in fact pressing charges. He had previously made allegations to the fact the SQ were his friends, that he had everyone’s license plate number, and that he would have us arrested if we came back to Lachute. ******* was very nervous, and Agent Lafleur confirmed that he could do no such thing, that we had every right to be in Lachute.
Later on that night, after discussing the day with others, we were informed that Youth Protection and Anima-Quebec (MAPAQ) had been there earlier that day, both had given certain recommendations, both had an “open file” and I figured that was what had angered him when he saw me in town.
On or around Friday the 19th, I contacted the Dog Control service for Lachute, Alexandre Roy, told him of the situation and asked him if he would enforce the municipal by-laws since at this point no one else seemed to want to enforce any laws to help these poor dogs. He told me he had no power to do anything, that he in fact had ticketed Mr. Charbonneau and had ordered him to be gone by Monday the 22nd. As per the By-Law, Mr. Roy has the power not only to ticket Mr. Charbonneau for non-compliance of the By-Laws, but the right to seize dogs who commit a “nuisance” on public property. Equally, the SQ has that same power, as they act as local police for the City of Lachute, and therefore can enforce municipal By-Laws as well.
On Monday August 22nd, we went to Lachute City Hall to get the dog control by-law (96-490) and were refused a copy, as well as the possibility to “consult” it. I was told I needed to fill out a request, that it would be sent to me by mail…. I then asked to consult the cadastre map, again I was turned down, claiming I needed an appointment with the Urbanist… I thought that very odd, as I just need the map to locate the lot myself, after a bit of insisting they get me an appointment that day, that I would remain in Lachute and wait, they got me an “assistant” who opened up her computer and found me the lot in question. Her answers as to who the lot belonged to was very vague, claiming she had no clue who la Regie Inter-Municipale was, who ran the dump, and so on… I asked for a copy of that cadastre plan, wanting to then locate the “owners” to see if in fact Mr. Charbonneau had permission to squat there with his family and 50 dogs, unfortunately the server was down, a copy could not be printed, a copy could not be sent to me via e-mail, I was given a pad and a pen to write down the lot numbers….. We confirmed once again their location was unchanged from the last time, and headed home.
On Tuesday August 23rd, CBC contacts me and does a follow-up story with the SPCA Laurentides/Labelle as well as with me, asking if I thought that the SPCA had done everything in their power at this point to help the Huskies as well as the other remaining dogs. I told them I felt that the MAPAQ as well as the SPCA Laurentides/Labelle, had certainly been trying to wash their hands of this situation, and were just dragging on in hopes that Mr. Charbonneau would disappear and they could close their file, claiming they had “lost track of him”…..
On or around the 23rd , we decided to organize a sort of peaceful demonstration, by organizing a “free camping week-end” in Lachute, on these lots the following week-end. Equality of the law we call it, if this family can live for free on City land, why can’t everyone” This was a way to get the City to move on this issue.
On Wednesday August 24th, I contacted RCI to try and find out who was in charge of these lots that Mr. Charbonneau was squatting on, I was given the name of Pierre Gionet, but did not have the chance to contact him. He is with the Regie Inter Municipale, the owners of the lots in question. It seems these lots are in fact owned by 4 municipalities who make up this Regie…..
Later on that day, we found video footage of a City Council meeting that seemed to expose some “not so clean” stuff going on within city administration, so decided we may have an “ally” with City Councillor Louis Seize who didn’t seem to totally agree with her administration on the way things were being handled. I also noticed that Mr. Pierre Gionet (who I was supposed to contact about this situation on their lots), was in fact the Director of the City of Lachute…. I was kind of happy I had not contacted him.
I decided to try and communicate with Mrs. Louis-Seize, she returned my phone call and I exposed this situation. She had not even heard of this guy and his dogs, squatting on City property, who had made the news….I informed her of my displeasure with the whole situation and how these dogs needed help, and at this point my only hope was with the City since SPCA and MAPAQ didn’t seem to really care…..I told her I was planning a “camping trip” on their property this coming week-end, at which time she informed me she would look into this and get back to me.
On Friday August 26th, at approximately noon Mrs. Louis Seize called me, told me she had contacted people at City Hall, and that Mr. Charbonneau had in fact been “evicted” from this lot, that cement blocks had been put on the lot to avoid him from returning, that he had left the City limits, and they did not know where he was relocated, but affirmed it was not on City land within Lachute. She then passed me the City Director, Mr. Gionet, who also confirmed this information.
At or around 4:00 pm, I arrived in Lachute, went to get gas on Bethany, went to the McDonalds on Bethany, and on my way out towards the “lot” to verify that in fact it had been blocked off by the City, I spotted Mr. Charbonneau’s truck/trailer in the parking lot of the WalMart (on Bethany street).
At or around 4:30 pm, I confirmed that the lot had been blocked off by the City and that Mr. Charbonneau was no longer “squatting” on it.
I then went back to Lachute in order to go to the SQ office (on Bethany) to follow-up on the death threat charges for which Mr. Charbonneau did not seem to have been “arrested” yet, and to ensure that they would follow up on it regardless of the fact he was no longer “squatting” where they knew.
As well, I wanted to inform them that despite their telling me they cannot enforce municipal by-laws (dog control by-law), the Police Act in fact does give them the power to uphold and respect municipal by-laws for Lachute, as they are mandated to be “local police service”.
At or around 5:00 pm, upon driving towards the SQ office, Mr. Charbonneau’s truck came out of the Wal-Mart parking lot directly in front of me at that exact time, he then gave me the “finger”, and drove himself to the SQ office, which I thought was “curious” and decided to wait in the Gas station next door to see what would happen, then I would go in to find out where the “case” was.
At that point, Mr. Charbonneau came out of his truck, waited to have someone open the door (as they are closed), eventually an officer came out to the gas station to ask what I was doing. I informed him, at which time he replied that was fine, Mr. Charbonneau “lost it” on me and was very unhappy about the fact the officer was not “arresting” me.
I was told “have a nice day”, the officer went back inside, Mr. Charbonneau waited a few more minutes in his truck, came back out, rang the bell, went inside, and within less than 5 minutes, Sgt. Fillion was coming to the gas station telling me I was under arrest.
I followed the sergeant in, Mr. Charbonneau left and gave my son the “finger” as he drove away. I was then arrested, and prohibited from returning within the City of Lachute limits. I was also told that if I did not sign a promise to appear, as well as agree to respect these “conditions”, I would be detained until Monday due to the week-end.
All these facts can be confirmed by video and audio recordings within my possession, as well as gas receipt, and times can be verified via the Facebook postings of my every move.
I feel that under section 16 of the Private Security Act, I have investigated the facts of this situation and brought it repeatedly to the attention of the SPCALL/MAPAQ, and as a result of their inaction, I am now suffering the consequences of Mr. Charbonneau’s accusations of “criminal harrassment” as I have only been trying to get the appropriate authorities to act on this very serious situation. There has never been any ill intent towards Mr. Charbonneau or his family, the only goal is to help the dogs in need through the legal methods available to me.
Considering all the events resulting from the lack of enforcing the laws applicable in this case, the SPCALL failed to discharge a legal duty resulting as a common nuisance to the public’s enjoyment, safety, health as well as putting my safety at risk, as per section 180 of the Criminal Code of Canada.
Common nuisance 180. (1) Every one who commits a common nuisance and thereby (a) endangers the lives, safety or health of the public, or (b) causes physical injury to any person, is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years. Definition (2) For the purposes of this section, every one commits a common nuisance who does an unlawful act or fails to discharge a legal duty and thereby (a) endangers the lives, safety, health, property or comfort of the public; or (b) obstructs the public in the exercise or enjoyment of any right that is common to all the subjects of Her Majesty in Canada. R.S., c. C-34, s. 176.