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Court battle to keep more than three birds at home

JUSTICE. Two Drummondvilloises have filed a lawsuit to invalidate a chapter of the City’s municipal by-law stating that a housing unit can have custody of a maximum of three dogs and three birds.

Josianne Boulanger moved with members of her family to rue Mongeau in Drummondville in April 2021. This neo-Drummondvilloise received a notice of non-compliance from the SPAD on July 8, 2021, following a complaint. He was criticized for not having a valid license, owning more dogs and birds than allowed, in addition to excessive noise caused by barking dogs.

The one who previously resided in Napierville claims to have inquired with the Drummondville urban planning department before moving here and that it gave her incorrect information on the number of birds allowed.

“We would like to find a short and medium-term solution that respects the neighborhood, and also compassion on the part of the city, so as not to put the health of birds and dogs at risk by a displacement too hasty”, had then communicated Ms. Boulanger.

bird sanctuary

Court filings describe his home as a “bird sanctuary.”

“Since the visit to the SPAD, we have been able to humanely find a refuge for six of the parakeets, one of which has unfortunately died,” explained the mother of the family.

Despite everything, she had kept eight birds belonging to friends who had had to leave Canada and stay on Reunion Island, in the Indian Ocean, the time to receive their visa to return here.

“Two purebred Jack Russell dogs left our house and we believe they were probably the ones barking the most,” added Ms. Boulanger.

According to her, families in the neighborhood benefit from the presence of the birds when she introduces them to passers-by along the bike path.

Order to comply

The City said it was empathetic to the cause of this family and admitted that actions had been taken to improve the situation. However, the measures did not relieve her of her obligation to comply with the municipal by-law. In addition, the Municipality considers that the steps are insufficient.

“The City cannot show tolerance in this blatant situation of derogatory uses (…) Concerning the excess number of birds, we cannot wait for your friends to return from Canada, either on an unknown date,” she said. answered.

After granting an additional period of one month, the City sent a formal notice to this family ordering them to keep a maximum of three dogs and three birds no later than September 3, 2021.

Legal battle

Josianne Boulanger and her mother, Thérèse Boisvert, then filed an application to declare inapplicable Chapter 2 of the municipal by-law, namely Title VIII of animal care (3500).

In addition, these women submitted a request for a safeguard order to keep the animals for the duration of the legal proceedings.

“Parrots are not only friends with an attachment to their place of life, but they are also couples who have chosen each other by affinity for life,” they said.

Those who are separated from their group could suffer to the point of threatening their health and their lives. In addition, the child of the family has a special attachment to parrots and this fact is noted at school by the psychoeducator.

Relying on principles of law, Judge Steve J. Reimnitz refused, on September 20, 2021, that they keep unauthorized animals.

Ten days later, the City responded by requesting the dismissal of the request, deemed abusive and imprecise, which seeks to invalidate part of the municipal by-law.

According to her, articles 399, 400, 404 to 408 which are the most relevant to the request of the citizens, concerning the number of animals allowed, have not been the subject of any modification since their adoption in November 2006.

Bringing an action for invalidity 15 years after its adoption is unreasonable, says the legal department. He also argues that this debate is inadmissible because it has already been judged at the Quebec Court of Appeal.

Finally, the City maintains that the power of a municipality to limit the number of animals per residence falls within its jurisdiction in matters of nuisance and in no way contravenes the Animal Welfare and Safety Act.

The Court will hear the City’s motion to dismiss on January 13, 2022.

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