Anne Babin holds her dog Léa, who has since been killed by another dog.
The fatal attack on a Bichon Frize by a Great Dane in Carleton-sur-Mer a week ago raises the question of responsibility in this case. The Bichon's owner and the Great Dane's breeder blame it on the way the big dog has been raised since his adoption, which would not have been adequate. The law also stipulates that in such situations, owners are responsible for damage caused by their animals.
Anne Babin lives in Carleton-sur-Mer. For 12 years, she had been Léa's mistress, but on July 16, everything changed. At a private campsite in the city, his dog, barely 3.5 kilos, was attacked by a Great Dane, a breed of very strong dogs that weigh an average of around 70 kilos.
The attack was fatal to the little dog.
The dog Lea was killed by another dog while she was in the arms of her mistress.
Anne Babin was heading to her trailer, her bichon frize in her arms, after the animal had left to briefly explore the land of its neighbors. That's when the beast stood up to jump on me and snatched my dog from my arms. She took him in her mouth, crushed his chest, pierced his heart and threw him to the ground. The lady was unable to contain her beast, which was too strong and held only by a collar, says the owner of Léa with emotion.
According to Mrs. Babin, it was only after his dog was killed that the Great Dane released him. My dog bled in my arms without us being able to do anything, she says.
The owner of the Great Dane, named Tokyo , attended the scene, helpless and unable to control his animal. She was in tears, according to Ms. Babin.
This lady then allegedly contacted Ms Babin on social media to apologize. The owner of the Great Dane would have even mentioned to him that she would go the next day to take her animal to the breeder in Gaspé where she had adopted him. She would have added that she knew she was wrong and that she fully assumed her responsibility.
The dog Léa and her owner, Anne Babin, several years ago.
Michel Bourget is the owner of La Vallée des Géants, a Great Dane farm in Gaspé. It's where Tokyo was born and raised before his family in Carleton-sur-Mer adopted him last summer.
For Mr. Bourget, the explanation for this attack is clear. He was not brought up with enough firmness. They're not a mean breed, the Great Dane, but they do need to be well behaved and firm, he says.
He believes that this was not the case in this family. He was more like a toy than a dog. They loved him, so they had no authority and let him do whatever he wanted. He was the boss, he was the boss there. Missed that too, he said.
“The problem is the owner, not the dog. »
— Michel Bourget, owner of La Vallée des Géants
Since Tokyo has returned to the breeder, he says that the behavior of the dog is exemplary. He is doing very well and with us he is very nice, even gentle as a lamb. I drive him everywhere and he showed no malice. I don't understand what happened. I don't understand the reaction he had, he says.
Mr. Bourget confirms that Great Danes are not a dog breed known to be dangerous or particularly aggressive with other animals. I have never seen that. I've never heard of it and I've had Great Danes all my life, he says.
The unpredictability of aggression shows d' ;otherwise how vigilance is always required.
“You never know what can happen with a big dog , because he is a big dog. [The owner] should have had a muzzle for her dog. This is the mistake she made. »
— Michel Bourget, owner of La Vallée des Géants
Even though Tokyo is now as gentle as a lamb, according to the breeder, it's not the first time that he violently attacks another dog.
Following the attack, which she spoke about on social media, Anne Babin received testimonies from two owners whose dogs were attacked by the same Great Dane. In their case, the assaults were not fatal. Noting that the dog had reoffended, all three decided to file a complaint with the City of Carleton-sur-Mer.
The degree of danger of the animal will therefore probably have to be assessed by a veterinarian. This is exactly what his breeder intends to do, who is waiting for the Town of Carleton to contact him again on this subject.
A Great Dane can weigh up to 70 kilos. He is seen here next to a French bulldog (archives).
However, Mr. Bourget intends to keep the dog at his home, regardless of the outcome of the veterinarian's evaluation. The breeder feels he has some responsibility and wants to prevent such a thing from happening again in the future.
Michel Bourget is convinced that another attack will not come if Tokyo stays with him. I raise them well. I'm not mean, but I'm tough, and I'm the boss, he points out.
If he's declared dangerous, I will keep it accordingly. He will stay in a pen, and when I go out with him, he will have a muzzle and I will not let him loose with the small dogs, he will always be on a leash, says Mr. Bourget.
< p class="e-p">On the website of the City of Carleton-sur-Mer, it is also mentioned that a dog over 20 kilos must wear a harness or a halter in public places and that a dog must in all time to be under the control of a person capable of controlling it.
In the case of Tokyo, these instructions were not respected.
Anne Babin understands very well that municipalities cannot monitor every animal. She wonders, however, if they could do more than just publish reminders of the law in the newspaper. The woman wants irresponsible owners to be punished.
“If you can't control your animals, you shouldn't have them ! »
— Anne Babin, owner of the dog Léa, fatally attacked
Anne Babin points out that it is not always easy to report dog attacks in a small town like Carleton-sur-Mer, where everyone knows each other. However, she invites people to do so to prevent further attacks from occurring. She believes that her dog Léa would still be alive if that had been the case.
Should we wait for a dog to attack a child or a human to act? she wonders.
Last fall, Raphaële Bérubé was at the top of Mont Castor, in Matane, with her two dogs attached to a racing harness, when her miniature pinscher, Gustave, was attacked. A dog that she claims is a pit bull, without an owner or leash, appeared out of nowhere, grabbed her little dog by the neck and began shaking him.
Gustave before the attack that almost killed him in Matane in the fall of 2021.
The first reflex I had on adrenaline was to try to put my hands in the mouth of the pit bull to try to separate him from Gus, but I got bitten, says the young woman.< /p>
Raphaële Bérubé recounts that during this time, two elderly people with whom she was talking before the attack tried to help her by hitting the animal with a stick. Me, I was kicking his ribs, I never forced so much in my life, but he wouldn't let go, she recalls.
Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, the pit bull let go of his dog after hearing someone whistle.
< p>“His masters were about 500m away, at the other end of the mountain. I was screaming. I was screaming murder. I could have been heard 20 km away and they wouldn't come. And all of a sudden, I hear hissing and the dog lets go of Gustave. »
— Raphaële Bérubé, owner of the dog Gustave
Very shaken, Ms. Bérubé quickly understood the urgency of the situation. My dog was skinny like a rabbit, all cut up and his skin all torn off. I picked up Gus and we ran down the mountain, she recalls.
At the on-call vet in Rimouski, the operation to save Gustave lasted two and a half hours. His mistress says that he came out with about 45 stitches and that the veterinarian, a specialist in canine aggression, could not believe his injuries.
Even if the owner of the pit bull had left her contact information after the attack, she never wanted to reimburse the vet's $2,500 fee. Raphaële Bérubé has therefore launched proceedings in the Small Claims Court.
The Éducaloi website clearly reminds us that an owner is responsible for damage caused by his animal.
The owner of a dog remains responsible for the damage caused by his dog even if he had no control over it at the time the damage was caused.
Source : educaloi.qc.ca< p class="sc-v64krj-0 knjbxw">Gustave, the miniature pinscher attacked by another dog in Matane
Today, Raphaële Bérubé maintains that her dog is fine, apart from her huge scar. I think I'm the most traumatized in the story, she admits.
Except the matter doesn't end there. Raphaële Bérubé discovered that friends of hers were neighbors of the owners of the pit bull who attacked Gustave. His friends also claim that their dog has already been targeted by this pit bull who, according to them, would never be on a leash.
Ms. Bérubé denounces the inaction of the City of Matane in this file.
“I told them that there had an attack by a pit bull dog, which firstly is prohibited in the territory according to municipal regulations, and secondly, it is a violent attack with a file from the police and they do nothing. »
— Raphaële Bérubé, owner of the dog Gustave
The young woman claims not to have been taken seriously by the people contacted at the City.
The City would have replied that it does not deal with cases like that by doing reference to the evaluation of the pit bull, even after Raphaële Bérubé had recommended to them the specialized veterinarian who operated on Gustave.
If the municipalities have regulations, they must apply them , launches Raphaële Bérubé. Imagine if I had been with a child. And if I had been alone without my dogs, would he have jumped on me? Because my dogs are zero aggressive, they're super well behaved and we had just run eight kilometres. They were burned, but he attacked us.
Anne Babin and Raphaële Bérubé both denounce the lack of effort and inaction of the municipalities involved in their respective cases. The two women hope that commitments will be made to prevent the dramas they experienced with their dogs from happening again.