The Longueuil Police violated the Canadian Charter of Human Rights in order to shutdown an illegal animal “shelter”

A Longueuil couple had no choice but to get rid of their animals. Mélanie Desfosses and Ian Paquett had over 147 animals living with them in their 4 1/2 in Longueuil, a suburb of Montreal.

The couple who work in a petshop had “rescued” reptiles, cats, dogs, birds, fishes and etc…

Last month a news article about the makeshift animal “refuge” was featured in a local newspaper and citizens wasted no time to file complaints.

The Police ordered that the couple get rid of the excess of animals found within their residence, the municipal by-law only allows 5 animals per residence, the Longueuil couple obliged by the Police got rid of the excess.

The couple kept 5 animals in order to respect the municipal by-law.

Now that the animals are gone, Mme Desfosses received a ticket of $773 for having refused the Police access to her apartment.

The Longueuil Police had no warrant, but Martin Simard, spokesperson for the Longueuil Police department explains that the ticket is justified.

“The by-law stipulates that an owner must allow all public servants, employee or representative of the City to visit a property within reasonable hours.” says agent Simard.

However, in 2011, Judge Helene Le Bel of the Superior Court of Quebec ruled against the City of Montreal in a Judgement regarding such warrantless access.

Judge Helene Le Bel ruled that the by-law that allowed such warrantless entry in Montreal was invalid and unconstitutional.

The Longueuil couple has been in contact with a lawyer in hopes to contest the ticket.

Sophie Fournier who runs a small foster based adoption service in Montreal said, “no one should have that many animals inside a residence, but if the Cities and SPCAs applied such unconstitutional practices on hoarders and puppy-mills, I would be happy, but they don’t, they only target the smaller ones. – A City Canine inspector once told me I had to let them in. – When asking the Police to review the by-law a Cop told me he would fall off his chair if the City could infact enter without a warrant, he did fall off his chair after reviewing the by-law, as a Cop I couldn’t enter but the City can, he told me.”

The Montreal Police once told Sophie Fournier that the City had more power than the Police and God. Sophie Fournier took the City of Montreal to court and won, City inspectors can no longer enter a residence without a warrant, they need to make an appointment sent by registered mail, like all other public servants.

© 2013, Montreal Dog News

Rick Cognyl Fournier

Dog Rescuer, Software Programmer

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