Op-Ed: Wicca’s murder – Montreal trying to match Belfast?
The recent killing of pit bull Wicca in Montreal without a fair trial has put even Belfast to shame while still worse is coming for dog owners in Montreal.
The month of July this year brought a disaster to animal rights advocate in from of the killing of Lennox
in Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom. The world saw what happened to Lennox and condemned it strongly with protests in various parts of the world – United Kingdom, United States, Italy, and Spain. Lennox was not a pit bull and had no history of aggression of any kind, but was seized by the authorities and kept in custody for over two years – during which time several appeals were filed for his release – before finally being put to death on July 11. All concerned believed it was the worst that could happen. But was it?
Perhaps, something equally or even more horrific was yet to come, and it did – this time in Montreal, Canada. In June, a female pit bull named Wicca got into a situation about which various media reports
differ on what exactly happened. What the owner and her lawyer tell in a YouTube video i
nterview informs that a lady, a passerby, walking toward them suddenly got startled, apparently by the presence of the dog. The dog reacted and jumped at her, leaving scratches. Wicca, however, didn’t bite the lady. But this act of jumping and scratching was enough for the dog haters to start things moving in the direction of doom. The police was called, an ambulance arrived, and a scene was created during all which Wicca sat quietly at her owner’s feet, not aware that her fairly harmless act – perhaps not more than that of a child who frets and scratches a stranger – had evoked the killer mindset.
Wicca was kept at the Berger Blanc pound and after weeks of legal efforts to try to get the case heard seriously in a court, she was put to death by the city officials. The authorities did not bother to consult a dog expert, fearing perhaps that their false label of “dangerous” would be exposed by the expert’s report. While in the case of Lennox, the court had at least accepted requests for stay of execution a few times for the case to be heard again, the Quebec Superior Court denied such a request from Wicca’s owner. The dog was never given the chance of a fair trial. And why should the authorities have given it a chance when the very law makes it the sole prerogative of the city officials to declare a dog dangerous or harmless. No expertise, no objective investigation, no nothing needed– just a word from the city official and your best friend is dead. Wicca fell a victim to Montreal’s senseless law, and heartless officials.
Was that the worst? Not exactly, for now, we are seeing something worse ahead that will make all dog lovers forget the terror in Belfast. As SPCA website
notes, a new byline proposed by the authorities will allow inevitable death sentence for dogs if they do something as scratch the skin of a human regardless of the actual context of the act. What horror can this new law bring to the lives of dog owners is unimaginable. In its own accord, it is a license to abuse dogs, for it won’t matter anymore if the dog bit in self-defense or scratched accidentally. While in Wicca’s case, the request for expert analysis was denied, the proposed law will even do away with the possibility of a request. It literally means that if you own a dog, be ready to mourn its official murder whenever it comes.
Perhaps there will be dog haters who will greet this new Draconian law with open arms. But to the sensible, caring people who understand dogs as intelligent and emotional friends of humans, Montreal’s new law is a nightmare just a blink ahead. Even Belfast residents will think now that their city isn’t the worst to live in after all. Wicca is the victim of Montreal. How many more will fall to this terror? Will there ever be an end to it… ever?