In dogged pursuit of justice
A Montreal pitbull owner says he’s prepared to take on City Hall to save his dog’s life.
Chris Papakostas was ordered to euthanize his dog, Wicca, following a June 7 incident in Parc-Extension.
Around noon, Papakostas was chatting with a friend by a terrasse, with a leashed Wicca sitting by his side. Accounts differ as to what happened next.
In a judgment rendered on July 5, the City of Montreal claims Wicca bit a female passerby, then bit a male ambulance technician called to the scene.
Papakostas says Wicca was surprised by the pedestrian and jumped at her, grazing her abdomen. Then, panicked by the presence of emergency personnel and vehicles, the dog jumped at an ambulance technician, but didn’t bite.
“She is such a good dog,” says Papakostas. “She has never done anything like this before.”
Papakostas offered to enroll Wicca in obedience classes and have her evaluated by a professional to determine if she is truly dangerous. The city, however, was not sold.
“The dog poses a danger to the health and safety of the public,” says city spokesperson Valérie De Gagné.
Papakostas believes breed discrimination is at play. “If it would have been a small chihuahua, [the city] would never even have called the cops.”
This past Saturday, almost 100 pitbull owners and their dogs took part in a march
organized by Québec Animaux at Parc Lafontaine to protest what they contend are
discriminatory practices against the breed.
“I’m willing to fight the whole way,” says Papakostas, who later this week will face
the Quebec Court of Appeal, to which he applied for a stay of execution for Wicca. “I
know for a fact my dog is not dangerous.” ■