Skip to main content

Vanier residents say dog attack symptom of larger problems

Days after Bruce McConville was attacked by a dog Saturday night, the Vanier resident says he’s disappointed by the city’s response.

“All of the response from the city and those entrusted with our safety has been quite inadequate,” McConville said.

McConville and another man, Robert Page, were both attacked by a large dog Saturday night while leaving a community dance at Centre Pauline-Charron on Jeanne-Mance Street.

“A pit bull attacked, unprovoked, out of the dark, it began by biting [Page] in the back of the legs and constantly lunging for his throat,” McConville recalled.

Ottawa Police were called to the scene, where officers were able to locate the owner, but while speaking with her, the dog managed to get out again, this time attacking McConville.

“I was bit multiple times on my arm. I have one on my thigh which does show the teeth marks of the dog,” he said.

According to McConville, his injuries were minor; Page required stitches and a trip to the hospital.

City Bylaw and Regulatory Services say they have issued a muzzle order for the animal along with five separate charges totalling more than $1,600 in fines.

The city could not confirm the breed of the dog, saying in a statement, “it appears to be a mixed breed, with Boxer included.”

Neighbours say the dog is a pit bull that has only been in the community for a handful of days.

“We’ve had a huge issue with that house. There was a shooting at that house and now we have the same people who are in this house who have a pit bull who attacked two people,” Jane Tremblay, who lives in the area, said.

McConville argues it’s not the dog that’s the problem — although he would like to see it restrained — rather, he says the attacks are merely symptoms of a bigger issue.

“This truly is not just a story about a dog bite, this is a story about drug houses which populate the area and the police’s failures to rectify the situation and protect the public,” McConville said.

City coun. Mathieu Fleury says although there has been significant progress in limiting crime throughout the Vanier neighbourhood, there are roughly five drug houses within a one block radius in that section of the community.

“You’re seeing one of the symptoms of having drug houses, there’s obviously many more that the community is engaged on and it’s not a new issue,” he said.

“The Neighbourhood Resource Team from Ottawa Police has not been effective in closing down those drug houses,” Fleury added.

Tremblay says there has been limited success in the area, but often that success relies on homeowners making multiple complaints to police, even keeping a journal of possible illegal activities.

“We’re still very proactive on the street, if we see anything we still report it to the police, but like I said, I can’t report that corner all the time,” she said.

Now residents like McConville are calling on police to do more, including creating an action plan to deal with chronic drug issues in the neighbourhood.

“They’re tired of reporting, they need authorities to take the information within the neighbourhood, identify a plan of action that would get us to a resolution, not simply run from incidence to incidence in a neighbourhood like this,” Fleury said. Top Stories

Stay Connected