wp header logo 199

‘It’s cruel’: Tensions high after dog ordered euthanized for biting child – Global News

Want to discuss? Please read our Commenting Policy first.
If you get Global News from Instagram or Facebook – that will be changing. Find out how you can still connect with us.
A heated battle over the life of a dog has sparked a fiery controversy in a suburb east of Montreal.
A year and a half ago the city of Charlemagne ordered the euthanasia of a three-year-old husky named Santos after he attacked a five-year-old boy.
His owner Claudia Mateluna has been embroiled in a lengthy legal battle with the city ever since, fighting to save his life.
“I don’t want him to die alone. It’s cruel,” she told Global News.
In the summer of 2022, the city decided Santos should be killed after he left deep lacerations on the boy’s cheek. Santos has been in custody at an animal shelter ever since, where Mateluna has visited him regularly.
“Those visits keep me alive and keep my dog stable,” she said.
Mateluna claims Santos was on a leash on her property when the boy approached the dog, leading to the attack.
“The little boy, without any sort of supervision, just came inside the private (area) of my parking,” she said.
Mateluna and her husband Jose Depaul say the boy’s family was enraged after what they call an “accident.”
“They were basically trying to get access to our house to kill the dog in that instant,” Depaul said.
After a year and a half of legal hearings, on Jan. 12 a judge rendered a scathing decision confirming the death order.
“The judge 100% accepts the city’s version and does not accept hers,” Charlemagne’s director general Olivier Goyet told Global News. “The judgment is very clear. Both sides presented their evidence and the judge concluded the city had done exemplary work.”
In his decision, Judge Jean-Yves Lalonde wrote that according to video evidence and interviews with witnesses, the dog was loose and attacked the boy on the street. Lalonde rejected Mateluna’s claim the dog was tied up and on her property.
“Obviously the plaintiff does not hesitate to distort the facts when her interest is at stake,” he wrote.
Goyet said the judge had access to all the evidence from both sides and made a very clear conclusion.
The ruling states that Santos once killed a neighbour’s chicken while running loose in the area. Mateluna disputed that in court, but the judge didn’t believe her. She says she’s published evidence online, leading to outrage.
“The judge just talked about me like I’m a liar, so I put all the proof and people now are mad,” she said.
She mentioned a behavioural assessment that showed the dog had a small risk of re-offending, but the judge deemed it incomplete and rejected it.
Mateluna has mobilized a community of supporters on social media. She thinks the dog should face consequences, being muzzled in public for example, but that Santos should not be killed.
“It’s too much. It’s too heavy,” she said.
Goyet said the city has been inundated with hate messages regarding the case.
“There is a large scale disinformation campaign going on right now,” he said. “We just want to protect the public. We’ve never lived through something like this. It’s a sad event on all levels.”
Goyet is calling upon people to read the judgement, saying it makes the case entirely clear.
Mateluna says she’s facing threats and intimidation.
“My kids are really afraid. They don’t want to go to school anymore,” she said.
She’s working to raise money to help her appeal the decision.
The email you need for the day’s top news stories from Canada and around the world.
The email you need for the day’s top news stories from Canada and around the world.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top