Montreal woman killed in apparent pit bull attack

A Montreal man who came home only to see a dog attacking his neighbour's lifeless body said it was clear he'd arrived too late.

MONTREAL – A Montreal man who came home only to see a dog attacking his neighbour’s lifeless body said it was clear he’d arrived too late.

Farid Benzenati arrived home from work at around 5 p.m. on Wednesday and noticed what appeared to be a pit bull playing with what he called “a large object” in the next backyard.

When he took a closer look, it was clear to him the object was a woman’s body.

“I yelled her name,” Benzenati said Thursday. “I saw blood, and the dog was still attacking her.”

Benzenati called police but said it was clearly too late to help the woman, who was later pronounced dead on the scene.

Montreal police Const. Benoit Boisselle said authorities are awaiting the results of an autopsy before deciding whether to lay charges in the 55-year-old woman’s death.

Although the victim had several bite marks on her body, Boisselle said it could take a few days before the cause of death is determined.

The tragedy reverberated as far as Quebec City, with Premier Philippe Couillard saying the province would form a working committee to study the rules surrounding dangerous dogs.

Although the province’s public security minister had said earlier in the day it was up to individual cities to pass legislation, Couillard said the province would assume its share of responsibility.

“That’s why we’re going to form a working group with all the concerned parties, (especially) the cities,” he said, adding he felt personally touched by the event.

“Now we’re talking about laws and regulations and ways of dealing with certain breeds of dog but, look, what happened to this woman, it was horrible,” he said.

Police responding to a Wednesday afternoon 911 call found the body in the backyard of her home in the east-end district of Pointe-aux-Trembles.

Authorities said the dog was standing by the body and acting aggressively. It was shot and killed by officers to allow paramedics to approach the woman.

Investigators met with the dog’s owner but no names were released.

The Montreal SPCA issued a statement Thursday calling for more legislation to address the problem of dangerous dogs without targeting any one breed.

“We must focus on effective legislation and practical solutions that will keep our community safe from dog attacks — focusing on responsible pet guardianship and dog bite prevention, rather than the physical appearance of the dog,” the statement read.

The organization called for legislation that targets the “root causes” of aggressiveness, including bylaws addressing sterilization, licensing, education and socialization, and accountability for owners.

Ontario adopted a provincewide ban on pit bulls in 2005. They are also banned in several municipalities in Quebec and across Canada.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer Public Schools says that in the absence of additional funds from the provincial government, there was no consideration of using alternate classroom sites in the district. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Red Deer Public Schools launches online engagement process

Red Deer Public schools is seeking community input to help ensure a… Continue reading

Students walk into Hunting Hills High School, which is one of the Red Deer Public Schools with solar panels on its roof. (Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff)
Red Deer high school was placed in lockdown following potential threat

Hunting Hills High School was placed in a lockdown Friday after Red… Continue reading

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer says some details of the provincial government’s 2021-22 budget need to be ‘sorted out’ when it comes to the hospital expansion funding. (File photo by Advocate staff)
More detail needed regarding hospital funding, says Red Deer mayor

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer says some information is unclear regarding the… Continue reading

Alberta Health reported two new COVID-19 deaths in Red Deer Friday. (Image courtesy CDC)
Two more deaths linked to Olymel outbreak in Red Deer

Province reported 356 additional COVID-19 cases Friday

Nicole Buchanan, chair of Red Deer Public Schools board, says it’s too soon to say how the provincial government’s 2021-22 will impact the district. (Contributed file photo)
Red Deer school boards react to provincial budget

It’s still too soon to say how the latest provincial budget will… Continue reading

An arrest by Red Deer RCMP is facing online scrutiny. No charges have been laid and the incident is still under investigation. (Screenshot of YouTube video)
Red Deer RCMP investigating violent arrest caught on video

Police say officer ‘acted within the scope of his duties’

A worker carrying a disinfectant sprayer walks past a WestJet Airlines Boeing 737-800 aircraft, after cleaning another plane at Vancouver International Airport, in Richmond, B.C., on Thursday, January 21, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
WestJet to lay off undisclosed number of pilots amid labour negotiations

WestJet to lay off undisclosed number of pilots amid labour negotiations

The Site C Dam location is seen along the Peace River in Fort St. John, B.C., Tuesday, April 18, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
British Columbia’s Site C dam to cost $16 billion, delayed until 2025

British Columbia’s Site C dam to cost $16 billion, delayed until 2025

Mark Machin, President and CEO of Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, speaks at a seminar on building a sustainable social security system in Beijing, China on Monday, Feb.20, 2017. Machin has resigned after admitting he was vaccinated for COVID-19 abroad. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Canada Pension Plan Investment Board MANDATORY CREDIT
CPP Investments CEO Mark Machin resigns after travelling to UAE for COVID-19 vaccine

CPP Investments CEO Mark Machin resigns after travelling to UAE for COVID-19 vaccine

Selina Robinson listens to Premier John Horgan in Coquitlam, B.C., Friday, Nov. 17, 2017. Robinson, B.C's finance minister, says she's encouraged by predictions that British Columbia's economy will rebound this year and next. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Economists predict slight rebound and moderate growth for B.C. economy in 2021

Economists predict slight rebound and moderate growth for B.C. economy in 2021

A street sign along Bay Street in Toronto's financial district is shown on Tuesday, January 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
S&P/TSX composite falls as commodities, financials struggle

S&P/TSX composite falls as commodities, financials struggle

This image released by Briarcliff Entertainment shows Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, left, with journalist Jamal Khashoggi in a scene from the documentary "The Dissident." (Briarcliff Entertainment via AP)
US implicates Saudi crown prince in journalist’s killing

US implicates Saudi crown prince in journalist’s killing

This image released by Amazon Studios shows Maria Bakalova, left, and Sacha Baron Cohen in a scene from "Borat Subsequent Moviefilm." The film was nominated for a Golden Globe for best musical/comedy.(Amazon Studios via AP)
Breakout ‘Borat’ star Maria Bakalova conquers Hollywood

Breakout ‘Borat’ star Maria Bakalova conquers Hollywood

Doctors, caregivers push for in-home COVID-19 vaccinations for housebound seniors

Doctors, caregivers push for in-home COVID-19 vaccinations for housebound seniors

Most Read