City of Sherbrooke relentless against kennel owner
For a little more than a year, the City of Sherbrooke has tried to close down a kennel owned and operated by Mrs. Marie-Pier Gougne in an isolated area on Duvernay street. It seems that one distant neighbour had made a complaint to the city to the effect that her barking dogs disturbed him. After several warnings and threats, the case was brought to the municipal court, before Judge Roland Lamoureux. Very well prepared and with the proper documents, Mrs. Gougne explained to the Court that, before buying the land where she built her kennel, she had contacted an inspector of the city of Sherbrooke. He had then told her that she could go right ahead with her project. On April 22nd, last year, Judge Lamoureux acquitted her of holding non-authorized activities on her property.
Lawyer Isabelle Sauvé of the City of Sherbrooke, unhappy with the Judge’s decision, appealed the decision before Judge Gaétan Dumas of the Superior Court which ended with the same result. On December 20th, 2010, Judge Dumas maintained Judge Lamoureux’s decision. As a matter of fact, Judge Dumas did not have very kind words for the City of Sherbrooke’s legal representative. It seems that the municipal law allowed Mrs. Gougne to hold activities for daycare, grooming and training inside her house, but not outdoors at large on her property. However, according to Judge Dumas, Mrs. Gougne’s activities are akin to agricultural activities, which is what the municipal law allows. Briefly, Mrs. Gougne could accommodate horses, chickens, rabbits; anything but pigs…..and dogs. The City’s legal office did not abide by these two decisions. They went before the Quebec Court of Appeal with no luck there either. Judge Pierre J. Dalphond made it clear that an appeal could only be allowed on a question of law. He rejected the appeal leaving, however, the door open. He wrote that the City of Sherbrooke could take different measures, including making its municipal rules clearer, if the City considers that the two judgments rendered create a problem. Recently, Mrs. Gougne, who is presently battling cancer, has again been threatened and advised that she has to put an end to her activities.