A pet-friendly couple from Rivière-des-Prairies is wreaking havoc in their neighborhood by feeding raccoons, skunks and other wildlife despite court orders and city court convictions.
“This case demonstrates the extent to which people can become toxic to those around them through behavior that defies all logic, reason and even intelligence,” Judge Henri Richard said in his ruling delivered last year before the Small Claims Division of the United States Quebec Court.
For many years, Jean-François Samson and Micheline Brière have been feeding wild animals on their land in Rivière-des-Prairies, Montreal, much to the dismay of their neighbors. Pigeons, squirrels, skunks and raccoons have made their home there. According to images submitted to court by a neighbor, we can see a baby rat and her six little ones returning to hide under the couple’s balcony.
Screenshot of a video filed in court
Ms. Brière even admitted to a municipal inspector that she fed the raccoons.
Residents whose property borders that of Mr Samson and Ms Brière must deal with the presence of excrement and urine from these animals in their gardens. They can’t go out or eat outside, plant a vegetable garden, or even have a healthy lawn.
Over the years, feces have been found on several neighbors’ patios. Photo submitted in court
Despite formal notices and notices of violation from the city of Montreal, the couple continued to feed the animals, citing “their evangelical obligation,” as we read in the small claims ruling. Judge Richard found the pair engaged in “anti-social, unreasonable, aggressive, harassing and unlawful behaviour”. […] while the municipal regulations are crystal clear.”
In July 2019, Mr. Samson even illegally entered the land of a neighbor, Jean-Pierre Gagnon, to free a raccoon trapped in a cage.
Mr. Gagnon had enough and sued his neighbors for small claims. The couple was ordered to pay him nearly $7,000.
Another neighbor, Lucia Iadinardi, appealed to the Supreme Court to request that her neighbors stop feeding the animals and that they properly maintain the cedar hedge that separates the two properties and where many animals hide. Ms. Iadinardi “had to hire experts to install cages to trap the harmful animals with the aim of subsequently releasing them, with these experts subjected to threats from Ms. Brière every time they were on the plaintiff’s property to collect the animals “, we can say read the procedural motion filed in 2019.
Jean-François Samson and Micheline Brière were convicted of contempt of court for failing to take care of the insurance within the time period ordered by the court.
However, the couple appealed this decision. The trial is scheduled for next October.