On Tuesday afternoon, Montreal city council voted 37-23 to ban the ownership of pit bull type dogs thus changing the animal control bylaws, reports CBCNews.
The antiquated breed specific legislation (BSL) which judges all dogs with certain body types, square heads and just the chance they could be viewed as a pit bull or any pit bull type goes into effect across all 19 Montreal boroughs commencing October 3.
“My duty as mayor of Montreal is making sure I am working for all Montrealers,”stated Denis Coderre. “And I am there to make sure they feel safe and that they are safe.”
Three months ago, Christiane Vadnais, 55, was mauled to death by a dog; the pet was initially identified as a pit bull, however the police have never verified that information and are still waiting for DNA test results stating they were not experts in judging dog breeds. The attack caused a province-wide debate on the breed – of course blaming any dog even slightly resembling a pit bull as a monster. Ironically, media has since reported the dog involved in the woman’s death identified the dog, named Lucifer, as a boxer with a previous bite record.
According to the Montreal Gazette, during the last 30 years in Quebec, five other people have been killed by dogs, and all of the dogs involved were described as from the husky breed. No laws have ever been introduced to ban huskies in Quebec, argued Ewa Demianowicz, a spokesperson for the Canadian branch of the Humane Society International.
“This is the first dog identified as a pit bull who kills someone, and everyone reacted right away,” stated Ewa on Friday.
The Montreal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals stated the controversial legislation is “unfair, unenforceable, and most importantly ineffective.”
The new legislation will define the following as pit bulls:
- Staffordshire bull terriers
- American pit bull terriers
- American Staffordshire terriers
- Any mix with these breeds
- Any dog that presents characteristics of one of those breeds
For anyone owning a dog fitting the above description, owners who live in Montreal, will be required to obtain a special permit by December 31, 2016. In addition the law now creates two categories of dogs of all breeds – at risk and dangerous. An at-risk dog is any pet that exhibits aggressive behavior such as having bitten someone. If a dog is deemed dangerous, the council will be able to “act accordingly.”
Social media has erupted with animal lovers posting photos of their pit bulls – calling the council a disgrace. Anyone with a dog with a square head is afraid they might be stigmatized, forced to make their dogs wear muzzles or even ordered to have their dogs euthanized.
And as animal lovers everywhere hear the decision was based on “common sense” and not a “scientific debate” making it opinion over facts, one can only hope the ignorance will end.
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(Photo courtesy of Rescue Dogs Rock NYC)