Montreal Pitbull Ban SuspendedCecile He -
Posted on: October 11, 2016
The close bond between people and pets can be traced all the way back to the stone age, and it’s no secret that dogs were one of the first domesticated animals to be kept as such. In fact, “man’s best friend” was the title that many like to toss around for their little companions. This endearing relationship between humans and dogs is perhaps the reason why the public was left divided when the city of Montreal declared a ban against pit bull-type dogs after a 55-year old woman was killed in a pit bull attack in June of 2016.
The pit bull ban was ruled in favour for by a 37-23 vote from the city’s panel of councilors. The new rules, intended to go into effect throughout the city on October 3rd, outlawed the ownership of pit bull-type dogs, both pure and mixed breeds, unless the owner applied and became approved for a permit before the end of the year. Then, if the owner did not comply with the rules outlined in the bylaw regarding the behaviour of their dog in public, the permit would be revoked and, in extreme cases, the dog would be euthanized.
This new bylaw sparked outrage amongst animal rights activists and owners alike. Lawyer Julius Grey told CBC Montreal’s Homerun, “This is very serious. It’s not an object, it’s not an object, it’s not the right to seize a car—[the law is] right to take a member of your family and that should not be permitted.”
Others claimed that these new rules would be too difficult to impose and that they would result in senseless killings of innocent dogs without improving the safety of the public. The Montreal SPCA, an animal protection agency, released a statement citing, “If the city of Montreal truly wanted to ensure public safety, it would not have forced a rushed adoption of controversial legislation which is unfair, unenforceable, and, most importantly, ineffective.”
Jesse Adams, co-founder of the RainCoast Dog Rescue Society, heard about the new bylaw being passed and travelled to the city to raise awareness about the ban and fundraise money for the Montreal’s SPCA legal fees to help them fight the law.
Finally, on Wednesday, October 5th, Adams and the SPCA were successful in reaching out to the Quebec Superior Court Justice Louis Godin, who suspended the ban indefinitely. This means that, for the time being, the rules of the bylaw will not be imposed.
According to Adams, the fight is far from being over, though this first victory is a triumphant one for all animal-lovers alike. Not only will he and the Montreal SPCA continue to fight to have the pit bull ban suspended permanently, but they will seek to educate people across Canada about the misconceptions of the breed.