Pit Bull Lovers Rejoice! Montreal Pit Bull Ban Is Officially Over

Dog owners and animal advocates are celebrating a major victory in Montreal.
After a year of opposition, pit bulls, their owners, and those wanting to adopt the breed inside city limits are finally free from breed specific legislation. The parts of last year’s animal control bylaw that put extreme restrictions on all pit bull-type dogs were officially suspended on Wednesday. The executive committee voted to undo all bylaws pertaining to pit bulls while administration works on replacing them.

The city’s former mayor, Denis Coderre, pushed for the anti-pit bull policy last August. The ordinance put an end to all pit bull adoptions in the city and left hundreds of homeless animals at risk of euthanasia. Residents who already owned pit bulls were required to purchase special permits, and their dogs needed to be muzzled at all times while in public. They were also required to undergo a criminal background check, and everyone with a criminal record was at risk of losing their dogs. At the same time, new residents moving into the city were prohibited from bringing their pit bulls with them.

The Coderre administration that backed the change in policy is reportedly “disappointed” in the government’s recent decision. They claim the city’s safety depends on stricter regulation after a woman was mauled to death by her neighbor’s dog two years ago.

The people, organizations, and agencies that have opposed breed specific legislation from the start, however, are celebrating a win for animals throughout the country. The Montreal SPCA has been battling the bylaw since it first passed. Their team of lawyers spent the past year gathering information on how there is no scientific evidence that one dog breed is inherently more aggressive than another. They also argued the city’s vague definition of a “pit bull-type dog” was an inadequate method of identification. Dogs were being labeled based on look alone, and innocent animals suffered.