Grim news for Montreal dogs arrived Thursday, December 1st when Quebec’s Court of Appeal overturned the suspension of the City of Montreal’s breed-specific legislation. The legislation was suspended on October 3rd after a legal challenge by the Montreal SPCA.
Montreal SPCA spokeswoman Alanna Devine stated:
“Though the fight is not over, we are extremely disappointed by [the] decision and particularly preoccupied by not being able to continue finding adoptive homes in Montreal for all of our healthy and behaviourally sound dogs, regardless of their physical appearance.”
The owner of the dog that killed a woman in Montreal — which sparked the initial breed ban — was found not guilty just days before the Court of Appeal reversed the suspension of the bylaw.
There were slight revisions made to the original September 27th, 2016 bylaw. One of these revisions states that the City of Montreal cannot euthanize dogs based on appearance. Another revision deemed that pit bulls may be adopted, so long as their adopter’s address is not in the city of Montreal.
These revisions, while minor, have stirred up envy from residents of the province of Ontario, where all dogs who look like pit bulls must be euthanized by law, and pit bulls entering shelters are to be met with a death sentence.
The province of Ontario implemented breed-specific legislation in 2006, but cries for help have fallen on deaf ears. Many blame the lack of social media in 2006 and the public’s complete denial of how harsh the penalties truly are.
The Montreal SPCA made a secondary announcement on Saturday December 2nd, putting a hold on all adoptions of dogs over 22 lbs. Spokesperson Anita Kapuscinska said,
“Because the definition of those dogs whose adoption is prohibited in Montreal by the city’s by-law is so vague and broad, … it is impossible for us to determine which dogs are targeted.”
Instead, the rescue is sending the dogs to rescue groups outside of Montreal. While the Montreal SPCA is expected to continue their battle against breed-specific legislation and the Mayor of Montreal, there have been no further announcements of legal action.
For now, pit bull-type dogs must be muzzled in public at all times. Until any further legal action arises, this will be the reality for pit bulls and their owners.