The pit bull and pit bull “type” dogs of Montreal received some very good, albeit temporary, news today.
Judge Louis Gouin of the Quebec Superior Court suspended a new by-law banning pit bulls, pending a final ruling in the lawsuit filed last week by the Montreal SPCA against the City of Montreal.
The City of Montreal’s lawyer, Rene Cadieux, told the court that the definition of a pit bull didn’t matter. Instead, he was quoted by the CBC as saying “It’s like pornography. You know it when you see it.”
Yet Judge Gouin pointed out several red flags around the definition of “pit bulls,” including the possibility that dogs to be seized or euthanized under the bylaw might not be dangerous.
Despite Cadieux’s bizarre reference, the Judge sided with the Montreal SPCA.
The Judge ordered an immediate suspension of the sections of the by-law that would prohibit adoption of “pit bull type dogs” and that would require “pit bull type dogs” to be muzzled.
It was feared that the by-law would lead to euthanization of hundreds of dogs in shelters deemed to be “pit bulls.”
However, the Montreal SPCA was quick to note that the suspension is not permanent. A hearing will be held to discuss the merits of the by-law. After the hearing, the Superior Court will review the by-law and decide whether the law is in violation of existing animal welfare bylaws.
The date of the hearing has yet to be announced, but the Montreal SPCA stated that it could take several months before the hearing actually takes place.
In the meantime, dog owners of Montreal can breathe a (minor) sigh of relief. More importantly, the Montreal SPCA and other Montreal shelters are able to adopt out dogs, no matter their identifying breed, to homes in the Montreal area.