This horrifically cruel legislation comes following several dog attacks in the city, including one instance of a woman who was killed by her dog last year, although it’s not even certain the dog in that case was a pit bull.
Mayor Denis Coderre said of the vote, “I have a responsibility as the mayor of Montreal to protect the citizens.”
But for the hundreds of pit bulls in Montreal rescue centers, this legislation is a death sentence, says Alanna Devine of the Montreal SPCA.
“For dogs that don’t have an owner on the day of the passing of the legislation, the way the legislation is drafted, the dogs have to be euthanized,” she explained.
The legislation loosely covers all pit bull breeds, including American pit bull terriers, American Staffordshire terriers an Staffordshire bull terriers. No dog considered a pit bull can be adopted from Montreal shelters.
People who already own a pit bull must undergo a criminal background check and pay $150 for a special permit. Then their pup will be sterilized, vaccinated, and microchipped — and must be muzzled and on a 4-foot leash when in public.
Experts are concerned that for people who can’t afford the checks and permit, more pit bulls will be seized and, ultimately, killed.
There is already huge opposition to the legislation, from dog lovers, veterinarians, and politicians alike, as people denounce the ban.
“It absolutely makes no sense whatsoever,” said one animal rights advocate, “It’s a proven fact that it doesn’t work. They’re just going to force people to hold them illegally which will create more problems.”
And vets are actually refusing to kill the dogs, with veterinarian Karen Joy Goldenburg saying: “I, professionally, morally, ethically am not required to euthanize those animals.”