Montreal Pit Bull Ban Suspended Temporarily

A judge has put Montreal's controversial Pit Bull ban on hold until Wednesday while he reviews a challenge from the Montreal SPCA.

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Owners of Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Pit Bulls, American Staffordshire Terriers, a mix of those breeds or any dog that looks like a Pit Bull would need to obtain a special permit under the new bylaw. blake81/iStock/Thinkstock
Stephanie Brown

Montreal’s ban on Pit Bulls was slated to go into effect yesterday, but a judge has put it on hold until tomorrow.

The ban was approved last week despite much outcry by animal welfare groups and Pit Bull owners. It was supposed to go into effect on Oct. 3.

However, Quebec Superior Court Justice Louis Gouin has temporarily suspended the restrictions until Wednesday while he considers the Montreal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ request to have them thrown out, Global News reports.

The Montreal SPCA filed a lawsuit against the Canadian city on Sept. 28, saying the bylaw would discourage adoptions and lead to more dogs being euthanized.

Under the new bylaw, which passed 37-23, new ownership of Pit Bull and “Pit Bull-type” dogs is banned in the Canadian city. Those who currently own such dogs will have to obtain a special permit by Dec. 31, 2016, and follow other rules, such as keeping their dog muzzled while out in public, or else the dog could be euthanized.

The ban on owing Pit Bulls means Pit Bulls, or Pit Bull-type dogs, currently in the city’s animal shelters will not be able to be adopted. If Pit Bulls can’t be adopted by new owners, shelters may have little choice but to euthanize the animals.

The regulations were adopted after a local woman was fatally mauled by a dog, which may or may not have been a Pit Bull, this summer.

Opponents claim breed-specific legislation is unfair and ineffective. Supporters, including Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre, say the new bylaw is meant to protect the public.

“The safety and sense of security of Montrealers are a priority,” Coderre said in a statement after the vote. “The bylaw on animal control that was adopted today by the city council provides for more stringent control measures. I was deeply shocked at the recent events involving dog attacks. As a responsible administration, it was our duty to examine this issue closely and make the appropriate decisions.”

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