Thousands of shelter dogs or those with low-income owners are bound to be euthanized next week.
Tons of cities have unjustified breed-specific legislation,?and Montreal is slated to be one of them if all goes according to the city’s plan next Monday. The new law would ban any dog that even remotely resembles a pit bull, allowing the city to euthanize pets and every single dog fitting the description in shelters.
Recent dog attacks in Montreal are what sparked the proposal, and it’s the most harmful part of the strict laws being enforced now. Along with the ban comes mandatory neutering/spaying and microchipping by 2019.
Alanna Devine, director of animal advocacy for the Montreal SPCA, said,
?Targeting dogs that look a specific way and demonizing them within the view of the public, we know, doesn?t create safer communities ? it institutes fear.”
What’s worse is that the legislation that details the criteria for the ban is so vaguely-worded that anyone with a medium dog who has short-hair and a big head is essentially at risk. For current owners, they have until next March to obtain a permit to keep their dogs, but of course there are special regulations for that as well.
Only owners without a criminal background may obtain a permit, and afterwards they must have their dog?sterilized, vaccinated and microchipped. The dog must also be muzzled in public and on a leash no longer than 4 feet. All of these rules, and the city still slapped on a $150 fee for the permit.
“There are a lot of low-income and homeless people in Montreal who simply won’t be able to afford all of the criteria they need in order to get the special permit,” Devine told The Dodo. “Those dogs will have to be seized and have to be euthanized.”
As for the dogs who match the description that are currently in shelters, they will need to be immediately euthanized. The Montreal SPCA takes in approximately 2,000 dogs each year; of those 2,000, about 700 would match the description and have to be put down. If the ban goes through, the Montreal SPCA is threatening to terminate its contract with the city.
Some rescues and animal lovers have prepared for the ban and sent their pit bull-type dogs to nearby places that don’t have breed-specific bans, such as Alberta and Saskatchewan. However, it’s possible that even in these safe spaces, the dogs won’t be legal for long. Leaders of other provinces are considering taking on the ban as well, decreasing the areas where pit bulls are seen and treated as any other dog.
You can sign the petition here to help stop this ban, even if you don’t live in Montreal.
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