Four months ago, 55-year-old Christiane Vadnais was killed in #montreal by a pit bull. In response, the Vadnais family petitioned the Quebec government to ban "dangerous" dog breeds. On Tuesday, they did exactly that, banning the dogs that are often perceived as the most dangerous dog breed. The city council of Montreal voted to make it illegal for anyone to adopt a new pit bull or pit bull mixed-breed.
The pit bulls waiting to be adopted have just be handed a death sentence. They aren't the only ones though. If you currently have a pit bull and live in Montreal, you can keep him...as long as you pay a $150 permit. If you don't pay the permit, the dog will be taken away and euthanized. If you do pay the permit, you must muzzle your dog at all times while in public. Montreal is effectively trying to kill off an entire breed of dog, because of one family in distress. The city is not even the first to do this.
BSL is not new
BSL means breed specific legislation and it's far from new. Most of this BSL specifically targets pit bulls. When we think of pit bulls, we think of mean #Dogs or fighting dogs. That stereotype is why, in areas where you can still adopt pit bulls, they take three times as long to get adopted as other dogs. It's the reason why there are animal rescues that dedicate so much of their time to pit bulls, as they are an often abandoned and often abused animal. Montreal's answer is not to take care of these animals, to enforce stricter laws on the mistreatment of these abused creatures. Their answer is to kill them.
In fact, though, pit bull bans have been a part of our lives whether we knew it or not. In Canada, Ontario has had a pit bull ban in place since August 2005. The only pit bulls allowed in Ontario had to be "grandfathered." If you did not own a pit bull at this time but wanted one, you may obtain one "restricted" pit bull. If there is a complaint issued about your pit bull, it is likely that your dog will be given "a mandatory destruction order." In not so nice terms, he will be killed.
In Miami, you can get a pit bull, as long as you register him and pay a registration fee. However, you cannot bring your dog outside. The dog must be confined indoors or in a pen. If you do decide to bring him outside, he must be muzzled at all times. In Miami's law on pit bulls, it actually states in the beginning why the law is in place: pit bulls just have an "inbred propensity" to attack other animals and pose a dangerous threat to all humans and animals alike.
In much of Colorado, pit bulls are also banned. Some areas, like Lone Tree, are less specific and just ban fighting dogs in general. In the case of Colorado, banned means banned. Take for instance Denver's law, which says that any animal that looks like a pit bull will be "impounded" so he can be tested. If he's found to be a pit bull, he can't stay in Denver and you must relocate your dog.
Will this legislation work?
Actually some places, like in the Netherlands, have found that injuries due to dog bites go up after BSL legislation is passed. That's why the Netherlands repealed the ban in 2008. Maybe people get careless when they think they are around a "good" dog breed since the "bad" one went away. One thing for sure, animal activists are not happy with Montreal and they will certainly be checking to see how well this legislation works so that they can have proof to back up why it needs to go away as soon as possible. #pitbulls