On September 27, Montreal passed breed specific legislation banning people from new ownership of pit bull and other similar dog types following the fatal mauling of a woman three months ago. The ban specifically targeted Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, and American Pit Bull Terriers, as well as any mixed breeds dogs or dogs that exhibit similar characteristics. For current owners, this meant very tight regulations:
“Any pit bull currently owned must have a $150 registration fee on file, and must be muzzled and on a leash no longer than 1.25 meters (~4 feet) any time they leave the premises of their home. They are also required to be sterilized, fully vaccinated, and microchipped with up to date & accurate registrations. If these regulations are not followed, then that animal is subject to be seized and euthanized.”
For dogs currently in animal shelters, they were given a death sentence and were to be immediately euthanized. Many, including our very own Ariel Woodruff, spoke out passionately against the ban, and for the time being, it seems like these dogs might have a happier ending than expected. On Wednesday, a Montreal judge suspended the ban indefinitely during the Montreal SPCA‘s legal counter. While it isn’t a definitive victory, it is certainly the first hurdle crossed. Sophie Gaillard, the lawyer obtained by the SPCA, was cautiously optimistic in today’s press release:
“The fight is far from being over, but we are very pleased with this first victory. We are particularly delighted to be able to continue finding adoptive homes for all of our healthy and behaviorally sound dogs, regardless of their physical appearance.”
Breed specific targeting would no doubt lead to the death of countless innocent dogs, so here’s hoping things continue to go these poor pooches’ way.
(Via The Dodo)