Montreal passes pit bull ban, thousands of shelter dogs facing euthanasia

Video: Montreal's controversial pit bull ban in effect

Montreal’s controversial pit bull ban is officially on the books after city council passed a bylaw on Tuesday which places a ban on any new “pit bull type” dogs in the city and places heavy restrictions on those already living there. Under the new law, any of the now-banned breeds still in shelters next week when the law takes effect will be humanely euthanized.

Council voted 37 to 23 in favor of the breed-specific legislation, which includes a ban on any American pit bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, and the Staffordshire terrier, along with crossbreeds or dogs mixed with or sharing their physical characteristics. In other words, in Montreal, if it looks like a pit bull, it is a pit bull.

The controversial ban comes at a time when breed-specific legislation has been proven ineffective at reducing dog bites and attacks, and during a world-wide trend toward ending BSL.

The new law takes effect on October 3, 2016. After which, it will be illegal to own any new pit bull-type dog. Already owned pit bulls will be grandfathered in, but must be registered by the end of the year at a cost of $300. In addition, pit bull owners must be at least 18 years old and will be screened for a criminal record or a history of violence. They must also provide proof the dog has been altered (spayed or neutered), microchipped and vaccinated against rabies. Pit bulls will have to be muzzled when outdoors and must be kept on a short leash when off their property.

If owners don’t follow the new rules, their dog can be confiscated and euthanized.

The SPCA has threatened to revoke all animal control services in Montreal as a result of the breed ban.

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