Montreal’s Pit Bull Ban is Now in Effect

It was a sad day for dog lovers last week when a court overturned a temporary suspension of Montreal’s new pit bull ban. Now pit bull type dogs are no longer welcome in the Canadian city.

Earlier this fall, city councilors voted to pass a law that effectively banned any dog resembling a pit bull, unless owners were willing to abide by a strict set of conditions.

Animal advocates feared it would be a death sentence for hundreds of dogs in shelters, who would no longer be adoptable. The Montreal SPCA estimated that at just their shelter alone, between 300 to 700 healthy and behaviorally sound dogs would have been targeted by the ban had it been in effect in 2016.

Thousands of people spoke out against the law, arguing that it would unfairly target families and dogs with no history of trouble – more than 75,000 people signed a Care2 petition urging the city to repeal the ban.

They won a victory when the new law was temporarily suspended in October after the Montreal SPCA challenged it in court, but the win was short lived. Unfortunately, last week the Quebec Court of Appeal revoked the suspension.

Now, people who own pit bull type dogs in the city will have to register their dogs, subject themselves to a criminal background check, and will also be required to keep their dogs leashed and muzzled in public.

“Though the fight is not over, we are extremely disappointed by today’s decision and particularly preoccupied by not being able to continue finding adoptive homes in Montreal for all of our healthy and behaviourally-sound dogs, regardless of their physical appearance,” said Me Alanna Devine, Director of Animal Advocacy of the Montreal SPCA.

The organization added that it is refusing to put down healthy, adoptable dogs. In an effort to keep them safe it will be implementing a temporary protocol that will see incoming dogs over a certain weight transferred to partner groups outside of the city, placed in foster homes or adopted to people outside of Montreal without breed bans.

For now, owners will be able to reclaim lost dogs from shelters, and shelters can still adopt dogs to people living outside of Montreal, but those small concessions aren’t enough to stop the opposition. Animal advocates have vowed to continue the battle to have this law overturned.

While this unfortunate law is now in effect, there is still hope that logic will prevail. The superior court is conducting an analysis of the new law, and is expected to reach a final decision on its validity in the coming months that could overturn it, or result in having it amended.

Those who are in favor of this type of legislation undoubtedly have good intentions and want to promote safety in their communities, but this isn’t the way to go. Breed bans are costly, wasteful, unfair and haven’t done anything to keep people safe from bites or attacks.

Hopefully this law will be overturned and the attention Montreal is bringing to the issue of breed discrimination will help raise more awareness about why breed bans aren’t a solution, and push people to support alternatives that are more effective.

For more about what the Montreal SPCA is doing to keep both dogs and people safe, check out Safer Kinder Communities.

Photo credit: Thinkstock


Carl R
Carl R8 months ago


Carl R
Carl R10 months ago


Simon L
Simon Labout a year ago

Thank you

Tin Ling L
Tin Ling Labout a year ago

Thank you.

Chen Boon Fook
Chen Boon Fookabout a year ago

thanks for sharing

Jess B
Jess Babout a year ago


Marie W
Marie Wabout a year ago

Thank you for sharing.

Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallusabout a year ago

Thank you for sharing.

Pat P
Pat Pabout a year ago

How horribly sad for these poor helpless innocent dogs and their families! Discrimination and stereotyping of ANY group of humans or animals is stupid, ignorant and cruel! Bigotry is vile and harmful to everyone!

Janne O
Janne Oabout a year ago

Sigh, As some realize that it's BS, others have to repeat the stupidity themselves rather than learn from others