Some Montreal Pit Bull Owners Given 4 Weeks to Give up Their Pets

Because breed-specific legislation (BSL) like breed bans are so unfair to innocent dogs, ineffective in increasing safety and costly to enforce – BSL is opposed by just about every major animal welfare group, which should tell you something — the trend has been to repeal these laws rather than enforce them.

But apparently Canada hasn’t heard this news. BSL has been in effect in Ontario and areas of other provinces for years. Quebec is considering a pit bull ban. Last year, Montreal enacted one.

To keep their beloved pets, owners of pit bulls had to apply for special permits by March 31, 2017. They had until June 1 to provide all the documentation required to receive the permit.

Imagine the shock last week when over 500 pit bull owners received letters informing them that because they had not provided the required documentation or the documentation they did provide was incomplete, they have four weeks to “dispose of their dogs” by finding them new homes in a ban-free place or surrendering them to an animal shelter. The letters, which included no contact information, threatened legal action and seizure of the dogs if the owners did not comply.

Local animal shelters have no room for potentially hundreds of dogs, and were as shocked about the letter as the dog owners. “We should have been warned or given some kind of heads up before these letters came out,” Sophie Gaillard, a lawyer with the Montreal SPCA, told CBC News. The Montreal SPCA has been fighting the ban and even sued the city, saying the new bylaw with provisions targeting “pit bull-type dogs” was discriminatory, vague and unreasonable.

“We’re going to take a look at the situation,” Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre said in regard to the letters, the Montreal Gazette reports. “But frankly, nobody should say that they’re surprised.”

City of Montreal spokesman Gonzalo Nunez told CBC News that city employees had contacted the pit bull owners before sending the letters to let them know their applications were missing information. He said the letters were only sent following a “rigorous analysis” of each file.

Anyone who received a letter although they submitted the required information can contact the city, Nunez said.

The Montreal SPCA posted advice on Facebook for the recipients of the letters. The steps for what pit bull owners should do if they’re unable to contest the city’s application will break your heart. It’s unconscionable that anyone should be forced to find a new home for or surrender a beloved pet to a shelter only because politicians with no expertise in dog behavior believe a certain breed is dangerous.

In what could be a bit of good news for those 500-plus pit bull owners, Johanne Savard, ombudsman for the city of Montreal, promised that her office would fast-track their complaints to the appropriate department.

“I could start a discussion in that regard, but I only have a power of recommendation,” she told the Montreal Gazette. “My mandate is to make sure the regulations are carried out justly, fairly and reasonably.”

But the bottom line is that there’s nothing just, fair or reasonable about pit bull bans. Please join more than 106,000 Care2 members who have signed this petition urging Montreal to repeal its pit bull ban.

Photo credit: paulbr75


Marie W
Marie W5 days ago

Thanks for sharing

Jennifer H
Jennifer H5 months ago

Montreal - more BSL BS.

Paulo R
Paulo R5 months ago

shame on Montreal. very cruel and stupid. ty

Veronica B
Veronica B5 months ago

Disgusting!!!Sadistic people!!!
Petition Signed Previously.

Margie F
Margie FOURIE5 months ago

This is a case of Sophies Choice.

Mark D
Mark Donner5 months ago

I don't expect less from the Canadian government. They're a bloated gang of vicious neanderthal crooks taking bribes from the most sadistic and savage crimes. Just one example of Canada's atrocities includes the bloodfest of baby seals that those monsters keep promoting as a "normal" activity sickens everyone in the world.. except a bunch of greasy criminal Canadian government monsters who would find an excuse to mass murder babies and sell the skins to the Chinese.

Philippa Powers
Philippa Powers5 months ago


Sonia M

Sad and disgusting.Petition signed thanks for sharing

Virginia Abreu de Paula

"It’s unconscionable that anyone should be forced to find a new home for or surrender a beloved pet to a shelter only because politicians with no expertise in dog behavior believe a certain breed is dangerous." I pasted it here because that is exactly the way I feel. I do hope this is solved and they can keep their dogs.

earthism info
earthism info5 months ago

Issue mandatory licenses for all pitbull owners