Montreal Pitbull Protesters Fight For Protection Of Dogs
It’s a tragedy…an unwatched, untrained and uncared for dog attacks, often leaving a lifetime of scars and, as seen in some recent cases, death. It makes international news and people point fingers to specific breeds, deeming them dangerous and a menace to society.
But is it to fair to categorize an entire breed as dangerous, and in doing so, essentially sign the death order for thousands of loving, innocent dogs?
Protesters, both individual and with various organizations such as the SPCA and Opposition Projet Montreal, vehemently claim that it is not, and hope their voices are heard today as the City of Montreal approves proposed legislation that would dramatically change the future for the Pit Bull breed.
The projected legislation is seemingly in response to what Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre feels is a situation that involves pit bulls and requires the government to intervene in and take a stance. One such situation he references is the death of 55-year-old Montreal woman Christiane Vadnais earlier this year in June. She was mauled in her backyard, by a dog initially deemed by the police as a pit bull, but later found to be registered as a boxer, and still with no official breed determination results released.
At the time, the mayor expressed that he wanted to have regulations for all 19 boroughs, and did not say that a breed restriction was necessarily the answer. In fact, he cited the banning of pit bulls in Toronto, with the numbers of bites not changing, and he suggested accountability for owners of dogs may help dangerous incidents from happening.
But today, proposed bylaws include banning pit bulls, disallowing adoptions of the breed (which essentially is a death order for all non-homed pit bulls in shelters or rescues) and other animal control regulations which include limits on how many pets one can have in their home and mandatory microchipping/spaying/neutering.
Animal rights groups are outraged and heartbroken, and are doing their best to ensure this legislation does not become law, though if it does, they say they will fight it. The Montreal SPCA, one of the biggest animal service providers in Montreal has already claimed it will stop giving services to the city if the breed ban is adopted, citing they will not be party to the killing of thousands of healthy, innocent dogs.
Instead, the SPCA and other groups hope that the Mayor and other officials will look at science and the opinions of actual experts in order to come up with animal control solutions that not only work, but are in the best interest of both humans and dogs. Further, they cite that adherence to and enforcement of current animal control regulations would make a huge, immediate difference and this excessive legislation has not only not been proven to be effective, but is not needed. Education and support in the care of dogs will be of benefit to all, without the need to mercilessly kill thousands of dogs.
Still, Mayor Coderre is not budging from his position that this ban will put an end to the problem of dangerous dog attacks, and plans to present the final argument for the ban this morning.
And while the fate of thousands is being decided, protesters of the ban will be outside of city hall civilly gathered, and will include a moment of silence for Ms. Vadnais out of respect, showing this issue truly is one about the respect of life…human and canine alike.
More by Lori Ennis