As Montreal bans pit bulls, should Maritime provinces follow suit?
Pit bulls are already banned in Ontario and now Quebec City and Montreal are following suit after a 55-year-old woman was attacked and killed by a neighbour’s pit bull in her own backyard.
Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre says existing pit-bull owners will be allowed to keep their pets but will need to obtain a permit and keep the dogs muzzled when in public.
Quebec City Mayor Regis Labeaume announced a similar ban, saying the goal is to have no pit bulls in the city by Jan. 1, 2017.
While some provinces and cities are questioning whether they want pit bulls in their communities, the idea of a pit-bull ban doesn’t seem to be gaining much traction in the Maritimes.
While there are no restrictions on specific breeds, there are rules to protect people from dangerous dogs in the region.
Cathy Prothro of the Dog Legislation Council of Canada – a national group dedicated to fighting breed bans – insists they’re unenforceable and a waste of taxpayer dollars.
“Many states, countries that have had bans have now repealed them,” says Prothro.
Many Maritime dog owners say it’s the owners, not the pit bulls, who are the real problem.
“She’s a lap dog. She’s got two beds. She sleeps under blankets. She likes to be cuddled,” says one Halifax dog owner of his pit bull, Houdini.
“We’ve certainly done our due diligence and done our obedience with him to ensure he’s a good canine citizen,” says Catherine MacPhee of her dog, Ben.
Back in Montreal, the SPCA plans to contest the ban, saying it would be ‘”ineffective in making communities safer.”
With files from CTV Atlantic's Bruce Frisko