Montreal SPCA threatens to end dog-control services over pit bull ban

With the looming possibility of a city-wide ban on pit bulls, the Montreal SPCA says it will no longer provide dog-control services to the 12 Montreal boroughs it serves beginning in 2017.

City says it has no plans to back down from proposed bylaw

The SPCA says it can't support a ban that will leads to more dogs being euthanized. (Natalie Nanowski/CBC)

The Montreal SPCA announced Wednesday that as of 2017, it will no longer provide dog-control services to the 12 Montreal boroughs and other on-island municipalities it serves if a city-wide ban on pit bulls is adopted.

The decision comes as Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre seeks approval from city council to prohibit new pit bulls across the city's 19 boroughs as of the end of September.

"We hope that the proposed animal control bylaw will not be adopted on Sept. 26 and that we will not have to alter the contracts we currently have with boroughs," Alanna Devine, the director of animal advocacy, said in a statement.

The animal protection agency said in a statement that such a bylaw would result in putting down healthy dogs, and that is a practice it cannot support.

"We'll be forced eventually to euthanize hundreds of dogs in good health," said Benoit Tremblay, the SPCA's executive director.

Sunday's pit bull protest started at Montreal's city hall and organizers estimated that 1,500 people were in attendance. (Radio-Canada)

Anie Samson, the vice-chair of the city's executive committee, said Montreal has no plans to back down from its proposed bylaw.

"The Coderre administration is moving forward with its balanced bylaw on animal control," Samson said. "The safety of all our citizens is a priority for our administration."

'Those animals can't be adopted out'

Since the city outlined its proposed regulations in June following widely publicized dog attacks, the Montreal SPCA has repeatedly criticized Coderre's plan, saying it considers breed-specific legislation a form of discrimination.

"I'd say about a third of those dogs would probably fall under the type of animal that would be considered prohibited," Devine said.

"And those animals can't be adopted out, which means adoptable, behaviourally sound dogs and puppies would have to be put to death."

The SPCA says it won't provide the same dog-control services if the ban is passed into law. (CBC)

The agency has also hinted it may launch legal proceedings to challenge the proposal and it set up a website with several alternatives to a full-fledged ban.

The SPCA said it will continue to offer the same services related to cats, wildlife and other animals.

The 12 boroughs and municipalities are the following:

  • Ahuntsic-Cartierville.
  • Anjou.
  • Côte St-Luc.
  • Hampstead.
  • Lachine.
  • ​Plateau–Mont-Royal.
  • Montreal North.
  • Côte-des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-de-Grâce.
  • Rosemont-La-Petite-Patrie.
  • Southwest.
  • Ville Saint-Laurent.

With files from Elias Abboud and Radio-Canada