Montreal

No pit bull ban for Quebec, only restrictions, report recommends

The vast majority of pit bull owners in Quebec will be allowed to keep their dogs if the government adopts the recommendations of a report released on Wednesday.

Pit bulls and dogs deemed dangerous should wear muzzles in public and be sterilized, working groups says

A report recommends stricter controls for pit bulls and dogs deemed dangerous, but not an outright ban. (Natalie Nanowski/CBC)

The vast majority of pit bull owners in Quebec will be allowed to keep their dogs if the government adopts the recommendations of a report released on Wednesday.

The report comes from a working group on dangerous dogs, created last June by Public Safety Minister Martin Coiteux, after the death of a Montreal woman attacked by a dog in her backyard.

It offers 10 recommendations. Among them:

  • Creating two categories of dogs, one for dangerous "pit bull-type" breeds, and another for potentially dangerous dogs weighing 20 kg or more and trained for protection.
  • Compulsory registration for both types.
  • An obligation to keep the dogs on a leash.
  • Wearing a harness in public places.
  • For pit bulls, an obligation to wear a muzzle in public places and sterilization.

Dangerous dogs will also be required to be kept behind a fence when at home.

To be labelled dangerous, a dog must have caused serious injuries to a person or an animal and have been evaluated by a veterinarian. 

However, the working group does recommend a ban on pit bulls for people who have committed certain types of crimes related to violence or cruelty to animals.

Ste-Adèle widens ban

Meanwhile, the town of Ste-Adèle has expanded its pit bull ban to include all dangerous dogs, regardless of breed.

The Laurentian town changed its rules when it hired the SPCA to handle animal control.

"People weren't identifying their pit bulls as pit bulls," mayor Robert Milot said. "In their pet licence they classified them as mix breeds, so there was way of controlling what kind of dogs they were."

Under the new system, a dog that attacks another person or animal will be evaluated by SPCA veterinarians. If it's deemed to be dangerous, it will be euthanized.

"We're hoping the [Quebec public security] minister will adopt a pit bull ban. That will take care of one type of breed," Milot said.

"In the meantime, we banned all types of dangerous dogs. We are more protected than were before."

With files from La Presse Canadienne and CBC's Marika Wheeler

now