Nova Scotia

Pit bulls being brought to Nova Scotia after Montreal ban

A Nova Scotia dog rescue group says it is getting overwhelming public support for its offer to take in pit bulls from Montreal after the city placed a ban on them this week.

'It's the dogs in the shelters who are on death row that need immediate help,' says Litters 'n Critters head

A pit bull named Athena goes for a walk at the SPCA on June 14 in Montreal. (Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press)

A dog rescue group in Nova Scotia has begun to accept pit bull or pit bull-mix dogs from Montreal, where they have been outlawed.

Montreal animal shelters have been reaching out to other cities for help, said Shelley Cunningham, president and founder of Litters 'n Critters Animal Rescue.

"We posted on Facebook, asking our public, 'Should we do this? Can we do this? If we do go ahead to do this, we'll need all the support we can get,'" she told CBC's Maritime Noon.

"The support and the comments and everything has just been overwhelming. I can't believe the amount of people who replied and said, 'Yes, we'll help you."

First pit bulls arrive this weekend

The first dogs will be arriving in Nova Scotia this weekend, she said.

"It's the dogs in the shelters who are on death row that need immediate help," Cunningham said.

"We have three dogs coming this weekend. Travel is all arranged, we have foster homes in place and as soon as they are settled in their foster homes, we will get them vetted and assessed and then we will adopt them out." 

If all goes well, the group may begin taking five more at a time, she said. "We can't take more animals than we can adopt out."

The Nova Scotia communities of Clarks Harbour and Guysborough County have banned pit bulls. (cynoclub/iStock)

Other rescue groups in the province are bringing in pit bulls, such as Good Bones Dog Rescue in Halifax, Siblings K9 Rescue in Windsor and PAWSAbilities Rescue Society in Halifax.

Pit bulls are banned in the Nova Scotia communities of Clarks Harbour and Guysborough.

Cunningham believes support in the province is greater than any negative feelings toward the dogs.

"We've even had people who've offered to take their vacation time, drive up to Montreal and pick the dogs up for us," she said.

Court challenge

Cunningham said she's glad Montreal SPCA is challenging the ban in court.

"I hope to God they win."

The city of Montreal voted Tuesday to ban new ownership of pit bull and pit bull-type dogs after a woman in Montreal died after being an apparent pit bull attack.

Current owners will need special permits and face many restrictions. It's not clear what will happen to dogs currently living in shelters.

With files from Maritime Noon


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