Nova Scotia

Clark's Harbour pit bull owner says town's dog bylaw is 'discrimination'

A bylaw banning breeds such as pit bulls and Rottweilers has been on the books in Clark's Harbour, N.S., since 2011, but on Monday the town finally enforced it by serving two owners with papers telling them they have 72 hours to get rid of their dogs.

2 owners with dogs deemed dangerous breeds were served with paperwork, must get rid of dogs in 72 hours

Mason Landry with his one-year-old pit bull mix, Gizmo. (Submitted by Mason Landry)

Two dog owners in Clark's Harbour, N.S., were served paperwork on Monday that stated their pets were deemed dangerous breeds.

Since 2011, the town has had a bylaw banning breeds such as Rottweilers and pit bulls, but the owners say they had no idea about the rule. If a new home for the dogs can't be found in 72 hours, they will be seized, taken to a pound and could possibly be killed.

"I just feel like it's discrimination. It's almost as if it's a person, a human, you know what I mean?" said Mason Landry, one of the two dog owners who was served.

Landry has a one-year-old pit bull mix named Gizmo, who is a rescue Landry got from the SPCA in Yarmouth.

Landry said he's new to the Clark's Harbour area and had no idea about the dog bylaw.

Jessica Lewis with her blue nose pit bull named Bronx. Lewis says Bronx is staying with a friend as she sorts out the breed ban with the Town of Clark's Harbour. (Submitted by Jessica Lewis)

Gizmo, Landry said, had temperament checks before his adoption. Landry insists Gizmo is a very friendly dog.

He said the person who served him told him someone who knew about the bylaw reported his dog to the town.

Landry said he is considering selling his home and leaving the community.

Jessica Lewis's daughter, Aleah, with Bronx. (Submitted by Jessica Lewis)

"There's no way I'm going to have to get rid of my dog," he said.

Jessica Lewis has an eight-week-old blue nose pit bull puppy named Bronx. She said her two young daughters adore Bronx.

"I have a five-year-old and a two-year-old that [the puppy] is constantly playing with. He doesn't nip them and doesn't so much as even chew a shoe in my house," Lewis said.

She said the puppy is now staying with a friend who lives out of town until the issue can be cleared up.

Lewis said the most upsetting part of the bylaw is the possibility of the dog being put down.

The town has no plans to change the dog bylaw.

Mayor Leigh Stoddart said this is the first time the bylaw has been enforced.

"It makes the community safer than if a dog mauled a kid or something or someone died," Stoddart said. "I feel better about enforcement than allowing something like that to happen under our watch."

With files from Paul Palmeter