PEI

Pit bull pipeline to P.E.I.? Islanders respond to Montreal bylaw

The P.E.I. Humane Society says it is receiving inquiries from Islanders who want to adopt any "pit bull type dogs" that make their way east, as a result of a new bylaw in the City of Montreal — but it also cautions would-be rescuers to do their homework before adopting.

P.E.I. Humane Society advises Islanders do their homework before adopting a dog

Bless, an American pit bull terrier, is treated to a free grooming session at Pampered Pets in Montreal. Montreal city council passed a bylaw Tuesday that bans new ownership of pit bull-type dogs in the city. (Graham Hughes/Canadian Press)

The P.E.I. Humane Society says it is receiving inquiries from Islanders who want to adopt any "pit bull type dogs" that make their way east, as a result of a new bylaw in the city of Montreal — but it also cautions would-be rescuers to do their homework before adopting.

Safety issues are not breed specific- Marla Somersall , P.E.I. Humane Society

"We have emails from people saying they'll adopt one, or saying they're willing to go to Montreal to pick one up," said Marla Somersall, executive director of the P.E.I. Humane Society.

The concerns expressed by pit bull loving Islanders follow a decision Tuesday by the city of Montreal to severely restrict ownership of Staffordshire bull terriers, American pit bull terriers, American Staffordshire terriers, any mix with these breeds and any dog that presents characteristics of one of those breeds.

The bylaw bans new ownership of the dogs in Montreal. It's not clear what will happen to dogs currently living in shelters.

The new rules are slated to come into effect Monday, Oct. 3.

Know your dog, cautions Humane Society

Somersall said anyone who does go through with adopting a dog should also exercise caution.

"You need to know the dog's health and behavior records. You don't want to bring disease to the Island," said Somersall. "And a dog that has not been properly trained may not be properly socialized."

Marla Somersall says pit bull-type dogs are not necessarily agressive. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

She does call the bylaw misguided.

"Safety issues are not breed specific. Any animal can be considered an aggressive animal and pit bulls are not necessarily an aggressive animal," said Somersall. "You can't lump any animal or any breed into all being aggressive or all not being aggressive."

Montreal bylaw controversial

The ban is being criticized by animal welfare advocates, and the Montreal SPCA has mounted a court challenge.

"Hopefully the story isn't over in Montreal yet before we see what animals are coming to P.E.I.," said Somersall.

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