In light of an impending municipal bylaw targeting pit bull type dogs, the Montreal SPCA met with its partners from local boroughs and municipalities it serves on the Island of Montreal and informed them that it will no longer provide dog control services to them, a decision that would come into effect in early 2017, if a city-wide ban on pit bulls is adopted across the 12 boroughs and municipalities.
With the imminent adoption of a new animal control bylaw in Montreal, the SPCA had no other choice but to meet with its partners. The organization is aware of the impacts of the proposed changes on the services it provides and wishes to act with transparency hoping the proposed animal control bylaw will not be adopted.
“We hope that the proposed animal control bylaw will not be adopted on September 26th and that we will not have to alter the contracts we currently have with boroughs. We will pursue our efforts with Montreal’s elected officials and repeat our assertion that public safety is fully compatible with animal welfare. The Montreal SPCA has always acted with this in mind and intends to continue to promote this principle,” says Alanna Devine, Director of Animal Advocacy.
“Like any organization, we need to act in a way that respects our fundamental values. Contributing to a system that would ultimately result in the euthanasia of healthy animals that do not pose any danger is a step that the Montreal SPCA cannot take,” says Benoit Tremblay, Executive Director.
Each year, the Montreal SPCA receives over 2,000 abandoned, stray, or seized dogs, a certain proportion of which are euthanized due to medical conditions or behavioural problems. “If it had been in effect this year, the bylaw would have made it impossible to find adoptive homes for between 300 and 700 perfectly healthy, behaviourally sound dogs. As we know, animals that cannot be adopted must too often be euthanized,” explains Dr. Gabrielle Carrière, Head Veterinarian at the Montreal SPCA.
In recent months, the Montreal SPCA has shared its experience and outlined best practices for bite prevention and the management of dangerous dogs. The organization proposes the following:
- More rigorous enforcement of existing bylaws
- Strict penalties for owners who fail to comply
- Clear procedures for reporting dog bites, designating dogs as “dangerous”, and seizing animals
- Education and prevention measures, including the development of community programs
- Adoption of new municipal bylaws focusing on bite prevention and responsible animal ownership