Breed Ban in Outremont results in Montreal SPCA ending animal services for the borough

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Photo credit : Marilou Léger – Photographe

Montreal, December 4, 2014 – Effective as of this fall, the Montreal SPCA has ended its animal services contract with the borough of Outremont as the borough decided to maintain its Breed Specific Legislation (BSL). The Montreal SPCA strongly encourages boroughs and municipalities to adopt progressive and ethical animal related by-laws – which most certainly is not the case with BSL.

BSL is legislation that restricts ownership or prohibits certain types of dogs on the sole basis of physical appearance or breed. The Montreal SPCA opposes BSL because it discriminates against responsible dog guardians and well-behaved dogs simply because of their physical characteristics. Further, BSL does not assist in reducing incidents of dog aggression or dog bites.

Outremont has BSL, specifically a ban on “pit-bull type dogs”, meaning any dogs that the borough deems to resemble a “pit-bull” cannot live in, or even walk through, the borough. For many years, the Montreal SPCA has attempted to work with Outremont to address public safety concerns with multi-faceted strategies that identify and address dangerous behaviours regardless of breed – but to no avail. Sadly, Outremont has decided to continue banning dogs based on their physical appearances, which goes strictly against the Montreal SPCA’s efforts. “We believe that everyone is better served when municipalities focus on solving issues in a proactive and progressive manner,” said Alanna Devine, Director of Animal Advocacy at the Montreal SPCA. “We hope that in the near future Outremont will join the other municipalities on the island that have decided to focus on the issue of dog behaviour and responsible dog ownership. When Outremont is ready, we will be here to work with them on truly making their community a safer and better place for both residents and animals.”

If there is a BSL in your municipality or borough you can take the following actions: start a petition against the BSL, send polite letters or e-mails to elected officials asking them to repeal BSL, ask for a meeting with your Municipal counselor to talk about the problems with BSL. Furthermore, the Montreal SPCA recently published a model animal by-law, which we encourage municipalities to adopt. To consult the Montreal SPCA’s model animal by-law please click here (available in French only).


Media contact: Anita Kapuscinska, Media Relations Coordinator, Montreal SPCA, 514-226-3932, or anitak@spca.com.

About the Montreal SPCA

Founded in Montreal in 1869, we were the first humane society in Canada and our mission is to:

  • protect animals against negligence, abuse, and exploitation;
  • represent their interests and ensure their well-being;
  • raise public awareness and help develop compassion for all living beings.

For many years, the Montreal SPCA has been working hard with the three levels of government (municipal, provincial and federal) to improve laws on animal protection. In 2013, our inspection service investigated 1,102 new complaints and conducted the inspection of 2,846 animals, all species combined. A total of 195 animals were seized as a result of their investigations and several criminal prosecutions or charges have been brought.

For more information about the Montreal SPCA, please visit our website at www.spca.com

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