The Montreal SPCA is disappointed by the Court of Appeal’s Lifting of the Suspension of the Montreal By-Law Provisions Targeting “Pit Bull Type Dogs”

badnews2Montreal, December 1st 2016 –Today, the Quebec Court of Appeal overturned the Superior Court’s suspension of the sections of the City of Montreal’s by-law targeting “pit bull type dogs”, while rendering a stay in relation to several concessions made by the City during the appeal hearings .

The lifting of the suspension order means that many of the by-law’s provisions targeting “pit bull type dogs” will come into force, including those prohibiting the adoption of these dogs in Montreal and requiring them to be muzzled. However, the Court of Appeal is holding the City of Montreal to the concessions it made during the appeal hearings. Importantly, the City of Montreal cannot issue euthanasia orders based on breed or physical appearance, prohibit someone from reclaiming their lost dog based on breed or physical appearance, and must allow all dogs to continue to be adopted to families residing outside of Montreal.

This state of compromise is to be maintained until the hearing on the merits, at which time the Superior Court will consider the legality of the provisions of the by-law targeting “pit bull type dogs”. The dates for this hearing have not yet been finalized, but the Montreal SPCA is eager to set a date for trial.

The Montreal SPCA will continue its efforts to fight the discriminatory and punitive provisions of the City of Montreal’s by-law targeting “pit bull type dogs” and to promote evidence-based solutions that actually reduce the risk and severity of dog bites.

“Though the fight is not over, we are extremely disappointed by today’s decision and particularly preoccupied by not being able to continue finding adoptive homes in Montreal for all of our healthy and behaviourally-sound dogs, regardless of their physical appearance,” states Me Alanna Devine, Director of Animal Advocacy of the Montreal SPCA. “The Montreal SPCA has, at the core of its mission, the protection of all animals, regardless of species or breed. Not being able find homes for healthy, adoptable and behaviourally-sound dogs and puppies goes against the very essence of what our organization stands for and we will therefore be communicating shortly with our municipal partners to review our existing animal services contracts.”

The Montreal SPCA is very grateful for the support it has received, both locally and internationally. Together, we will continue our fight to protect innocent dogs in Montréal.

The Montreal SPCA is represented in this case by Me Marie-Claude St-Amant and Me Sibel Ataogul, two partners at Melançon, Marceau, Grenier et Sciortino, senc. who also sit on the board of directors of the Association des juristes progressistes.

For more information on breed-specific legislation, visit www.saferkindercommunities.com.


Media contact: Anita Kapuscinska, Communications Manager, Montreal SPCA, 514 656-2760, or anitak@spca.com.

About the Montreal SPCA Founded in Montreal in 1869, we were the first animal welfare 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 more information about the Montreal SPCA, please visit our website at www.spca.com.


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