The debate surrounding aggressive dogs and those breeds that are often considered dangerous rages on, and while any dog without the right training is capable of dominant and aggressive behavior, some breeds have a far worse reputation than others.
Take Pit Bulls, for example; with the love of a pet parent, and plenty of time and dedication, Pit Bulls are loving family pets. Without such affection, though, pit bulls can be aggressive, and are renowned for their use in illegal fighting rings and their prevalence as a "status" dog among gang members. The media has been quick to cotton on to the perceived aggression of the Pit Bull breed, and it's an image that's hard to shake.
In June of this year, a man named Farid Benzenati witnessed the death of his neighbor, Christiane Vadnais, in the jaws of a large Pit Bull, which he said was new to the area. The East End community in Montreal was shaken by the event, and Christiane's family immediately called for action: the banning of dangerous dog breeds as soon as possible.
At the end of September, this plea was recognized, as Montreal's city council voted 37 to 23 in support of a bylaw that outlaws residents from adopting or otherwise acquiring a new Pit Bull. Under the new bylaw, Montreal residents must have permits for their Pit Bulls, the dogs must be vaccinated, sterilized, and microchipped, as well as muzzled and leashed in public.
"My duty as mayor of Montreal is making sure I am working for all Montrealers," explained Denis Coderre. "I am there to make sure they feel safe and that they are safe."
However, while the ban has plenty of support from political groups and organizations, there are those who disagree with the city's new stance on pit bulls. The American Bar Association and the American Veterinary Medical Association oppose breed-specific bans, calling them ineffective and unfair – particularly when dogs are being targeted due to their appearance or media bias. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have previously stated that there is too much uncertainty in dog bite data to target a specific breed in this way.
The bylaw was intended to go into effect on October 3rd, but was suspended indefinitely by a Supreme Court judge after the Montreal SPCA contested the Pit Bull ban. The city of Montreal is hoping to have the ban reinstated by launching an appeal of their own. A court date is yet to be set.
Do you agree with such a hard stance being taken against a single breed? Let us know in the comments!