breed specific legislation

Please read if you care about the wellbeing of any dog - regardless of breed

I feel somewhat guilty asking you all to help spread my opinion on an issue, but it’s an issue I will fight for with everything that I have.

Lately, the city I live in (Montreal) is considering a legislation against pit bulls. A neighbouring city is already in the process of banning them as well as “other aggressive dog breeds” (actual words from one of our most popular and influential news sources). This is clearly a controversial issue where I live and it absolutely breaks my heart for obvious reasons.

Theo, my pit/lab mix, is my baby. He was abandoned at a vet’s office by his first family. Because of the already-existing regulations set on pit bulls (and “other aggressive breeds”), They were not allowed to publicly advertise that he was there for adoption. If it wasn’t for my brother bringing him home, Theo would not have lived to see his first birthday. 

He keeps me company, makes me laugh even in the worst of moods, and has protected me on multiple occasions when someone else has acted aggressively towards me. He is so gentle that he can’t even eat a treat bigger than a 25 cent coin. Thinking that someone would look at him and equate him to some despicable monster makes me cry. I can’t lose my baby.

There is going to be a peaceful protest in my city on Saturday, July 16, 2016. Included is a link to the event on Facebook. I probably will not bring Theo because Montreal is known to have wild protests and I don’t want to cause him any distress. 

I apologize for the clickbait-y title.

Please come if you live in Montreal and care about the well being of pit bulls.

If you would feel ok taking a dog away from a young girl who is confined to a wheel chair, fining her family if they objected, and then killing the dog, there may be a place for you in city government in Moreauville, Louisiana!

On October 13, the village voted to ban pit bulls and Rottweilers.

A letter was sent out to owners saying that if they didn’t get rid of them by December 1, then they would be taken for “further disposition.”

The dog pictured above is a pit bull named Zeus. He is owned by a girl named O'Hara Owens, whose neck problems require her to wear a brace and use a wheel chair. Zeus has never been accused of any aggressive behavior, and he’s a huge comfort to O'Hara:

“If anything ever happened to him, I would just shut down,” she said. […] She says Zeus acts as a sort of “therapy dog,” providing love and support for her and her other brothers and sisters.

“I can sit here if I’m in pain, he comes and he notices it before I even make any noise,” she said.

O'Hara’s family says they will not surrender Zeus, to which Moreauville Alderman Penn Lemoine replies that the village government will take the dog by force, fine the family, and kill Zeus:

We asked Lemoine about dog attacks…

“There have been, but I don’t think they’re documented,” he said.

And, if they plan to kill the dogs they collect on December 1…

“I’d rather not elaborate on that,” he said.

“Is that what it is? Are you going to kill the dogs?” asked reporter, Brooke Buford.

“If that’s what the ordinance says, then that’s what it says,” Lemoine responded.

However, Lemoine did admit that the town might reconsider in the face of enough uproar, so O'Hara’s family created a petition for exactly that purpose. If you wouldn't feel ok taking a dog away from a young girl who is confined to a wheel chair, fining her family if they objected, and then killing the dog, you can sign that petition here.

Hopefully, the ordinance will be overturned. I think it will, thanks to the media attention and public outcry over this patently ridiculous law. But breed-specific legislation like this is not an isolated incident, and it is not ok. Learn more about this cruel abuse of animals—and liberty—here.


Hank, a well-loved family pet from Northern Ireland, has been seized after an anonymous member of the public reported him. Not for his behaviour, but for his appearance. He has been seized under the ridiculous law that is BSL. His owners are trying to raise enough money to prove that Hank is not a dangerous dog and should not be euthanised.

To whoever reported Hank to the council for “looking like a pitbull” - thank you so much for not even giving me the courtesy of speaking to me first. Your call has put my baby into the care of the council who took the time to explain to me that Hank will have his dietary needs met right up until they kill him for how he looks. And thanks to the dog warden herself who explained that although he isn’t dangerous he still has to die and that no, I cannot see him before they kill him. The only recourse I have is to take the council to court to fight the legally mandated destruction order. The real kick in the balls is that they will not allow me to see him, not once, not even to say goodbye.

On the 14th July 2016, Hank was taken from my home by 8 police officers and 4 dog wardens. He has been condemned to die because he looks like a pitbull. Our only legal recourse is to fight this in the courts. We will do anything to save Hank, he is a much loved part of our family. He is more than a pet. The best chance at returning Hank to his home is to prove that he is not dangerous, this is costly due to the need for professional opinion. Any help you can give will be warmly accepted. Joanne and I are forever indebted to the generosity we have been shown so far.

Please reblog and donate if possible by clicking the link above!


The measure that took effect Tuesday changes current law that defines a vicious dog as one that has seriously hurt or killed a person, killed another dog or is among those commonly known as pit bulls. The new measure removes the reference to pit bulls from the definition and requires evidence to prove pit bulls are actually vicious. (source)

Great job, Ohio!
Montreal target of boycotts, petitions and celebrity takedowns over pit bull ban
Singer Cyndi Lauper calls ban 'sad day for Montreal'

Montreal’s new pit bull ban is being condemned by animal-rights activists across North America, with petitions against the policy garnering thousands of signatures and celebrities voicing their concern.

Others are threatening to boycott the city altogether until the ban is overturned.

“Make a commitment that you will not visit Montreal or contribute any money to their economy, until they repeal this ban,” reads the text of a New York-based petition against the ban.

The petition has amassed more than 60,000 signatures.

“These are innocent dogs,” Amy Calmann, the New York resident who started the petition, told CBC Montreal’s Homerun. “They have done absolutely nothing and we want the mayor to understand how serious we are, that the U.S. is standing by Montreal.”

“We are there to do whatever we can to help.”

Another petition, supported by organizations across Canada, has collected more than 150,000 signatures.

“As long as you have breed-specific language in your laws, we will boycott the city of Montreal,” that petition reads.

Continue Reading.

Yesterday (September 27, 2016), Montreal’s city council officially passed a by-law targeting specific dog breeds (mostly pit bulls, but also bully-type breeds AND any dog that has pit bull-like features). This decision was poorly made and will without a doubt be poorly executed. 

Montreal’s SPCA has already filed legal action against the city because such a law goes against Quebec’s animal welfare laws. In addition, they created this super informative site with facts on dog bites, why breed-specific legislations never work, and even suggestions on how to actually make everyone in a community feel safe.

Please take the time out of your day to sign the petition found on this website. Your support means the world to the SPCA and Montrealers who have pit bulls (myself included). 

Senate Says Cities Can’t Ban Pit Bulls, Other Dog Breeds

[Sen. Ellis] Black says a dog should be judged by its behavior alone.

“You can find vicious dogs among just about every breed, and no one particular breed is exempt from having dogs that have good dispositions and very faithful companions,” says Black, ‘‘and it would be unjust to condemn these dogs just simply because of their genetics.”

Props, Georgia!
Toronto MPP introduces bill to Scrap Ontario's Pitbull Ban
“What you do is go after the owner, obviously it’s the owner’s fault.” says Dinovo. “They’re responsible for the behavior of their dog.”
By Don Mitchell

NDP Parkdale—High Park MPP Cheri Dinovo announced her bill to repeal the legislation at Queen’s Park on Thursday.

The original bill went into effect in 2005 and Dinovo told the John Oakley Show that the overhaul is needed.

“It’s stupid, It’s cruel and it doesn’t work.” said Dinovo. “Just about everywhere in the world that has had a breed specific ban on “pitbulls” has repealed it, ’cause it doesn’t work.”

The MPP went on to say the way the bill is constituted, it describes a lot of different breeds that are not pitbulls and put the onus on the owner to prove their dog is not a pitbull.

She also says many jurisdictions in North America and Europe that brought in breed specific bans have repealed them and that virtually all veterinarians and animal advocates are against banning dogs by breed.

Donovo says we should follow Calgary’s lead when it comes to dog ownership, using increased fines, which she says leads to fewer cases of dog bites.

“What you do is go after the owner, obviously it’s the owner’s fault.” says Dinovo. “They’re responsible for the behavior of their dog.”
Pit bull advocates pull out all the stops to halt Montreal’s proposed ban
Debate in the city has been heated, with fans of the breed arguing that combining education, regulations and strict penalties for irresponsible owners is a better strategy.

As Montreal’s city council prepares to vote on a contentious pit bull ban, advocates for the breed have been pulling out all the stops to convince politicians and the public their pets don’t pose an inherent risk.

Councillors are expected to vote Monday to adopt a bylaw that would ban new pit bulls from the city and place strict rules on existing dogs, including that they be sterilized and muzzled when in public.

The proposed ban was announced in June following a string of dog attacks, including a fatal one involving 55-year-old Christiane Vadnais, who was killed in her Montreal backyard.

The announcement outraged fans of the breed, who maintain that legislation targeting one type of dog isn’t effective in reducing dog bites.

Rather, they say a combination of education, regulations and strict penalties for irresponsible owners is the best strategy to ensure public safety.

The public debate has been heated, with dog lovers protesting in the city’s streets and lining up at city council meetings to repeatedly question Mayor Denis Coderre on the issue.

The Montreal SPCA has said it will stop providing dog services to the city if the ban is adopted.

“We’re not going to participate in euthanizing of thousands of healthy dogs,” executive director Benoit Tremblay said. “It’s against our values.”

Continue Reading.


UPDATE: LENNOX HAS BEEN PUT TO SLEEP - “Despite previous assurances otherwise, we have been denied the opportunity to say goodbye. We have also been told that we cannot collect his body and bring Len home. We have been informed however that we will receive "some” ashes in the mail.“

Despite worldwide opposition and multiple offers by reputable dog trainers to transfer Lennox to the U.S., the Belfast City Council has euthanized Lennox. I put off writing this post as long as possible in the hopes that Lennox would be spared at the last minute – unfortunately, Lennox is gone.  

I have nothing but love and respect for the people of Northern Ireland.  

As for the Belfast City Council, I have nothing but disdain – You took Lennox away from his home, separated him from his family for two years, ignored reasonable solutions that were presented to you, denied the family the opportunity to say goodbye, and killed him. You disgust me.

(For the full backstory please click here)
Montreal pit bull ban challenged in court as discriminatory and unreasonable
The SPCA is asking Quebec Superior Court to suspend parts of the law until the case can be argued on its merits.

Montreal’s controversial pit bull bylaw is being challenged in court today as it comes into effect.

The SPCA is asking Quebec Superior Court to suspend parts of the law until the case can be argued on its merits.

The Montreal branch of the animal rights organization says some of the provisions in the bylaw are discriminatory and unreasonable.

Justice Louis J. Gouin told lawyers today he also has certain concerns about the definition of “pit bull-type dogs” and how to properly recognize them.

City council voted in favour last week of adopting the bylaw despite significant opposition to the ban.

The bylaw prohibits new pit bulls on the territory of Montreal and places restrictions on those currently here.

Gouin says he expects to render a decision later this week.

Help Save Lennox the Dog!

On the 19th May 2010, Lennox, a now six year old American Bull dog Labrador cross was wrongfully seized by Belfast City Council Dog Wardens from his loving family home where he lives with his owners and his kennel mates. Lennox committed no crime nor did any member of the public complain about him.