Chateauguay proposes revoking ban on pit bulls
Chateauguay’s ban on pit bull type dogs could soon be over.
The city has been working on a new bylaw for several years, and has now concluded it wants to remove its decades-old ban.
In council on Monday the city proposed a new bylaw that would focus on individual dogs rather than breeds.
One man who risked losing his dog is happy with the change.
"This is the right way to go, this is the global trend in animal control bylaws," said Hugh McGurnaghan.
The proposed bylaw focuses on pet owners and complaints about individual dogs since the city now feels that breed specific legislation does not work and is difficult to enforce.
"When we were in front of a judge to make it respected we were more often losing than winning our case," said Mayor Nathalie Simon.
If the bylaw is passed, a veterinarian will evaluate a dog following a complaint about aggressive behaviour, and owners of dogs considered dangerous could face a fine of up to $2000 or have their dog seized or euthanized.
It’s a decision Chateauguay has gone back and forth on for the past few years.
Now that overturning the ban seems imminent - animal rights activists say they are finally getting what they’ve been fighting for.
"Now the onus is going to be on responsible ownership rather than a breed. and it's a lot more secure for all the citizens as well," said animal rights activist Susan MacKasey.
But one man at council on Monday says the proposed bylaw is only opening the door for more pit bulls in Chateauguay.
"We don’t need them here," he shouted.
The new proposed bylaw comes months after Montreal’s ban on pit bull-type dogs took effect, a bylaw passed after a woman was mauled to death by a dog sparking an ongoing controversial debate.
The proposed bylaw flies in the face of Bill 128, the new provincial legislation that would ban pit bull-type dogs and other so-called dangerous breeds working its way through the National Assembly.
Even if that passes, however, Chateauguay's bylaw could still have value, because anyone in Chateauguay who has a pit bull now would be able to register them and be grandfathered in.
Chateauguay city council is set to vote on the bylaw Aug. 21.