Montreal SPCA to end dog services over proposed pit bull ban
The Montreal SPCA says it will withdraw its canine services if the city goes through with a bylaw banning pit bull-type dogs.
The animal welfare group issued a news release Wednesday saying it met with partners from 12 boroughs and municipalities on the island and stated that if the ban is adopted, it will eliminate dogs from its animal services contracts.
“If we don’t stick to our values and mission, then who are we as an organization?” said SPCA Montreal director of animal advocacy Alanna Devine. “These dogs – we cannot put them to death. That is against our core mission and values. What we have been saying from the get go is we want safer communities. We’ve been putting solutions out there. We’ve tried to sit down with the City of Montreal. There are ways to reduce dog bites to address the fears in the community.”
Devine said those other measures include education and stricter enforcement of current animal welfare laws and bylaws in place.
"We know the majority of dog bites come from off-leash dogs," she said.
The Montreal SPCA would end dog control services in early 2017, but would continue to manage all other animals.
The SPCA has been vocal in its opposition to the proposed bylaw the city hopes to implement that would ban pit bull-type dogs from the city.
“Like any organization, we need to act in a way that respects our fundamental values. Contributing to a system that would ultimately result in the euthanasia of healthy animals that do not pose any danger is a step that the Montreal SPCA cannot take,” said SPCA executive director Benoit Tremblay in the news release, which stated the non-profit group currently takes in some 2,000 abandoned or stray dogs every year.
“If it had been in effect this year, the bylaw would have made it impossible to find adoptive homes for between 300 and 700 perfectly healthy, behaviourally sound dogs. As we know, animals that cannot be adopted must too often be euthanized,” said Montreal SPCA head veterinarian Dr. Gabrielle Carrière.
In a statement, Montreal’s executive committee member in charge of public security, Anie Samson, said the administration intends to go ahead with the ban regardless of the SPCA’s actions. Samson said they decided on the ban for the safety of Montrealers.
Montreal's city council will vote on the dog bylaw on Sept. 26.