After Dog Attack Kills Woman, Montreal Bans Pit Bulls

Even though officials aren't sure the dog was a pit bull
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 28, 2016 12:09 PM CDT
In 'Contentious' Move, Montreal Bans Pit Bulls
File photo of a pit bull.   (Mark Pynes/ via AP)

Starting Monday, residents of Montreal will no longer be allowed to own pit bulls "or pit bull-type dogs," the CBC reports. The controversial ban was put in place Tuesday by the city council, three months after a 55-year-old Montreal woman was killed by a neighbor's dog that entered her backyard (possibly through a hole in the fence, the Montreal Gazette reported at the time). The dog, which was shot and killed by police after it attacked one of the officers who responded to the scene, was originally reported to be a pit bull; however, authorities are still awaiting official DNA test results to determine the dog's breed, and the Humane Society claimed in July that the dog was registered as a boxer.

The vote came down 37-23 in favor of the ban, which had been decried by animal rights advocates and protested by pit bull supporters. "This is very serious. It's not an object, it's not the right to seize a car—it's a right to take a member of your family and that should not (be) permitted," says one lawyer. But a city executive committee member argues, "A Montreal woman died because someone didn't have control of their dog." The ban will also include Staffordshire terriers, any mix including a banned breed, and "any dog that presents characteristics of one of those breeds." However, current owners can apply for a permit to be allowed to keep their pets. Animal rights advocates plan to launch a court challenge. (More pit bull stories.)

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