Montreal judge extends pit bull ban until further notice.
After Justice Gouin ordered an immediate suspension of Montreal's pit bull ban on Monday, city members and pit bull advocates everywhere anxiously waited for what would happen next.
Justice Gouin granted the Montreal SPCA's request for a temporary suspension on the grounds that certain elements of the bylaw referring to "pit bull-like dogs" are unclear. With the current wording, the law puts any large, short-haired, and big-headed dog at risk, regardless of breed or temperament.
Justice Gouin announced on Monday that the law which was set to go into affect that day would be put on a two-day hold while these concerns were addressed.
Over the past two days, Justice Gouin met with both city council representatives and members of the Montreal SPCA to discuss the controversial details surrounding the ban.
The SPCA argues that breed discrimination is an ineffective strategy toward achieving what Montreal mayor, Denis Coderre, calls a "preventative safety measure." Justice Gouin announced on Monday that he agrees that certain aspects of the ordinance raise "troubling questions."
Montreal seems to be following in the footsteps of their neighboring province of Ontario. Eleven years ago, Ontario adopted a similar piece of breed specific legislation. Clare Forndran of Dog Tales Rescue and Sanctuary in Ontario said in a press release:
"In 11 years, Ontario's breed-specific legislation has done nothing but tear apart families, dramatically reduce the quality for life of dogs living under the legislation, and, ultimately, take the lives of thousands of innocent dogs. The impact will be no different in Montreal."
While Mayor Coderre remains firm on his support toward the ban, Justice Gouin has found just cause to extend the previous suspension and give the SPCA time to launch a full legal appeal.
Sophie Gaillard, a lawyer for the Montreal SPCA said,
"The fight is far from being over, but we are very pleased with this first victory. We are particularly delighted to be able to continue finding adoptive homes for all of our healthy and behaviorally sound dogs, regardless of their physical appearance."
The current suspension is expected to last several months. In the meantime, Montreal pit bull owners and advocates throughout the city breath a sigh of relief. Pit bull adoptions continue uninterrupted, and pit bull owners face no legal requirement to muzzle their dogs in public, submit to criminal background checks, or purchase special permits.
The suspension gives hundreds of homeless pit bulls life-saving time to find forever homes.