Today was going to be my first Wordless Wednesday post. You know, just a picture and a caption. Something light and fun and easy but after what happened yesterday in Montreal, Quebec, I have too many words. 

Devastating BSL Passes

For those of you who don’t know, on September 27, 2016 the Montreal, Quebec council voted 37-23 to pass some of the most restrictive and, frankly, socio-economically targeted breed specific legislation (BSL) on the books. 


Bully. from filmmaker Justin Pelletier of  Stray Matter featuring Emily Clare of Ontario Pit Bull Co-Op and her pit bull, Bella. If you are wondering what kind of impact BSL has, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Imagine if this was your beloved dog.

Montreal, Quebec council voted 37-23 to pass devastating BSL. What you can do. Click To Tweet


Montreal Pit Bull Ban

This haunting and powerful image sums up the events in Montreal. It was created and generously shared by Montreal photographer, Daniel Francis Haber. Please visit his website and follow him on Instagram at @dfh to thank him for this incredible image. 

Despite hearing from reputable groups such as the Montreal SPCA and the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior, being presented with actual scientific research and studies from a variety of rescue groups and shelters, and major outcry from the global community, those on the council voting in favor of this legislation, relied on some of the most notorious anti-pit bull sources and pseudo science and embraced stereotypes and misinformation to pass the horrendous bylaw. In short, the council followed fear instead of reason and passed legislation that will result in the deaths of literally (yes, literally) thousands of dogs just because those dogs have blocky heads and look like “pit bulls.” 

Montreal Pit Bull Ban

Piper Photo Credit: Emily Tronetti/Heal to Howl

The Montreal Pit Bull Bylaw reinforces the misconception that pit bull owners must be criminally inclined by requiring anyone with a pit bull to undergo a criminal background check. Seriously?!? The new legislation requires anyone with a Pit Bull type dog, regardless of past behavior, must be muzzled when outside their home and also places additional financial burdens on pit bull owners who will now require special registrations and licensing.

Montreal Pit Bull Ban

Etta Photo Credit: Jamie Ramos

Most horrifically, The Dodo reported that Alanna Devine, of the Montreal SPCA stated, “For dogs that don’t have an ‘owner’ on the day of the passing of the legislation, the way the legislation is drafted, the dogs have to be euthanized.” This is despicable! This is condemning blocky headed dogs to death based solely on how they look. No DNA testing. No behavioral evaluation. Just a subjective opinion based on visual breed identification (these are incorrect 50-80% of the time).

The Montreal SPCA has stated that it will cease offering dog services to the city while the ban is in effect and the Quebec Order of Veterinarians has told members “that they have the right to refuse to euthanize healthy dogs, even if owners are found to have violated municipal rules”  based on professional, moral and ethical grounds.

Photo credit: Ashley Deaner

Piper Photo credit: Ashley Deaner Photography

Time and time again, breed specific legislation has been shown to DO NOTHING TO IMPROVE COMMUNITY SAFETY. In fact, some areas have seen an increase, even if slight, in dog bites following the implementation of breed specific legislation. I would argue that BSL forces the allocation of precious resources towards enforcing and managing these laws and makes communities less safe by creating a false belief that only the dogs targeted in the legislation are dangerous. Additionally, it means that less time, energy and money are going towards community outreach and education.

If you are outraged and saddened by this turn of events, don’t be silent. There is so much you can do:

[one_fifth] Blank4 [/one_fifth][four_fifth_last]PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION Even though the vote has happened, add your name to the petition to let the council know that you do not support this devastating move.[/four_fifth_last]

[one_fifth] Blank4[/one_fifth][four_fifth_last]Email the council members and let them know that you support Montreal’s animal welfare and Pit Bull Advocacy community (Visit the Justice for Bullies Facebook page for the email addresses). Tell them you will not be bringing your tourist dollars to Montreal unless this ban is overturned.[/four_fifth_last]

[one_fifth] Blank4[/one_fifth][four_fifth_last]Work with rescues and shelters in the northeast of the US and elsewhere who are coordinating with groups in Montreal to pull dogs for rescue. Volunteer to transport, foster, adopt or all of the above.

The Mr. Mo Project out of New York is working to rescue pit bulls currently in Montreal shelters. These dogs must be pulled before October 3rd so if you are interested in fostering or adopting one of the Montreal dogs, please fill out an application immediately. According to their website, it doesn’t matter where you live as long as there is no BSL. 

If you are available to help transport, visit Freedom Drivers Animal Rescue Transport 

Support Prairie Pit Bull Rescue’s efforts[/four_fifth_last]

[one_fifth] Blank4[/one_fifth][four_fifth_last]Be vocal on social media. Share posts, retweet, like and share Facebook posts, follow along on Instagram. Let our friends in Montreal know that they are not in this fight alone by helping to spread the word to #boycottmontreal[/four_fifth_last]

[one_fifth] Blank4[/one_fifth][four_fifth_last]Let the Montreal SPCA know that you support their refusal to offer dog services while the ban is in place and support their Safer, Kinder Communities initiative. [/four_fifth_last]


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  1. Karyn Kagiyama September 28, 2016 at 2:42 pm - Reply

    Thanks for bringing this to attention and offering ways that we can get involved. From CBC News posted today, “Tomorrow Montreal’s SPCA will ask the Quebec Superior Court to review the city’s new animal control bylaw in a bid to have the sections targeting “pit bull-type dogs” declared illegal.” This will not help with the other sections that are irresponsible, over-reaching, and fear-driven, though.

    • SimonDawg September 28, 2016 at 3:03 pm - Reply

      It looks like the Montreal SPCA filed a lawsuit today seeking judicial review and a stay “first off, to suspend the application of the sections of the by-law targeting “Pit bull type dogs” in order to then have these sections declared illegal, null, and without effect by Quebec’s Superior Court.” This could get interesting.

      • Tenacious Little Terrier September 30, 2016 at 4:00 pm - Reply

        Yes, it will be interesting to see how the lawsuit goes. I assume it will be a slow process though and dogs’ lives will be at stake in the meantime.

        • SimonDawg October 4, 2016 at 9:02 am - Reply

          A judge did grant an injunction to review all the material. Hopefully, someone sent the judge a copy of Bronwen’s book and some actual science-based reports to read.

  2. Beth September 28, 2016 at 5:51 pm - Reply

    Thank you so much for writing this post! I started one this morning, but I knew I was missing too many pieces. I have already signed the petition and written the mayor. I will share this post and hope that the council reverses their decision and the SPCA’s lawsuit is effective.
    Beth recently posted…Engaging Tails: Zoe the Retriever MixMy Profile

    • SimonDawg October 2, 2016 at 8:25 pm - Reply

      The amount of information is overwhelming and it is so hard to know what to say or do. I too am hoping that the lawsuit filed by the Montreal SPCA is successful in getting an injunction stopping this terrible piece of legislation from being implemented. Thank you for signing the petition. Sadly, I don’t think this is the last opportunity we will have to write about BSL.

  3. Golden Daily Scoop September 30, 2016 at 8:59 am - Reply

    This is heartbreaking! We are keeping out paws crossed that somehow this is overturned. I’m sure this is going to be a long fight and I’m so happy to see so many bloggers and social media outlets being and staying vocal!
    Golden Daily Scoop recently posted…Make Your Dog Shine with Isle of DogsMy Profile

    • SimonDawg October 2, 2016 at 8:27 pm - Reply

      Agreed on all counts! The best thing we can do is keep global pressure on Montreal and keep posting, sharing and spreading the word that BSL is not effective and we need to put resources into providing community outreach and education and into making training affordable and accessible.

  4. Rachel September 30, 2016 at 9:39 am - Reply

    This is very, very sad. It’s hard to believe that things like this continue to happen. Off to sign the petition.

  5. Nichole September 30, 2016 at 11:39 am - Reply

    Thanks for all you are doing to spread awareness about this disgusting, inhumane legislation.

    • SimonDawg October 4, 2016 at 9:26 am - Reply

      Thanks for helping to spread the word on social media!

  6. Rochelle September 30, 2016 at 6:17 pm - Reply

    This whole situation is so tragic and sad. Thank you so much for sharing such a detailed, informative post. The fact that dog bites have been increasing in some areas since the ban should be a BIG OBVIOUS sign that BSL is clearly not the solution.

    • SimonDawg October 4, 2016 at 9:29 am - Reply

      There is so much actual science about how BSL does not work that it is truly mind boggling to see politicians relying on myths and misinformation from the anti pit bull crowd.

  7. Pawesome Cats October 1, 2016 at 4:41 am - Reply

    Great post! I can’t believe Montreal have passed this law – hopefully people power can result in it being overturned – thank you for raising awareness.

    • SimonDawg October 4, 2016 at 9:32 am - Reply

      Thanks! I am hopeful that continued pressure from animal welfare and pit bull advocacy groups will have a positive impact in repealing this legislation.

  8. Malaika Fernandes October 1, 2016 at 6:09 am - Reply

    Thank you for raising awareness through this post. My heart bleeds when i see legislation’s like this enforced against a particular breed. After all there really arent bad dogs just bad owners that haven’t bothered training or socializing their dog
    Malaika Fernandes recently posted…First Aid Kit List For PetsMy Profile

    • SimonDawg October 4, 2016 at 9:34 am - Reply

      We ave so much more to do to change the conversation. We need to look at ways that we can improve access to educational resources for communities and provide tools for training as well as increasing access to veterinary care.

  9. Hindy Pearson October 1, 2016 at 6:51 am - Reply

    Every time I read something like this, it sickens me to my core. It’s an act I am incapable of understanding, and I blame the media. Whenever there’s a case of a dog biting a kid, the media jumps right on the bandwagon and turns it into a witch hunt. Will they ever report how the dog was treated? Do they ever talk about human responsibility? Never. Then mindless politicians condemn every dog that looks a certain way to death. I want to scream when this happens, it’s appalling. I have signed the petition and been circulating it. Just because it’s happened doesn’t mean it can’t be reversed. Please speak out, and encourage others to do the same. Every “pit bull” doesn’t have to pay the price for an untrained dog who had the misfortune of living with the ignorant.

    • SimonDawg October 4, 2016 at 9:01 am - Reply

      Agreed! And what’s most disturbing about the Montreal situation is that the dog that sparked the movement to pass this hideous piece of legislation turned out to be a Boxer mix (according to the DNA results) not a Pit Bull mix. It’s disturbing and it’s such lazy, ill-informed legislation that results in unnecessary deaths. We still have much work to do.

  10. Ruth Epstein October 2, 2016 at 1:40 pm - Reply

    Have been sharing non stop on my pages as this makes me sick inside – what next ? who next ?
    Praying a solution comes soon

    • SimonDawg October 4, 2016 at 8:58 am - Reply

      Thank you so much for continuing to help spread the word about what is happening. The good news is that a judge granted a temporary injunction to review the information so I am hopeful that the legislation will be overturned. Unfortunately, we have a long way to go before BSL is overturned worldwide.

  11. Dash Kitten Crew October 2, 2016 at 2:38 pm - Reply

    The world is going MAD. BSL legislation in Montreal, murderous behind the doors cat plotting in Hawaii., what the hell is the matter with people. This goes much deeper than a few sweet mis-identified dogs, and Hawaii killing its ferals. This is people being and acting in the most spiteful and evil way imaginable.

    We. Will. Act.
    Dash Kitten Crew recently posted…The Dusty Cat Gotcher Day SelfieMy Profile

    • SimonDawg October 2, 2016 at 8:21 pm - Reply

      Indeed the world has gone haywire. I was not aware of the feral cat situation in Hawaii. Thank you for bringing it to my attention. We have so much work to do when it comes to animal welfare work.

  12. Maureen October 2, 2016 at 5:56 pm - Reply

    Wonderful post… it is so hard to read though. Just the thought of all this madness makes me physically ill. Kudos to you for writing, sharing and getting the work out!
    Maureen recently posted…Doing Pink Wrong! Download Now!My Profile

    • SimonDawg October 2, 2016 at 8:17 pm - Reply

      Thanks for reading even though it really is tough to get through. It’s heart breaking, maddening and so misguided. I am hopeful that we will see the repeal of all BSL worldwide in the coming years and then we can focus on community outreach, education and accessible resources.

  13. Tonya Wilhelm October 2, 2016 at 6:15 pm - Reply

    Oh, wow. Keep up the work. It’s just so devastating that something like this even exists today. Truly blows my mind.
    Tonya Wilhelm recently posted…Best Natural Flea Treatment for Dogs Reviews: 0Bug!ZoneMy Profile

  14. agirlandherhusky October 2, 2016 at 6:58 pm - Reply

    This is so awful. I feel like people who are against pit bulls have never actually met one. Every pit bull I have ever met have been super sweet.
    agirlandherhusky recently posted…High Quality Dog Foods vs. Large Chain Store Dog FoodsMy Profile

    • SimonDawg October 2, 2016 at 8:14 pm - Reply

      Unfortunately, there is so much misinformation out there. Dogs are dogs and we just need to treat them all as individuals. It breaks my heart when people are scared of Piper before they even meet her.

  15. sadieandco October 2, 2016 at 7:26 pm - Reply

    Devastating news, indeed. I pray this ruling will be overturned.
    Thank you for putting me in touch with Emily.

    • SimonDawg October 2, 2016 at 8:12 pm - Reply

      I’m hopeful that the global outcry will put pressure on the Montreal council to overturn this devastating piece of legislation. I’m so glad you connected with Emily!

  16. Robin October 2, 2016 at 8:27 pm - Reply

    This ban is so sad. I hope that the local animal rights advocates will be successful in getting the city to overturn the ban. I am glad that they aren’t forcing private veterinarians to euthanize these dogs, though. One day people will have to learn that dogs do not have the sense of morality that we do and they can’t choose to follow or break a law. They simply respond to the training of their owners or the environment around them. Laws need to be directed at changing the behavior of humans, not dogs.

    • SimonDawg October 4, 2016 at 8:55 am - Reply

      I completely agree that the focus has to be on what is happening on the human end of the leash. If we can take the judgment out of the conversation and really look at ways to enhance outreach and education activities and provide affordable training, we can make such a huge difference. Simply sentencing dogs to death because of how they look says much more about the humans than the dogs.

  17. Valerie Desmet October 3, 2016 at 1:15 am - Reply

    This really made me cry on this Monday morning! So, any pit bull like breed in shelters will get euthanized?! For no reason whatsoever than his looks? Are you kidding me? This makes me so mad!!
    Valerie Desmet recently posted…‘Mary Had A Little Lamb’-Dog CostumeMy Profile

    • SimonDawg October 4, 2016 at 8:53 am - Reply

      You are not alone! There were a lot of tears here on Monday as well – and a lot of extra squishing on Piper 😉

  18. Sweet Purrfections October 3, 2016 at 6:21 pm - Reply

    It’s amazing and scary what fear can make people do.
    Sweet Purrfections recently posted…A New Look at an Old Favorite – MerrickMy Profile

    • SimonDawg October 4, 2016 at 8:52 am - Reply

      You are so right. Fear is, sadly, an incredibly powerful tool. My hope is that by continuing to gave the conversations and talk about the facts, we will see a shift in the dialogue.

  19. Annette @PetsAreFound October 3, 2016 at 10:36 pm - Reply

    Thanks so much for this constructive article. As I said on Twitter/Instagram, I really appreciate you putting this together and sharing it to my community is the least I can do.

    • SimonDawg October 4, 2016 at 8:50 am - Reply

      Thanks, Annette! I appreciate your sharing and your encouragement!

  20. Kim October 4, 2016 at 10:32 am - Reply

    It is just so heartbreaking

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