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
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.”
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.
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.
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] [/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] [/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] [/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] [/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] [/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]