Pit bulls now banned in Montreal

MONTREAL (CNN) – A controversial ruling in Montreal has some dog owners outraged.

Across from Montreal City Hall, dog owners spoke out  intent on defending a breed  labeled dangerous here.

“The only dog to be on the cover of times three times, Roosevelt had a pit bull, they were considered a nanny dog.”

Arguments that have failed to convince the mayor here.

“When 38 percent of all bites are coming from pit bulls there is a situation here,” Mayor Denis Coderre said.

A debate over a new bylaw to ban Montrealers from adopting pit bulls and to impose a series of rules on those who already own them.

Some of the proposals include keeping the dogs muzzled and on a short leash in public and a criminal background check for owners. .

Punishment for breaking the rules could  lead to an order to euthanize the dog. Enforcing those rules another hurdle. Veterinarians say they have no obligation to  put down healthy animals.

“Euthanasia was not intended for those dogs and the professional responsibility we have was not intended for this situation,” Veterinarian Judith Weissman said.

The debate  is emotional and has been raging since June when a Montreal woman was mauled to death in her own backyard by a neighbor’s dog.

Other jurisdictions have brought in bans including Ontario and Winnipeg.

Protesters say banning a breed is the wrong solution and that these are generally good dogs that can go wrong with bad owners.

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