Montreal’s new pit bull ban puts thousands of pups on death row in the city’s shelters

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NEW YORK — It’s a controversial ruling in Montreal that has some dog owners outraged.

A law was passed this week that will ban residents from adopting pit bulls, also adding restrictions to those who already own them.

Despite the outcry, it just wasn’t enough to convince the city who overwhelmingly voted to pass the new law.

The deadly mauling of a woman earlier this year ignited the call for regulation.

Restrictions for those who already own a pit 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.

“It’s opening up a door to a very uncomfortable place,” Robert Haussman, a certified professional dog trainer based in Brooklyn, told PIX11 News.

According to Haussman, the Montreal ban will do more damage than good.

“You’re diverting resources from the real problem,” he explained. “If you have the opportunity to take those resources to educate the public on how to properly bring up a dog, how to properly raise a puppy [instead], that would be much more progressive.“

Haussman, whose majority of clients have pit bulls, said the breed doesn’t determine the dog’s bad temperament.

It’s more about if the dog has a bad owner.

“If you have an under-socialized golden retriever, lab, Chihuahua, whatever — it’s going to be a pain in the neck.”

Breed-specific legislation similar to the one that passed in Montreal is common across the U.S.

While no statewide ban on pit bulls exists in New York, the New York City Housing Authority does ban pits as well as Dobermans and Rottweilers in any housing under its control.

Several efforts are now underway to save those pit bulls from being euthanized in Montreal shelters including an online petition.

Local rescues here in the tri-state are also doing their part before October 3 — when the ban goes into place.

Find out how you can help.

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