Since the introduction of the new anti-pitbull law, the SPCA Montreal has transferred 134 dogs from Quebec to other Canadian provinces. And even in the United States.
While movement was once restricted to exotic animals or farm animals, since October 1, the transfer of dogs from outside the province has become a common practice for the Montreal organization.
Dogs are welcomed into partner shelters in Nova Scotia, Alberta and Vermont, who then arrange for an adoption family.
“This is a reaction to the new legislation,” explains Marie-Noël Gingras, who works for the animal welfare department of the SPCA Montréal.
Since the new regulation came into effect last fall, any dog weighing 10 kilograms or more – no matter the breed – can not be adopted at the SPCA Montreal by residents of the island. Some animals are transferred outside Quebec.
“We do not classify dogs according to their breed, but their weight,” adds Ms. Gingras.
Recall that pitbulls are not a race in themselves. The term includes three different races : the American pitbull terrier, the American Staffordshire terrier, and the Staffordshire bull terrier.
The SPCA has denounced since last year the new law that targets the breeds listed above, as well as dogs with the same morphological characteristics.
Of the 134 dogs transferred by the SPCA Montreal, “some may have morphological characteristics” of the pitbull according to the criteria established by the City of Montreal, Marie-Noël Gingras points out, adding nevertheless that the visual identification of the dogs is not reliable .
From Quebec to Vermont
Two SPCA pitbulls found refuge at the Humane Society of Chittenden County, Vermont, USA. Trinity and Big Daddy, who weigh about 40 pounds each, are ready to be adopted.
The Vermont shelter did not hesitate to become a partner of the SPCA Montréal in the wake of the adoption of the new regulation. Devon Krusko, director of the Humane Society, describes it as “discouraging”.
These are good dogs that are left without option, and it makes us sad.
Devon Krusko, Director of the Humane Society
In the midst of the relocation, the SPCA Montréal expects to accommodate many dogs banned under the new regulations. The organization receives 600 animals per month, but this number could triple in the summer.
Prior to the new legislation, SPCA Montréal itself hosted 50 to 70 pit bulls a year from Ontario, which in 2005 became the first province in Canada to ban these dogs on its territory.