Dogs are a human’s best friend.
They are loving, loyal, and affectionate companions who ask for little but give so much. But not all dogs have happy homes and not all are seen as the kind creatures that they are.
“Bully breeds” is a term that’s developed to describe breed of dogs that are associated with violence and strength. Dogs like pit bulls and Rottweilers have bad reputations for being dangerous and incompatible with humans.
Some of this attention is because these breeds of dogs have been abused by humans and have been taught to bite and attack. Unfortunately, this has cast a shadow over these dogs as a group, and that’s resulted in some pretty unfortunate consequences, some of which have been legitimized by law.
In late 2016, the city of Montreal passed legislation to ban pit bulls throughout the city.
While this law only includes one breed of dog, pit bulls are largely characterized as several different mixes of dogs, including Staffordshire Terriers and Bull Terriers.
This means that any dog that’s considered a pit bull, which is up for interpretation based on the mix of the dog, is banned from the city limits. This went into effect on October 3, 2016.
According to The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals , bans like these exist to decrease the number of incidences where dogs cause harm to humans or other animals.
The organization states that “The problem of dangerous dogs will not be remedied by the ‘quick fix’ of breed-specific laws — or, as they should truly be called, breed-discriminatory laws.”
What these laws fail to take into account is how humans help socialize dogs and fail to provide health and happy living environments for them. Many dogs that are violent are taught to be that way by their owners.
A less discriminatory solution might be to track aggressive dogs and provide them with safe homes and trainings to rehabilitate them and change their behaviors.
Bully breed dogs are often left homeless and can be difficult to adopt because of their reputation. People don’t want to take in a dog they believe to be aggressive. Legislation like this impacts dogs that have never been dangerous and would, in fact, make a wonderful addition to any family. Many are euthanized as a result of these negative beliefs.
Dennis Coderre, the mayor of Montreal, has stated that “My duty as mayor of Montreal is making sure I am working for all Montrealers. And I am there to make sure they feel safe and that they are safe.” But many people disagree with this new law.
The Montreal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is petitioning the government. Pit bulls can be sweet and gentle animals—the actions of a few have changed the fate of hundreds of dogs. The law is simply unjust for so many.
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