BROSSARD – The city of Brossard has announced a ban on pit bull-type dogs.
No new pit bulls are allowed in Brossard but people who already own one will get to keep their dogs, under strict guidelines.
The ban is one of 20 measures aimed at protecting the public from dangerous dogs.
There are seven registered pit bulls in Brossard, but the city believes there may be others.
The owners of pit bull-type dogs will have to register their pets with the city. They will also have to prove they’ve gotten obedience training and get insurance of up to $250,000.
The dogs will also need a micro chip, have to be neutered and they won’t be allowed in dog parks and when in public, they must wear a muzzle.
“These dogs being aggressive, if they’re mixed with other dogs, there could be incidents we don’t want to happen,” said Eric Boutin, Brossard’s planning director.
The city has been working on these new rules since an eight-year-old girl, Vanessa Biron, was mauled by a pit bull-type dog last fall at a Brossard park.
The girl was left with severe scars on her face.
Her father, Bernard Biron, said he was happy with the results although he would now like to see something done at the provincial level.
“As soon as a province-wide ban can be enabled, I think we’re gonna save lives and that’s going to save tragic accidents,” Biron said.
“I think children have the right to play without fear a savage beast will jump on their throats, not only in Brossard but all over Quebec.”
“According to studies consulted by the GTRAC (the Groupe de Travail sur le Réglement des Animaux de Compagnie), pit bulls are responsible for the vast majority of documented serious attacks,” Brossard Mayor Paul Leduc said.
The mayor said the city will hire an inspector to enforce the bylaw and increase vigilance.
There’s no word yet on the dollar amount of fines but Leduc said they will be “severe.”
“If pit bulls are found on the territory, they are not licensed and they’re not protected with the grandfathered clause, they could be seized. But that’s an ultimate measure,” Boutin added.
The Montreal SPCA says this approach is too expensive for both the owner and the city and that it’s ultimately not effective.
“We need to focus on preventative measures ensuring dogs don’t become aggressive in the first place,” said Alana Devine, a Montreal SPCA spokesperson.
“That means addressing sterilization, addressing breeding, addressing sale of animals.”
The bylaw will be implemented in the next couple of weeks but owners of pit bull-type dogs will have until Sept. 1 to comply with the rules.