Thousands of dogs and their owners were out in full force Sunday, equipped with a strong message for city hall.
“I think they should come out of their house and come see our dogs and see how they are,” said pit bull owner, Lynn Groulx. “Maybe, that might help change their ideas and how they see things.”
Last month, the city outlined its new pit bull ban.
It states that Montrealers will no longer be allowed to buy or adopt pit bull type dogs, while existing pit bull owners would be forced to comply with strict regulations.
That is something that doesn’t sit well with current pit bull owners.
“If the dog is good and he’s well behaved, well raised and he can listen – why wear a muzzle?” Groulx asked.
Montreal lawyer Anne-France Goldwater argues that the breed-specific legislation is flat out discrimination.
“We had enough with the Charter of Values during the last election campaign, I don’t understand now what political coinage Mayor Coderre finds in trying to turn half the dog population into criminals,” she said.
Opposition councillor Sterling Downey agrees.
He explained that this type of legislation is nothing new and in other cities, it’s proven to be ineffective.
“Who is the Coderre administration listening to?” he asked. “What are they basing these things on? The whole team, are they just rubber stamping and following their leader? Has anyone read any documentation?”
The ban and the changes to the city’s animal control bylaws come in the wake of a fatal dog attack on a 55-year-old woman in June.
Coderre and his team argue that the new regulations are designed to ensure the safety of the general public.
Organizers and protestors say this is just one of the many demos to come in the month of September.
Some say they’ll gather in front of city hall every Sunday until council meets to presumably pass the controversial bylaw on September 26.
Others say even if the bylaw passes, they’ll continue to protest.