Animal advocates in Lethbridge are reacting to a controversial decision made on the other side of the country.
On Tuesday, Montreal’s city council voted in favour of a bylaw banning new pit bulls and other so-called “dangerous breeds” from living within city limits. The ban also includes strict regulations on those already in the city.
“It’s just a real kick to the stomach and I can’t imagine living there,” Natalie Kent of Prairie Pit Bull Rescue said. “We pretty much just went numb right away, because as much as we thought it was going to happen – we didn’t think it was going to happen.”
The ban prevents any resident in Montreal from purchasing a pit bull or similar breed. For such dogs already living in Montreal, they must be sterilized, micro-chipped and muzzled while out in public.
Kent said it’s disheartening to see certain breeds being unfairly targeted.
“This dog right here has everything that every other dog has,” Kent said while looking at a dog that would be impacted by the bylaw. “There isn’t an instinct to do anything negative.
“He thrives just like any other dog will in a loving, caring home.”
Other animal rescues in Lethbridge said they were also shocked by the ban as they continue to battle what they call the stigma of so-called “aggressive” breeds.
“It doesn’t matter what breed you are, prejudice just doesn’t bode well for anyone,” Heather Mueller, board president for the Lethbridge and District Humane Society, said. “That can be in terms of nobody wanting to adopt because it’s a ‘vicious breed’ or people adopting and then coming into issues in the community because they’ve adopted a ‘vicious breed.'”
While the fight continues in Montreal, Kent stressed that these dog breeds are simply that – just dogs.
“They’re dogs! They’re normal, regular, weird dogs. “
If you would like to help the Prarie Pit Bull Rescue, they are hosting a fundraising “Pit Ball” night at the Township Bar & Grill in Calgary on Oct. 15 at 6:30 p.m.