Friday is the last day that owners of pit bull-types and dogs of similar breeds can register their pets with the city.
In addition, a bylaw requires that pit-bull-type dogs must wear a muzzle when outside, be supervised by an adult and must be kept on a leash no longer than 1.25 metres.
Despite the deadline, there’s still a lot of confusion about what to do and where to go, according to animal behaviourist and trainer Gaby Dufresne-Cyr.
“There are so many dogs that are not registered,” she said.
Part of the problem stems from the difficulty of identifying the breed of dog and the unwillingness of veterinarians to perform a genetic test.
“They won’t do these tests because it binds them. If something happens, then they can be sued, ” Dufresne Cyr said. “And it goes against their own order to do so because it’s very difficult to identify a breed.”
WATCH BELOW: Animal behaviourist and trainer Gaby Dufresne-Cyr joins Global’s Laura Casella to talk about the reaction to Montreal’s newly-enacted pit bull ban.
Dog owners who ignore the rules face fines starting at $300.
For a first offence that could pose a security risk, such as a dog bite, not having a leash or improperly registering a dog, fines start between $500 – $750.
Regardless of how people feel about the city’s animal control legislation, Dufresne Cyr said it’s important people comply with the new regulations.
“People really have to know that the city has the right through the bylaws to seize your dog and have it destroyed if necessary,” she said. “It’s a really serious matter.”
Last December, the Montreal SPCA said it would exclude dog services in its service contract with nine boroughs, because it doesn’t believe in euthanizing healthy dogs such as those which could be rounded up under the bylaw.
In a news release Thursday, the animal welfare agency said it would be temporarily extending its services to the boroughs it currently serves.
The SPCA said it was concerned with the well-being of animals targeted by the bylaw after the city failed to announce a decision after issuing a call to tender for an animal service provider.
Furthermore, the SPCA said it was willing to continue collaborating with boroughs who were ready to meet strict conditions.
Among those conditions is an agreement ensuring that the organization wont’ have to take any actions that go against its core values.
“Specifically, the agreement must ensure that the Montreal SPCA will not be required to provide any services or take any action related to the breed-specific provisions of Montreal’s new by-law. Thus, the Montreal SPCA will not be taking in, or euthanizing any dogs seized by the City simply because of the way they look,” the statement reads.
The SPCA is currently negotiating to sign new service contracts with five out of nine boroughs including Anjou, Lachine, Plateau-Mont-Royal, Côte-des-Neiges/Notre-Dame-de-Grâce and Rosemont-la-Petite-Patrie.