The 2nd annual Montreal Dog Fest is attracting hundreds of people and their four legged friends to the Lachine Canal this weekend.
“This is basically ‘indulge your dog day.'” said organizer Fabio Broccoli. “We have everything for dogs: vendors, food, groomers, trainers. Dogs go crazy here and have such a good time.”
High end doggy beauty products, organic dog popsicles, dog clothing and much more can be bought on site. There is also plenty of space for dogs to play, and an obstacle course people can run their dogs through.
“This is amazing. I mean, if I could live in a doggy world I would,” said attendee Sabrina Johnston while holding her fluffy white companion.
But amid all the fun and games, some were also there to speak out against the the city’s pit bull ban and the province’s own breed-banning legislation, Bill 128.
Animal welfare groups and other organizations were there to denounce breed-specific legislation, and a pit bull kissing booth was set up to send a message.
“To show that pit bulls and pit bull-type dogs are not vicious or dangerous dogs. If they have good owners who take care of their dogs they won’t be aggressive,” said Megane Bigot of Protection Pit Bulls.
Well-known lawyer Anne-France Goldwater came to answer questions about breed-specific legislation. She was still fuming over the news that over 500 Montrealers were told they had to get rid of their dogs within four weeks or face consequences.
“If you’re a law-abiding citizen and you register your dog and paid your $150 to the city, you’re entitled to a break. It could be their mistake or it could be yours. Do not give up your dog, do not let municipal inspectors into your house,” she told Global News.
Municipal animal inspectors came to the dog festival to have a look around, but rules forcing pit bulls to be muzzled and harnessed in public didn’t apply at a private event.
“They came, they passed by. They didn’t even know we were having an event and they loved it,” Broccoli said. “They said they were not here giving tickets or anything, they were just checking it out but said they think it’s a great event and they actually congratulated us.”
Organizers say the event is not trying to make a political statement, just providing education.
The festival continues on Sunday.