Montreal has voted to adopt a new animal control bylaw, with the proposed rule passing 49 to 11 in city council.
This comes two days after two young siblings in Montreal North were attacked by a dog in their home, causing serious injuries.
The bylaw focuses on the responsibilities of pet owners rather than specific breeds of animals and also imposes strict conditions on dogs that are considered potentially dangerous.
Under the bylaw, dog bites must be reported to city officials within 72 hours, and the dog has to be evaluated by the city. If the dog is deemed potentially dangerous, it must be sterilized, vaccinated and have a microchip inserted.
Owners of potentially dangerous dogs must be 18 or older, cannot have a criminal record and cannot have been convicted of animal cruelty.
“Somebody who feels not secure around a dog can call 311 and we will act, so more responsibility for the animal owners and also raising awareness and making sure that everybody feels safe in the city,” Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante said after the vote at city hall.
The administration is also calling for a province-wide registry of dangerous dogs in order to keep track of the animals.
Plante said a registry would mean information collected about pets and their owners would not be lost when someone moves within the province.
She adds that people need to understand that owning a pet in a city is a big responsibility.
The bylaw comes into effect later in August.