MN animal shelter trying to save 'outlawed' Montreal pit bulls from death

Montreal's decision to 'outlaw' pit bulls puts potentially thousands of dogs in danger of being euthanized, but a Twin Cities animal rescue group is hoping to save as many as possible.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

It's true that the Canadian city of Montreal has basically outlawed pit bulls, a dog breed that's gotten a bad reputation in recent years due to some highly publicized attacks on people.

But it's not just a simple ban, and there's one arguably scary part of it that has a Minnesota animal rescue group in an uproar: potentially thousands of dogs could be put down under the new law.

But that group, Secondhand Hounds of Eden Prairie, isn't taking that possibility lying down.

In a Facebook post Thursday, the organization wrote that they are entering into a "rescue partnership" with the Montreal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), saying they'll drive the pit bulls out of there if they have to.

"I let them know we are willing to do what it takes to save as many as we can fit in our vehicles," the update says. "I told them we are in this together and they just need to say the word. And we mean it."

The post now has over 100 comments, many of which are offering help through donations and other means. A lot of others are expressing disgust at the Montreal City Council's new law, and they're certainly not alone.

Reactions to the ban have been intense around the internet, with a Change.org petition having already gathered over 230,000 signatures asking Montreal to reverse the rule.

How the law works

The ban, which was passed this week, makes it illegal to adopt a new pit bull.

As Snopes points out, people who already own the breed will not be required to turn them over, despite some claims (and panic) on social media that beloved pets might have to be put down.

But the pit bulls that do not have homes – like the ones in a state of limbo in dog shelters – face euthanasia, the Washington Post notes.

One of the criticisms of the law has to do with Montreal's broad definition of what a "pit bull" is, which The Dodo says covers at least three breeds (American pit bull terriers, American Staffordshire terriers and Staffordshire bull terriers).

The website also writes that about one-third of the dogs that get taken into the city's shelters every year meet the definition.

The Washington Post says the ban came about after a pit bull mauled a Montreal woman to death earlier this year.

Are pit bulls really more dangerous?

While the breed has fierce defenders, TIME says pit bulls are responsible for 68 percent of dog attacks and 52 percent of dog-related deaths – despite making up just 6 percent of the dog population.

That data, it should be mentioned, comes from the editor of Animal 24/7, which Time points out is a news organization focusing on the prevention of cruelty to animals.

Time also says the "real problem" with pit bulls is that they were bred to be violent.

Which is true. As the ASPCA notes, "Today’s pit bull is a descendant of the original English bull-baiting dog — a dog that was bred to bite and hold bulls, bears and other large animals around the face and head."

Eventually, the organization writes, the dog's owners turned them on each other in fighting rings.

Nonetheless, they point out that any breed of dog can become aggressive and dangerous if mistreated.

Next Up

snow, plow

Snowy Saturday: Here's how much snow is forecast in Minnesota

Snow will reach the metro area by the early afternoon.

Cam Talbot

Wild improve to 4-1 with victory over Dubnyk, Sharks

The 4-1 win gives the Wild four victories in five games to start the season.

Screen Shot 2021-01-22 at 9.08.16 PM

Daughter of MN Supreme Court Justice, Allina Health CEO found dead in Iowa

The 21-year-old was found dead in the parking lot of a sorority, according to police.

Screen Shot 2020-09-04 at 8.42.40 PM

Federal charges: MN marijuana lobbyist threatened U.S. representative

"I want you to be as scared as possible," the voicemail allegedly says.

coronavirus, masks, covid-19

Wisconsin Republicans aim to end governor's mask mandate

They've introduced a resolution to remove the governor's emergency powers.

Ted Schweich

Community group hopes to install billboard to get neighbor a kidney

A group called "Team Ted" aims to raise $5,000 to find their friend a kidney donor.

Andrew Palmer

Charges: Coach raped teenage girl on Minnesota basketball team

The 33-year-old head coach has been charged in connection to the alleged crimes.

radio station, microphone

WCCO Radio's program director leaves the company

It's not clear why John Hanson and the station parted ways.

Minneapolis skyline

Minneapolis a step closer to banning facial recognition technology

There are concerns about it leading to a surveillance state, and that it could harm disadvantaged communities.

Related

Police investigate beating, torture of pit bull in Savage

Police are investigating after Midwest Animal Rescue & Services (MARS) reported the beating and torture of a pit bull in Savage Wednesday. MARS reported on its Facebook page that the pit bull, named Caesar, was let out in his fenced yard by his owner with two other dogs, and 20 minutes later he was discovered limping and bleeding in his family's driveway. The other dogs were unharmed.

Pit bull saves Minnesota family from destructive house fire

They were asleep in bed when their house caught fire Sunday night.

Now possible animal poisonings are being reported in Apple Valley

Some pets and wild animals have apparently been poisoned.

Roseville is making moves to ban pet shops - a first for Minnesota

After a Roseville pet shop made headlines for mistreating animals, the city may ban pet stores all together.