REGINA — Stray pit bulls are getting a new leash on life in Saskatchewan as Montreal moves to join other cities that have banned the breed.
So far five pit bulls have been brought to the Prairie province through a partnership between Saskatchewan-based Prairie Sky Dog Rescue and a Montreal rescue group.
City council in the Quebec city is expected to pass a bylaw later this month that will ban pit bulls and similar breeds by the end of the year, though families which currently have pit bulls will be exempt.
Two pit bull dogs with their owners walk as people take part in a protest against breed-specific legislation for dogs at Pelican Park in Montreal on Saturday, July 16, 2016. (Photo: CP)
The move comes after a string of attacks that included the death of Christiane Vadnais, 55, who was killed in her own backyard.
Currently, Regina doesn't have any breed-specific laws and the city's animal control policy instead focuses on a dog owner's ability to control his or her pets.
Bill Thorn of the Regina Humane Society says banning a specific breed doesn't make any sense.
"There's really been no documented or proven instances of it where it's had the desired effect,'' he says, adding the best way to keep people, and their pets, safe is through education.
Protesters take part in a march against a ban against pit bulls and other similar breeds, in Montreal, Saturday, July 16, 2016. (Photo: CP)
Meanwhile, the Prairie Sky group has been using an online network of volunteers to help get dogs to Saskatchewan, including a stray named Tyson.
"Tyson is just a sweetheart and a goofball rolled into one,'' says Jon Claggett, who has been fostering the pit bull.
"He was a stray that was picked up. No one claimed him. The shelter he was at contacted the group and said, `you have three days to find something or he'll be euthanized.'"
Pit bull advocates maintain there is nothing inherently risky in the breed and the dogs only become dangerous when they are mistreated or taught to be violent by irresponsible owners.
Pit bull ban in Moosomin, Sask.
However, there is a ban on the breed in places such as Ontario, Winnipeg and Moosomin, Sask.
Moosomin Mayor Larry Tomlinson says the aim of their bylaw, adopted in 2004, is to keep people safe. He says the town has no intention of lifting the ban.
(CTV Regina, The Canadian Press)