Appeal court overturns suspension of Montreal’s pit bull bylaw

(find out which Government Officials voted for this, and how to contact them/put pressure on them/voice your concerns – contact info below)

Pit Bulls are under attack in Canada and the US and now is the time to speak up, raise our voices and put on the pressure through social media. Let’s continue to try and do something rather than just lament what we see happening. Dozens of US states already have initiated discriminatory breed legislation (pit bull bans) and now, yet another Canadian province clamps down on pit bulls and their families.

Two days ago Montreal passed the ban on pit bulls, despite giving the public reasons to think perhaps this horrible law wouldn’t go through. 

A few months ago the internet was exploding with people putting pressure on the government in Montreal through social media, to get them to stop trying to push through the discriminatory breed legislation that would effectively put a ban on Pit Bulls in the province.

In early October, when Superior Court Judge Louis Gouin temporarily suspended the ban in the wake of all the outcry, people rejoiced that their efforts had paid off. They felt great thinking pit bulls and their families would not be harmed, and that the proposed law would not go into effect.

The tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dog lovers and advocates who had joined the online conversation (from all over the US, Canada and even the world), celebrated that they had drew attention in the media to what was happening and effectively saw change. The shared articles, comments and social media pressure showed law makers that people refused to let this happen without resistance. It was awesome, and inspiring…for a while.

The negative media attention seemed to be working at first to fight this discriminatory law. With so much media attention (and in great thanks to Sophie Gillard, the lawyer for the Montreal SPCA) Judge Gouin decided to put a temporary suspension on the ban, so they could work out what to do. Unfortunately, dog advocates online took that as a victory and a reason to stop putting the pressure on. They assumed it was a win.


It most definitely was not, and we felt obliged to implore our community back then to think twice about whether this was actually a “win” for pit bulls in Montreal…and a reason to stop pushing. While the majority of articles on October 5th were celebratory and inflating, we felt compelled to bring in the voice of caution and reason…sharing with our readers that this was not necessarily a cause for celebration, and certainly not a reason to stop putting pressure on legislators and policy makers through our social media efforts. It would have been nice to be wrong. Unfortunately, we were not.

Everything we were concerned about a few months ago seemed to happen. People were celebrating too early, calling it a win, while policy makers were buying their time and just waiting to lift the ban and initiate the law after public sentiment and outcry died down. If you read the article we posted at the beginning of October this was exactly what were concerned about, but ours was a lone voice amidst a lot of hype over the bans suspension.

Sources like and other “news” sites proclaimed that pit bull owners in Montreal could breath easier as the proposed ban that had so many people worried (justifiably so) was going to be lifted – ‘indefinitely’.  The week of October 3-7th was one of celebration online for many in the dog community…but it was presumptive and dangerous to assume dogs were going to be safe.

dodo - pit bull suspension


In the last few months people got comfortable, they stopped taking things seriously and they celebrated before the victory was won. Now, this law is being put into effect. Things can still get worse though. More and more provinces in Canada, and states in the US can follow the lead of legislation like this. Our goal is to avoid a snow ball effect and stop any more provinces/states from adopting and implementing breed specific legislation like the Montreal Pit Bull Ban.

We need to raise our voices, and show that we won’t let this stuff happen quietly. Use social media. Use your voice to speak up for the thousands of dogs that can’t speak for themselves. Every time you share an article like this, more people are going to be exposed to this issue and over time, perhaps we can even get states/provinces to repeal the laws they’ve already put into effect. That would be a huge win. For now though, stopping other provinces/states from following their lead would make us really happy.

We have to begin somewhere. To make it clear, our goal here at The Natural Doggie is to continue to draw attention to these topics for as long as it takes. Breed discrimination is an issue we are very passionate about, and it is our goal to eventually get all those provinces and states that have initiated breed specific legislation to repeal it – and for policy law makers to look for solutions to aggressive dog attacks that actually solve the problem long term. Solutions that hold owners responsible (if you’d like to understand more about our position read this article about why Breed Discrimination takes us further away from stopping aggressive dog attacks) We take dog attacks very seriously, but we want to find solutions that set up dogs for success. Not failure and blame.

There is no wrong way to raise your voice for these dogs. Whether it’s sharing articles like this, writing your own, using your social media to keep these issues at the forefront of people’s minds…everything helps. The negative attention in the media is definitely one way to put pressure on the legislature and other cities that may be considering pursuing BSL, but there are other ways to take action if you are interested in doing even more. You can contact government officials, read below to learn who supports BSL in Quebec and who doesn’t, so you can address your letters/emails/phone calls to the most appropriate place.

To write letters to legislators:

First things first. You need to understand who is for this, and who is against it. That way you can effectively contact those who have the ability to do something about this, based on where you’re located or who your representatives are. Here are those who voted for & against this in the first place are the ones that need to have their opinions shifted (so they can shift their vote or join those fighting to end BSL).

Those who voted FOR a pit bull ban (THE BAD GUYS AND GALS): Mayor Denis Coderre, Jim Beis, Richard Bergeron, Michel Bissonnette, Christine Black, Karine Boivin-Roy, Richard Celzi, Harout Chitilian, Catherine Clément-Talbot, Suzanne Décarie, Mary Deros, Alan deSousa, Pierre Desrochers, Erika Duchesne, Marc-André Gadoury, Pierre Gagnier, Manon Gauthier, Jean-Marc Gibeau, Richard Guay, Patricia Lattanzio, Francesco Miele, Jean-François Parenteau, Lionel Perez, Dominic Perri, Giovanni Rapana, Chantal Rouleau, Chantal Rossi, Aref Salem, Anie Samson, Monique Vallée, Russell Copeman, Elsie Lefebvre, Réal Ménard, Marie Cinq-Mars, Jean-François Cloutier, Claude Dauphin, Lorraine Pagé

Those who voted AGAINST a pit bull ban (We thank you): Luc Ferrandez, Eric Alan Caldwell, Sterling Downey, Laurence Lavigne Lalonde, Guillaume Lavoie, François Limoges, Louise Mainville, Peter McQueen, Alex Norris, Sylvain Ouellet, Valérie Plante, Magda Popeanu, Richard Ryan, Craig Sauvé, Anne-Marie Sigouin, Emilie Thuillier, Marvin Rotrand, Normand Marinacci, Justine McIntyre, Steve Shanahan, Manon Barbe, Andrée Hénault, Luis Miranda


See related articles:

Why don’t Breed Discrimination Policies help reduce Aggressive Dog Attacks?

False Hope: Montreal Suspends Pit Bull Ban but Don’t Cheer Just Yet

Portrait of a puppy on the nature close up. Pitbull. 4 months of age.

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  1. Where do we go to voice our concern? -legislature and court contacts would be helpful here. Otherwise we are just passively reposting your article!

    • Thank you Joan, you were right. I started this blog only 4 months ago, and it’s just me writing and creating so I really appreciate constructive criticism. I have been working on a bigger piece about Breed Discrimination all over the US and Canada, with TONS more information and suggestions for resisting these laws and attempting to have them repealed. ..that will be out soon. But for now, I have included in this article contact numbers and also importantly, a list of those legislators that were for/against the Ban. That way awesome people can direct their letters/calls against those who were for the ban, and appeal to those who voted against.

      Thank you again, for your comment and for your passion and love for dogs.