When the pit bull ban was made official in Montreal, most dog owners like me were mad, but we weren't worried about our own dogs.
As it turns out, the pit bull ban has made things a lot more complicated for every single dog owner in the city.
And if you thought that you weren't affected by this because you don't own a dog, think again. The world is calling for a boycott on Montreal tourism, something that affects the whole city.
Let me start by introducing my dog Biff.
Biff is a 9 year old Boston Terrier with a little bit of bulldog DNA mixed in. He would never hurt a fly, he has never bitten anyone and he has never even so much as barked or growled at a human.
So when it came time to get his dog registration, we thought it would be simple. We would walk in, they would see he isn't a pit bull and that would be the end of it. But we were wrong.
I started calling a number of pet shops who normally carry pet registration tags. The first shop I called ran out of stock weeks ago, the second had been waiting over a week to get more and the third claimed Montreal had been promising to send them more for over a month now.
I called 311 to find out if I could get one directly through the city of Montreal and here's where the insanity began.
The woman on the phone told me that I couldn't simply register my dog, I needed some documentation, a lot of documentation.
- I need to pay for a DNA test to prove he isn't a pit bull, because visual identification isn't enough. ($$$)
- I need proof of residence.
- I need proof that he doesn't weigh over 20 kg otherwise he would need a mussel.
- I need proof that he's been vaccinated for rabbies.
- I need proof that he's been neutered.
- I need proof that he has been micro-chipped ($$$)
- And finally, I need to go to the SPVM to get proof that he has never bitten anyone which makes no sense because if he's never bitten anyone, then there are no records.
And after all of this, the woman claimed that it wouldn't matter if I had all of this information on hand because they currently don't have any tags anyways, so even if I managed to get all of these papers in order, I still can't register my dog.
So I called every pet store I could find until I finally found one who had a few tags left over. I asked if I needed all the same documents the city was asking for and they looked at me like I was crazy.
All we needed was to fill out a short form, and we were on our way. Something was will soon be a thing of the past.
According to 311, the city of Montreal will not be restocking the pet stores with new tags because all registration will must be done through the city. Even though the city themselves don't have any registration tags.
I feel like I'm taking crazy pills.
When all was said and done I got another lovely surprise, the tag I got is only valid until 2017, which means that in a few months, I will have to go though all of this again.
I'm just hoping that if I do end up spending all this money on DNA testing and microchips, that the city will at least have to decency to make sure they have plenty of registration tags available.
But I'm probably just dreaming.