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Dorval Removes List Of "Dangerous" Dog Breeds From By-Law Draft

A list of dog breeds considered "dangerous" has been removed from a proposed new by-law concerning animal control regulations, just days after bringing the new by-law draft to city council.

The list had originally included 11 different dog breeds and also ventured to include dogs of mixed breed that included one of the listed "dangerous" breeds.

Montreal and Quebec governments both went through this same scenario while they were crafting new animal control by-laws, and their final decision was also to remove any specific breeds to be considered "potentially dangerous dogs."

Instead, the definition of a "potentially dangerous dog," is one who has caused the death of a person or other domestic animal, one who has been declared dangerous by a competent authority (a veterinarian, for example).

The Dorval by-law still includes stipulations for owners of animals that have shown aggressive behaviour in the past - dogs will need to be muzzled in public and properties that are home to the dog need to be clearly marked with a sign.

The dog breeds that had been listed in the draft by-law were as follows:

  • Pitbull
  • Rottweiler
  • German Shepherd
  • Bulldog
  • Mastiff
  • Husky
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Boxer
  • Doberman
  • Chow Chow

Now the by-law will focus on specific dogs that have shown aggressive behaviours in the past, such as attacking or attempting to bite a person or other domestic animals.

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Understandably, the public outcry was significant, as people were not only confused by some of the dogs included in the draft, but also unsure why Dorval would take this stance after Montreal and Quebec both decided against it.

Another worthwhile point to consider is how this kind of legislation has the ability to let dog owners of the hook for aggressive or unsocial behaviour. 

So while most people would likely admit they have no problem whatsoever with a dangerous dog law that protects citizens from animals who have proven aggressive or dangerous, targeting certain dogs based on their breed does nothing to help with the stigma of certain breeds.

This move by the City of Dorval is a great step in the right direction and proof that democracy works when citizens step up and demand what they know is right.

The new by-law will again be presented at the City Council meeting on October 21st at 8 p.m. Details about the Dorval's City council meetings on their website here.

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