The bylaw made it illegal to own any dog the city deems a pit bull — loosely defined as American Staffordshire terriers, Staffordshire bull terriers, American pit bull terriers or any mix of these breeds.
But on Monday, the same day the law came into effect, Justice Louis Gouin ordered the ban suspended until he heard a court challenge from the Montreal SPCA.
Grouin will be making his decision on a longer, temporary suspension of the bylaw on Wednesday.
The decision couldn’t have come a moment sooner for dog owners in the city, as well as dogs considered to be pit bulls in its shelters. When it came into effect at midnight on Monday, dogs that fit the description were suddenly deprived of any chance of finding a home. In making it illegal for shelters to adopt out pit bull-type dogs, the city has effectively sentenced countless dogs to euthanasia.
But even before the ban was passed by Montreal’s city council last Tuesday, there had been a massive exodus of pit bulls from shelters.