Every pet traveler visiting Montreal needs to be aware of the new requirements imposed on all pets under Montreal's new by-law.Update: On December 20th, 2017, Montreal’s law targeting pit bulls was suspended. Pit bulls are now subject to the same laws as all other dogs in Montreal. YAY!!!

Update: Montreal’s “Dangerous Dog” by-law, banning pit bulls and placing restrictions on other pets visiting the city and its boroughs was passed and took effect on September 27, 2016. The following day the portion of the law requiring pit bulls to be registered and muzzled was suspended until a court case challenging these provisions is settled. The City of Montreal has now appealed the suspension, and as of October 17, 2016, that appeal had not been ruled on.

Update 2: On December 1, 2016, the injunction suspending the breed specific portions of the by-law was dismissed, and all aspects of the by-law have been implemented in Montreal. Pit bulls (as defined in the by-law below) must be registered with the city by December 31, 2016. Pit bulls that have not registered, or those traveling with their families, are banned from Montreal.

We recommend that all pet travelers take a stand against breed specific laws and join us in avoiding travel to Montreal and any other place where breed specific laws have been enacted. 

This week Montreal chose to move forward with its proposed animal control by-law, which is expected to take affect on September 26, 2016. These rules, while intended for the residents of Montreal, should also be expected to apply to anyone traveling there with a pet, and will impose stiff penalties for noncompliance.

The new by-law was designed to address dangerous dog concerns, and will be applied consistently across all of Montreal’s 19 boroughs. In addition, municipalities across Quebec have enacted similar rules regarding pit bulls or dangerous dogs this summer, and a proposal for province-wide legislation is expected before the end of the year.

Who Is Affected?

The by-law affects everyone who owns a dog or cat and lives in one of Montreal’s 19 boroughs, and no exemptions have been discussed for people visiting Montreal with their pets, so all travelers should expect to comply with local laws. The city’s goal is to encourage responsible pet ownership and requires:

  • Registration of all cats and dogs and the license must be displayed at all times (Traveling pets may display the license from their home city/municipality.)
  • The maximum number of cats and dogs per home is two dogs, and four animals in total (Special permits will be available for those who want to have three dogs.)
  • All dogs must be on a leash no longer than 1.85 meters (6 feet) in public
  • Dogs that weigh 20 kilograms (44 pounds) or more must wear halters or harnesses in public
  • All dogs must be microchipped and spayed or neutered by Dec. 31, 2019 (Exemptions are allowed for breeders with permits, or for dogs who can’t be spayed or neutered for medical reasons with a letter from a veterinarian.)

In addition, the by-law inflicts special requirements for pit bulls, which it broadly defines as Staffordshire bull terriers, American pit bull terriers, American Staffordshire terriers, any mix with these breeds, and any dog that presents characteristics of one of those breeds.

Breed Specific Discrimination

The city’s new by-law bans all new pit bulls from the city limits and requires current pit bull owners living in Montreal to obtain a special permit to keep their pet. These are requirements to obtain a permit:

  • Be 18 years old or older
  • Make a request before Dec. 31, 2016
  • Present a document proving you do not have a criminal record
  • Prove you have spayed or neutered the dog and that it is currently vaccinated for rabies
  • Present proof you live in Montreal and that you owned the dog before the by-law came into effect (This residency requirement provision will prevent pet travelers from visiting Montreal with their pit bull.)

In addition, anyone obtaining pit bull permit must agree to the following:

  • Keep the dog muzzled when it’s outside your house
  • Keep the dog on a leash that is no longer than 1 meter (3.3 feet), unless you’re in a dog park or an enclosure surrounded by a fence at least two meters (6.6 feet) in height
  • The dog must be supervised at all times by someone 18 years or older
  • The dog must wear the medallion issued by the city to prove it’s properly registered

Not obtaining a permit, or failing to follow the rules, could result in a euthanasia order being issued for the pit bull.

Dangerous Dogs

The by-law also creates two categories of dogs of any breed that displays concerning behavior, at risk and dangerous.

For a dog to be deemed at-risk it must:

  • Try to bite or attack
  • Have bitten or attacked
  • Exhibit behavior that could compromise a person or another animal’s safety

The owner of a dog that bites someone has 72 hours to advise the city, and must be muzzled in public. The dog may also be required to undergo evaluation, at which time additional restrictions may be imposed, or the dog may be deemed “dangerous.”

For a dog to be classified as dangerous it must: 

  • Kill a person or animal
  • Be deemed to be dangerous by a “competent authority”

A euthanasia order will be issued for any dog deemed to be dangerous.

Proposed Penalties

The language in the proposed by-law is somewhat vague, but the minimum fines for noncompliance with the new by-law will be increased to $300, and the maximum fine will be between $500 and $750 for the first violation when the infraction relates to public safety (such as bites or leash length), or if the owner provides the city with false information.

Our Stand

Pit bull - Dog in Car

We strongly oppose Breed-Specific Laws. Laws that discriminate against particular breeds of dogs equate to race discrimination and are unacceptable. There is no evidence that breed specific laws are effective in preventing dog bites – but there is evidence that they have resulted in the senseless killing of thousands of homeless animals and beloved pets. We believe that enacting laws that are not biased against a specific breed result in more enforceability and are less prejudicial. We are particularly opposed any law resulting in the confiscation and execution of a dog that has done no harm.

Further, we do what’s possible to influence lawmakers in places where we can’t vote by not traveling to places and spending our money where breed specific legislation is in effect. Therefore, we will not be visiting Montreal, and we encourage you to do the same.

Planning a pet friendly trip of your own? We’ll make it easy:
Pet Friendly Hotels | Pet Friendly Destinations | Pet Friendly Activities

Amazon Affiliate Disclosure: GoPetFriendly.com LLC is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for website owners to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com, audible.com, and any other website that may be affiliated with Amazon Service LLC Associates Program. As an Amazon Associate, the owner of this site earns a commission from qualifying purchases.

(Visited 5,498 times, 1 visits today)
  • Hi Jet! Just to be clear, at the end of 2017 Montreal overturned their ban on pitties so if that’s where you were heading, you and Maggie should be good to go. However, the entire province of Ontario still has their ban on pit bulls, so I do recommend avoiding travel there. Hope that helps and waggin’ trails to you!

  • I’m so sorry, Judy. These breed bans are ineffective and unfair, and I’m sorry they’ve also ruined your vacation. The ban in Montreal has been suspended, but pitties are still banned from Ontario, so I think it’s wise not to take any dog who could be mistaken for a pit bull into the province. I hope you have the chance to vacation together in a place where your pup will also be welcome.

  • Just got invited to park my RV on Lake Erie where my son’s girlfriend lives, but because my dog is mixed breed, he could be mistaken as a pit. No trip, tears filled my eyes. Family together, not in Canada, sad day.

  • Alex James Execellent idea, Alex! We definitely need to make it known that we’re choosing to travel elsewhere with our pets because of these discriminatory bans. Thank you for sharing, and I hope you have a terrific time in NS and NF!

  • GoPetFriendly.com …Absolutely, and i’ve contected the Canadan Consulate in Boston. Not that my one voice will help, but perhaps if more folks contact the Embassies and Consulates in their state (or, closest to their state), to say they will not visit until these bansare lifted, it might help. We were going to go to Nova Scocia and New Foundland instead, thinking on it though.

  • Was planning a Christmas Trip to Montreal with out pup. She isn’t a pitty, but people think sheis becasue of her brindle coloring. So… no Montreal trip for us.

  • Thanks for your note, Monica Gtz Wright. I agree, every pet owner should be responsible enough to ensure their dogs and cats are not contributing to the overpopulation problem. Waggin’ trails to you!

  • GoPetFriendly.com I do like that they require spaying or neutering and registering dogs. We have so many that have to be put down due to irresponsible owners. But the rest is horrible. We have a wonderful pit bull in our family.

  • This is horrible and unbelievable. shocking in this day and age. The french are supposed to be more evolved. Idiots! It is the owner, not the breed. I have used pit bulls as service dogs for 25 years now. They are the best. Shame on Ontario and Montreal. :((((((((

  • Hi Melinda! Currently the only breed specifically being targeted is the pit bull. Montreal seems to be following Ontario’s lead, so I think you and your dobie mix should be fine. Waggin’ trails!

  • Are you aware of any other breeds being specifically targeted in Montreal or Quebec? I have a Doberman mix and am researching whether it is safe for us to travel and potentially reside in that province.

  • That’s a great idea, Nancy! I agree that the only way to affect change in places where we can’t vote is with our dollars, and letting these officials know that we won’t be traveling there while these discriminatory rules are in place will hopefully make an impact. Thanks for your note!

  • We need to be more proactive. Instead of just avoiding Montreal, which they may never notice, flood the phones, emails, and Facebook pages of the government offices, chambers of commerce, and tourism department with comments of why you refuse to give them your tourism dollars. Money talks.

  • Thanks for this post – I agree with you 100% that Montreal is imposing a completely unreasonable by-law and will not see any of my RV tourism dollars. My two Goldens have plenty of other fun places to go. . .

  • Category: Travel News / Tagged with: