City orders over 500 pitbull owners to get pets out of Montreal

Some 520 Montreal dog owners this week received a letter ordering them to remove their pitbull-type dogs from the city - or face consequences.

It went out to people who registered their pitbulls before the city's March 31 deadline but who didn't provide documents before a second deadline on June 1.

Those documents included proof of dogs being vaccinated and spayed or neutered. 

The letter warns instructs those pitbull owners to get their dogs out of the City's territory within four weeks.

If they don't, they could face legal action or have their dog seized. 

Riviere-des-Prairies dog owner Stephen Andrade said he was surprised by the city's letter. 

He said he turned in his paperwork on March 20, but never received the City's special tag for his dog. 

"I did it by the books, I did it by the law, I did it step-by-step, and now they're saying I didn't do the right paperwork. I just want to keep my dog, I've done what they asked me to do."

"I don't know, maybe somebody didn't do the job properly, or this is just another way to get people to give up their dogs."

Speaking to Journal Metro, SPCA lawyer Sophie Gaillard said that the city's move would likely result in a number of dogs being abandoned, possibly overwhelming shelters.

On top of that, she said the city didn't even tell the SPCA that it was setting a September deadline for unregistered pitbulls to be removed from the city.

City Hall official opposition Projet Montreal called the City's behaviour a "witch hunt".

Saying it goes after people who had the good will to register their dogs, or at least begin the registration process, rather than those who avoided it.