Fatal Death of Canadian Woman Causes New Pit Bull Regulations

A new law passed in Montreal makes Pit Bulls illegal, causing uproar and shocked citizens around the nation.

Dog attacks have been occurring for hundreds of years, but in the past three months, new methods to combat animal attacks have been taken to a higher standard. After a fatal pit bull attack that caused the death of a woman earlier this year, city officials in Montreal, Quebec signed off on a law Thursday, that bans residents from owning or acquiring pit bulls.

In early June a man named Farid Benzenati of Montreal’s east side came home to find a pit bull playing with a quite large object. After dismissing it for a while, Benzenati realized that the object was covered in blood and could make out women’s hair among the mess. After quickly reporting the incident, Canadians discovered the horrifying truth of the fatal attack. Committed by a new, neighborhood pit bull, the gruesome violence suddenly ended the life of Benzenati’s neighbor, 55 year old Christiane Vadnais.

For a while, the Vadnais family demanded responses from the Quebec government regarding dangerous dogs and pit bulls in the city. The province agreed on the solution to the problem Tuesday, September 27, after the council voted 37 to 23 in support of a bylaw banning pit bull adoption or purchase new in Quebec. The new bylaw, which was revealed shortly after, has sparked anger all around the world, especially for television Food Network star Rachael Ray. who is saddened by Montreal’s actions,

“What a heartbreaking day for dog lovers,” Ray said, after revealing her feelings toward the decision in a recent Twitter post.

The new law will be active on October 3, and current pit bull owners will only have till the end of the year to obtain permits for their faithful companions. According to the WashingtonPost, not only will the pit bulls need to be registered, but certain restrictions have been placed on pit bulls and their owners in public, such as being muzzled and having a leash of no longer than 4 feet in length. Junior Kylie Steuer believes there are more than one breeds of dogs that have acted this way in the past.

“I guess it is wrong to judge for all pitbulls,” Steuer said. “[The Montreal government is] only targeting one specific breed, which is not accurate.”

The regulations put in place appear to be inappropriate to many and show the ignorance people can have towards animals, as the law judges all within the breed based on the negative act of one. As an advocate for proper treatment of animals, senior Sarah Schwantner looks down on the restrictions passed in Montreal.

“I don’t think the breed of pit bulls are of an issue, it’s more of an unfair and unethical ban to the dogs,” Schwantner said. “The owner should be the only one at fault.”

No matter the breed, any animal can attack. A dog’s actions stem from owner faults and actions. It is not uncommon for dogs to attack humans, but usually when a case occurs, it is because the dog has been affected by abuse, malnourishment or lack of care. A common misconception surrounding pit bulls is that the breed itself is filled with violence and incapability towards human companionship. However, it truly comes down to owners themselves when a dog of any breed acts out. This issue in Montreal is not only heartbreaking for pit bull owners in Canada, but for dog lovers around the world, sparking initiative to change aspects on animal control.