MUNCIE, Ind. -- A new law in Montreal, Canada will mean all pit bulls are banned. Shelters in the U.S. are scrambling to help rescue the dogs that might otherwise be up for euthanasia.
The law will go into effect in Montreal on Oct. 3. Once it does, owners will have to apply for permits to keep their pit bulls and shelters will be forced to get rid of any up for adoption. Muncie Animal Care and Education Center director Phil Peckinpaugh called it a "senseless law."
"It was obviously a knee-jerk reaction from politicians that don’t understand," Peckinpaugh said.
Peckinpaugh and the shelter's rescue coordinator are working with organizations in Montreal to help with rescue efforts.
"Once we hear back and for sure have ways that we can help and it might just be transporting to other rescues, but we’ll help in any way that we can," Peckinpaugh said.
The shelter is also looking into bringing some of the pit bulls to Muncie. The brand new animal shelter that opened earlier this month has more kennels to accommodate rescues. Peckinpaugh said they can hold about 8 to 10 additional pit bulls if needed. Right now, the shelter is waiting to hear back from rescue groups in Montreal, but has volunteers with passports on stand-by to head across the border.
Applying for a health certificate is a simple step, according to Peckinpaugh, that would only take a few minutes if a vet in Canada signs off on paperwork to allow the dogs to cross the border. While he's not sure how much it will cost, Peckinpaugh said he's willing to help out, no matter what the price tag is.
At the shelter right now, there are about nine pit bulls available for adoption and an additional 13 strays that have come in recently. Shelter volunteers are encouraging people to rescue the pit bulls in the shelter right now to help make room for more. Peckinpaugh said while pit bulls can have a bad reputation, they make excellent pets.
"Just like any dog, if you have them in the hands of someone who is not taking care of them or that knows about them, they’re large and they’re powerful and they can cause damage, however, that’s not a pit bull problem. That’s an irresponsible ownership problem," said Peckinpaugh.
You can contact the shelter if you are interested in helping.