A City of Vancouver councillor has motioned to implement a bylaw which would ban the retail sale of cats, dogs and rabbits.
Councillor Heather Deal is calling for the city to prohibit the for-profit sale of pets following the recent opening of a pet store in Vancouver’s Marpole neighbourhood.
“People have started telling us that there has been a history of bad treatment of animals, not at the stores necessarily, but at the mills that produce these animals,” said Deal. “And so, our staff went down to the new store and discovered that many of these animals come from the U.S. or overseas. We don’t know how to control whether or not they come from puppy mills.”
Granville Pet and Garden opened in Marpole in May and claims that they get their pets from reputable breeders and puppy brokers.
Paws for Hope executive director Kathy Powelson said, in fact, the Canadian Kennel Club code of practice for breeders prohibits the sale of dogs to pet stores.
“We’re asking the city to ban the retail sale of cats, dogs and rabbits,” said Powelson. “No reputable breeder will sell to pet stores. It is not uncommon that if you purchase a pet from a pet store that pet is going to have health and behaviour issues.”
Both Richmond and New Westminster have successfully implemented bylaws banning the for-profit sale of pets.
Granville Pet and Garden owner, Earnest Ang, has faced multiple complaints in the past. In 2010, Ang owned a franchise of Pet Paradise, which closed in 2011 in response to the Richmond pet sale ban.
In 2015, Ang’s Pet Habitat in Burnaby closed after numerous complaints to the SPCA, City of Burnaby and Metrotown Mall.
“When Pet Habitat’s lease came up, Metrotown would not renew the lease if they continued to sell pets…People do not want to see dogs, cat and rabbits in pet stores,” said Powelson.
Deal is encouraging people to adopt pets rather than buy them from retail stores.
“The biggest issue is where they’ve come from,” she said. “There’s no chain of supply to guarantee that they weren’t treated poorly in their early lives and that they aren’t being bred in an unethical way.”