Pet shops in Canada’s capital have five years to stop selling commercially-bred dogs and cats under a new city bylaw adopted this week.
Ottawa City Council has passed amended its pet shop bylaw to require pet stores to offer only dogs and cat that have come from rescue organizations, shelters or humane societies. The adoption model is aimed at culling puppy and kitten mills and better protect animals.
One councillor hoped to make the transition in two years, not five, but was voted down. Animal welfare groups also hoped to implement the time line more quickly, if not immediately, as has been done in other Canadian cities, but are still pleased with the change.
“These animals are trapped in inhumane conditions; it doesn’t take five years for established pet stores to stop the sale of commercially bred dogs and cats,” Ewa Demianowicz, campaign manager for Humane Society International/Canada, said in a statement.
“Not only are pet stores a key channel of distribution for unethical commercial breeders, they also contribute to the dog and cat overpopulation of our communities,”Demianowicz added. “Municipal bans on the retail sale of dogs and cats are a crucial step in our efforts to promote shelter adoptions and stop puppy and kitten mills.”