Following the lead of Toronto and of Richmond BC, Mississauga Ontario has also banned the sale of what they refer to as “privately bred puppies”. This leaves the door open to allow pet stores to offer adoption events, and to feature adoptable puppies from local shelters and rescue groups.
From the Toronto Star -
… Almost a dozen delegates who convinced Mississauga City Council Wednesday to introduce a bylaw that, once in effect, will ban the sale of all privately bred cats and dogs in pet stores.
The bylaw passed the first vote and will probably get final approval in council next week, when it will come into effect.
“It’s cruelty at its worst,” Councillor Pat Saito, who introduced the bylaw, said of the mills. “We aren’t going to make a big dent just in Mississauga, but it’s doing our part globally.”
Saito told the Star that pet stores often don’t realize they’re bringing in cats and dogs from unregulated mills, because false paperwork claiming a clean bill of health is given to them by sellers, who often state dogs are purebreeds when they are not.
“The Canadian Kennel Club, the largest organization in the country, does not allow its members to sell to pet stores.”
The bylaw will make Mississauga the third city in Canada to ban such sales, after Richmond, B.C. and Toronto. Stores in the city will now have to acquire any dogs and cats under adoption programs through the Humane Society or other animal rescue groups, with proper documentation.
This is a step in the right direction, but we’ll have to wait and see if the Pet Stores in question adhere to the letter of the law, or if they’ll try to skirt it by the means we’re seeing some pet stores and puppy mills in the USA use. Setting up your own fake rescues is a trick long used by many of the worst players in the game, as we’ve discussed here on the blog before.
The whining that the pet stores are doing doesn’t fill me with a sense of hope that they do the honorable thing. They’re still whining how none of this is their fault, and they’re just as much victims of those evil puppy mills as their puppy buyers are:
Pet store owners at Wednesday’s meeting warned that the bylaw would force them out of business. They said all levels of government should go after the animal mills, not just store owners; that they only buy from reputable breeders; and that most mill animals are sold online, not at stores. No statistics are available to verify that, city staff said.
Pet Stores, and especially the big players, know full well where their puppies are coming from. That line about how pet stores “only buy from small, caring breeders” might work on the puppy buying public, the rest of us saw through it years ago.
The article features an interview with Mississauga resident Kate Steen, who has spent almost $50,000 in vet bills on the French Bulldog she bought from a Toronto area pet store. Told that Tikki, her French Bulldog, was imported from Germany, Steen’s research disclosed that he was actually bred in a midwestern Puppy mill. Steen now advocates against puppy mills and pet store puppy sales.