Archive for November, 2010

Ban on the sale of dogs in Richmond’s pet stores adopted! Rejoice!

The amendment to Richmond’s business licensing bylaw to ban the sale of dogs in pet stores has officially been adopted!  Beginning April 2011, retail outlets cannot sell dogs in Richmond, BC.

It’s a historic moment in animal welfare history!   Rejoice!

Comments (2) »

City Council’s support of puppy sale ban backed by community members!

Thanks to your support and the work of many animal welfare organizations, the Richmond City Council will be holding a final vote on the Amendment to Ban the Sale of Dogs in Richmond’s Storefronts.  The final vote will be held on this Monday, Nov. 8th at 7 PM in Richmond City Council chambers.  You are cordially invited to attend!

Upon adoption of this amendment, Richmond will become the first city in Canada to outlaw the sale of dogs in pet stores, and hold a place in Canadian, as well as worldwide, animal welfare history.  See the agenda.

Furthermore, during the public consultation on this bylaw amendment, supporters sent in 217 pages of comments, and only two pages represent individuals opposed the amendment adoptions.   See those public comments here.

It seems that Richmond City Council has truly represented the Richmond community by proposing and supporting this amendment.  Thank you!

Leave a comment »

Puppy mixes it up with reptiles

"Puppy" the African Spurred Tortoise

By Christie Lagally, Special to the Richmond News November 3, 2010.  See original Richmond News article.

Puppy is not your typical household pet.

He lives at the Reptile Rescue, Adoption and Education Society in Richmond where he frequently has the run of the place.

While Puppy saunters past ball pythons, bearded dragons, red-eared turtles and iguanas — all of which have been surrendered to the rescue society by their past owners — Puppy doesn’t appear to alarm any of them.

All the reptile residents seem to know Puppy is one of their own, because Puppy is a large African Spurred tortoise.

The Reptile Rescue, Adoption and Education Society was founded by Val Lofvendahl in 2003. She was the proud owner of an iguana many years ago, when she found that the advice from the pet store about caring for her iguana was just wrong, and the iguana suffered as a result.

She vowed then that she would work to help homeless and sick reptile pets recover from poor conditions and find them new homes.

I visited the society’s rescue facility this summer with absolutely no knowledge of reptiles, and I was shocked to see how many homeless reptiles there are in Richmond alone.

“Very few were purchased from breeders; most were impulse buys from pet stores where the customers were poorly educated,” says Lofvendahl.

In fact, the Reptile Rescue is the only such rescue in Richmond, and one of only a handful of such rescues in the Lower Mainland.

corn snake

Most abandoned or surrendered pet iguanas, geckos, corn snakes, slider turtles, pythons and lizards will typically end up at this rescue facility because most shelters don’t have the expertise to care for these unique creatures.

Since 2003, more than 400 reptiles and amphibians have been taken in by the society, and there are usually about 50 in care at all times. 2010 has been a record year of intakes.

Lofvendahl introduced me to the animals that she cares for daily.

As I walked in the door, a very friendly iguana named George greeted me with dignified attention and regard.

I felt honoured to be in his presence. As Lofvendahl showed me into George’s living area, she quickly stroked his back and he closed his eyes in what appeared to be utter contentment.

George the Iguana

I got the feeling that if George had been a cat, he would have been purring. I was also introduced to some snakes that were abandoned in a drug house after the police had raided the home.

While red-eared turtles were banned from sale in Richmond’s pet stores a few years ago, a few still show up in rescues when people tire of them.

According to Lofvendahl, ball pythons are the most common snake being given up, and iguanas and bearded dragons are the most popular lizards being neglected.

I was also stunned to learn that some of the turtles, like Puppy, live up to 100 years and are sold to people who think a tortoise will be easier to care for than a dog.

While Puppy is a spritely seven year old tortoise, I met one of Puppy’s younger counterparts, Chuckles, who was just 1-1/2 years old.

Chuckles was sold to someone who had no idea that the tortoise would outlive his caretaker and end up in a shelter eventually. While Lofvendahl works diligently to find permanent homes for all the reptiles, tortoises like Puppy and Chuckles are better suited for life in an appropriate sanctuary.

The adoptable reptiles are listed on the society’s website at Like any rescue group, you fill out an application to ensure that you can offer a safe and permanent home for these creatures.

Donations are always needed to help care for these precious reptiles, and you can save your Canadian Tire money to help the Society purchase light bulbs and supplies as well as a generator. They also welcome gift cards to Superstore to buy vegetables for the lizards — one of the largest expenses at about $70 per week.

But most of all, you can pledge to never buy an animal from a pet store. There are so many homeless reptiles right here in Richmond that it will be decades before responsible reptile-loving residents have any trouble finding just the right new family member.

Christie Lagally is a volunteer pet columnist. View her blog at
© Copyright (c) Richmond News

Leave a comment »

Missouri’s Prop. B PASSES! Breeders limited to 50 dogs!

On the cusp of Richmond City Council ready to vote on a ban on the sale of dogs in pet stores this coming Monday, Nov. 8th, Missouri’s voters have taken matters into their own hands as well.  Tonight they passed Proposition B to implement new regulations for dog breeders in that state!  See the news.

Effective next year, the law will limit breeders to 50 dogs and outlaw wire floor cages amongst many other improvements for these facilities.

This new law in Missouri, a state with thousands of puppy-mill facilities, will make a difference all the way out to Richmond, BC.  In the last week alone, two dogs were surrendered to the Richmond Animal Shelter who had been purchased at local pet stores.  Both dogs (Spyder is shown left) could be traced back to puppy-mills in Missouri, where the Hunte Corporation, a puppy broker, buys many of its puppies for sale at auction.

THANK YOU, MISSOURI!  You made a real difference for our dogs tonight.

But the news doesn’t stop there.  The City of Langley has voted to have staff report back on options to curb puppy-mills right here in BC.  See the article on puppy laundering.

A special ‘thank you’ to Corry Anderson-Fennell of the BC SPCA and Helen Savkovic at the Richmond Animal Protection Society for contributions to this post!

Leave a comment »

Missouri’s Prop. B goes to a vote today to help curb puppy-mills

Today’s the day for Missourians to take a stand against puppy-mill activity in their state.  With over 1,400 puppy-mill facilities in Missouri, the US Humane Society and the SPCA support this proposition to curb canine industrial breeding activity.  See:  Voters decide whether to tighten dog breeder rules

Under a recent surge of inspections dubbed Operation Bark Alert, Missouri inspectors have rescued 3,700 dogs from puppy mills.

Let’s hope Missourians make the right choice today and vote YES on Prop. B.

Check out these great media articles on Prop. B:

Your Dog Wants You to Vote — The Huffington Post

Comments (1) »

BC Chihuahua Rescue applauds Richmond City Council

The B.C. Chihuahua Rescue (  applauds the Richmond City Council for drafting a bylaw amendment that will ban the sale of puppies in pet stores.  This is the first of its kind in Canada and makes us one step closer to shutting down inhumane puppy mills and being able to guarantee all dogs the proper care and love they deserve.
The vast majority of puppies sold in pet stores come from puppy mills, where breeding dogs are confined to small wire cages for life, deprived of the basics of humane care with the sole purpose to produce puppies for profit.  We support banning the sale of puppies in pet stores in order to make it more difficult for puppy mill owners to find distributors for their puppies.
BC Chihuahua Rescue (B.C.C.R.) has seen far too many times the direct result of puppy mill dogs (traumatized with many behavior issues) impulse buys from pet stores, and abandoned dogs. We help as many as we can , but there are far too many more that need our help. A soaring pet population results in countless dogs being euthanized every year.  Our goal is to encourage people to adopt from local shelters, small reputable breeders or rescue groups.
The B.C.C.R. is on a M.A.D. (Make A Difference) campaign!   We encourage councils across Canada to ban the commercial sale of puppies in pet stores. Take a stand, make a difference and “Opt to Adopt”.
Linda Lanyon & Mary Ross
Co-founders of BCCR

A special thanks to Linda Lanyon and Mary Ross for providing this position statement and photograph.

Comments (1) »