Vancouver needs to draw a line in the sand…

See letter in the Province.

Dear Editor, Residents of Vancouver and Vancouver City Council:

If you haven’t already heard, a new pet store that sells puppies, kittens, birds and other small animals will be opening in Vancouver’s Tinseltown this month.  The store, part of a large chain of pet stores in our area, has made it clear from their website that they are stocking live animals for retail sale.  While these plans have, no-doubt, been underway for a while, this comes right as the Richmond City Council has made the highly-applauded decision to ban the sale of puppies and dogs from retail outlets.  And earlier this year, the Richmond councillors banned the sale of rabbits due to overpopulation of pet rabbits abandoned to Richmond’s parks.

Vancouver-ites should be really upset that their city is continuing to allow retail and impulse purchasing of animals in pet stores.  Not only have documentaries by the CBC’s Marketplace clearly shown that local pets stores such as Pet Habitat and PJ’s pet source their puppies from puppy-mills and puppy-brokers such as the Hunte Corporation, but the sale of dogs, cats, birds and other small animals in Vancouver will only fuel our on-going homeless pet crisis in this region.  This costs the city of Vancouver to pay for ever more dogs to be housed at the Vancouver Animal Shelter and ever more cats and other animals housed at the BC SPCA.

Meanwhile your local, independent animal rescue groups are packed full of animals that need homes, and a large percentage of those animals came from people who bought their pet at a pet store, and then gave it up because it was too much work.

Richmond-ites understood the consequences of retail animal sales, and when Richmond Council asked for public consultation on this matter, the City received over two hundred pages of public support for the ban, and only two pages of dissenting opinion.

I encourage residents of Vancouver and the Vancouver City Council to look at what your pet stores are costing you both financially and ethically.

Respectfully,

Christie Lagally
Animal Welfare Advocacy Coalition

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