Archive for December, 2010

Petition to end retail puppy sales in Vancouver and Burnaby

Vancouver and Burnaby are ready to take on their pet stores to stop puppy-mills and prevent impulse purchasing of animals which end up in the city’s local rescues. Now you can sign a petition on-line at

Here is the text of the petition:

* Target:;
* Sponsored by: Kathy Powelson

A call to our city councils to follow Richmond’s lead and ban the sale of puppies in pet stores.
End the mass production and inhumane treatment of dogs.

Richmond became the first city in Canada to pass a bylaw that bans the sale of puppies in pet stores.  The goal of Bylaw No.8663 is to limit impulse purchases and to reduce the number of dogs bred in puppy mills.  Shelters across the province will testify that one of the consequences of impulse purchases of the cute puppy in the store window is the overpopulation of homeless dogs filling their facilities.  The number of purebred dogs in shelters range between 25 – 50 % across the province.  Puppy mills are notorious for their substandard and inhumane living conditions and health care.  So much so, that  a large movement in the United State protesting the mass production of puppies has hit the streets and outside stores that sell puppies. This includes Utah based Best Friends Animal Society’s national”Pets are not Products” campaign.  With an estimated 10,000 puppy mills in the United States, we have our work set out for us.

The majority of puppies in Canadian pet stores come from the United States, many of which are brokered through the Hunte Corporation, based in Missouri.  It is estimated that up to 60 percent of the puppy mills in the United States are based in Missouri, due to, until recently, little regulation.  Enter Proposition B, the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act.  Passed in November, this Missouri law limits the number of breeding dogs to 50 and requires a higher standard of care relating to all aspects of a dog’s health; accommodation, food, water and veterinary care. Time will tell whether this new law will have a significant impact on the goal of eliminating the mass production of puppies and whether it will improve the quality of life for breeding dogs.  It is, however, a step in the right direction.  Given the Hunte Corporation does not actually ‘breed’ dogs, but rather ‘brokers’ them, it is doubtful that this laudable law will have any impact on their business.  In fact, it seems that they are untouchable.  Despite numerous complaints filed with the USDA and failed USDA inspections, it is business as usual at the Hunte Corporation.

While regulations may help improve the welfare of dogs whose sole purpose is to breed, the only way to eliminate puppy mills is to stop the demand.  For as long as people are willing to purchase puppies at stores, companies will supply them.  Unwanted dogs are abandoned daily.  The ‘lucky’ ones end up at shelters where there is a chance they will find another home.  Others are dumped in garbage bins, left tied to a tree, a truck or simply just left in a desolate area.  Shelters across the US and Canada are full of homeless dogs.  Rescue agencies are stretch beyond their means and hundreds of thousands of dogs are killed each year because there are not enough resources to care for them.

There was overwhelming support for Bylaw No.8663 from the community of Richmond.  The strongest opposition, not surprisingly, came from owners of pet stores that sell puppies.  We call upon city councils across the Lower Mainland to follow Richmond’s lead and make it illegal to purchase puppies in pet stores.  You have an amazing opportunity to improve the welfare of so many animals and to relieve the burden of your municipal shelters and community rescue groups.  The precedent has been set, the momentum has begun, we urge you to do the right thing.

Sign the petition.

A special thanks for Helen at RAPS for sending me this petition.

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BC Chihuahua Rescue on Shaw TV

Check out BC Chihuahua Rescue on Shaw TV!

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Victoria Times columnist calls for pet-store puppy sale ban

Well, here we go! Richmond’s decision to ban the sale of dogs from retail outlets is starting to spread throughout BC, and the latest call comes from Times columnist, Virginia Bennett.  See her simple and clearly stated article here.

For resources on banning the sale of dogs in your city, click here.

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St. John’s Newfoundland receives retail sale ban proposal

Dean Maher, former Toronto city council candidate, has made a proposal to the city council in St. Johns Newfoundland to ban the sale of dogs and cats from pet stores.  See The St. Johns Telegram.

The disturbing part of this story is that St. John’s city Coun. Sheilagh O’Leary and chairwoman of the city’s animal care and control committee, is quoted as saying “Staff have really felt they’ve had a good relationship with the pet shops.”

This is the biggest myth about pet stores — that just since there is no outward facing problems with the pet shop, that it must be a perfectly ethical business.  This is not the case.  Just because cities don’t have visible “problems” with pet stores doesn’t mean those stores aren’t adding to animal homelessness or purchasing their dogs from puppy mills or backyard breeders in a neighboring city.  In order to sell lots of puppies you have to have lots of puppies, and lots of puppies come from puppy mills.

For resources on how to ban the sale of dogs and other animals in your city, click here.

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