On Oct. 4, 2010, Richmond, BC became the first city in Canada to ban the sale of dogs in pet stores (want to know more? See media coverage here). Almost one year later, the City of Toronto, Ontario, Canada’s largest municipality, decided to ban the sale of dogs and cats from pet stores for many the same reasons as Richmond.
Richmond’s puppy sale ban was a landmark bylaw not only because it was the first in Canada, but also because it considered the extraordinary costs to a community to ignore animal welfare — both financial and ethical. Furthermore, the Richmond’s puppy sale ban was also challenged in the BC Supreme Court and ultimately upheld with Judge Savage writing that “a decision to prohibit the sale of dogs in pet stores falls within a range of acceptable outcomes that are defensible with regard to the facts and law. There is rational connection between the Bylaw and its objective.”
With this court decision in their back pockets, animal activists, tax payers and city governments are beginning to view a retail pet sale ban as a reasonable and viable option to cut out the costs of thousand of homeless dogs they see every year and end support of cruel puppy and kitten mills.
While change often starts small, the retail pet sale ban appears to be gaining momentum. Neighboring cities of Richmond, BC are starting to talk ‘a pet sale ban’ as a possible solution to their common problem.
Burnaby activist and foundation founder, Kathy Powelson, of the Paws for Hope Foundation has brought some energy to the issue for Burnaby. Based on this article in the BurnabyNow, Burnaby’s mayor is willing to investigate the option.
Port Coquitlam’s TheNow is reporting a similar trend with Councillor Brad West indicating a desire to see a similar restriction on pet sales as were established by Richmond’s councilors.
And now Saskatoon, SK and Beaconsfield, QC are talking about a retail pet sale ban as well. City council members, activists and rescue group leaders see a pet sale ban as a practical and workable solution to the tragic consequences of pet homelessness according to news articles in the The StarPhoenix and the Montreal Gazette.
Meanwhile back in Richmond, while pet stores continue to complain over loss of business, Councillor Ken Johnson is reporting that the “new law seems to be working and there are bigger issues at stake than dollars” according to an article in the Richmond News.
So, will your city be next?
A very special ‘thank you’ to Helen Savkovic for doing ALL the media research for this post. Thanks Helen!