- Matthew McKenzieKijiji General Manager
Kijiji Canada: Stop puppy mills and prohibit the sale of household pets
This petition simply wants Kijiji Canada to remove the sale of animals and only promote adoption from registered animal rescue groups and shelters, and the re-homing of family pets (for a small adoption fee).
The idea of a puppy mill is horrifying to animal lovers everywhere. Cruel, cramped, unsanitary breeding facilities that force mothers to produce puppies until they can't anymore.
Many big Canadian pet stores like PetSmart, Petland and PJ’s Pets have taken a stand against mills by stopping pet sales and only promoting adoptions. Toronto, Richmond, Mississauga and more Canadian cities have even banned the sale of cats and dogs in pet stores. This is great, as it cuts off a major source of income for puppy mills who used to sell their puppies and kittens in pet stores, and at the same time boosts animal adoptions in shelters and rescue groups and reduces euthanasia of healthy and friendly animals across Canada. But now, there's a much bigger problem: puppy mills and disreputable breeders can sell directly to unsuspecting animal lovers through online classified sites -- like Kijiji.ca.
Kijiji is the most popular classifieds website in Canada, so this petition asks them to simply stop allowing the sale of household pets of any kind including dogs, cats, primates, cage birds, rodents, reptiles, amphibians, and fishes. After public pressure a few years ago, Craigslist stopped allowing the sale of household pets. Kijiji could easily adopt a policy like this.
I doubt sites like Kijiji want to support puppy mills, and backyard breeders, but by allowing pet sales to happen on their sites they are providing a marketplace where these disreputable breeders can profit. They clearly know about the problem too, because they have guidelines that warn buyers about mills. The problem is it's really easy for unethical breeders to disguise themselves online. There is no way Kijiji would be able to catch all the bad posts. If thousands of us send messages to them, I'm sure they'll do the right thing.
According to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, puppy mills dogs tend to have more psychological and behavioral problems. They lack veterinary care and socialization, and often have or will develop genetic defects, health, or behavior problems due to poor breeding practices, inbreeding, and the deplorable conditions into which these puppies were born. No one wants this - Kijiji included.
Kijiji's Pets Code of Conduct
Humane Society International Canada' Puppy Mills fact sheet
Penn Vet study on pet stores puppies
Canadian Federation of Humane Societies’ Shelter animal statistics
Since the ban in Albuquerque, New Mexico, came into effect in 2007, by 2009 there was a shelter adoption increase of 23% and euthanasia decrease of 35% since enacting their ban in 2006. Shelter intakes decreased 6%
- Kijiji General Manager
Internet classified sites are NOT the place to look for a pet because it is virtually impossible to tell the difference between a reputable breeder and a puppy mill. Therefore, I am asking Kijiji to no longer sell animals online.
For the following reasons, I ask that Kijiji prohibits the sale of household pets of any kind including dogs, cats, primates, cage birds, rodents, reptiles, amphibians, and fishes:
• Considering that buying a puppy online often means supporting inhumane puppy mills and animal abusers. Responsible, ethical breeders rely on their websites, word of mouth and their national and/or regional breed clubs for referrals. They also breed dogs of only one or two breeds, do not have a larger number of animals than they could reasonably provide with a good quality of life, and often have waiting lists of people interested by their puppies. They don’t need the extra advertisement of classified ads like Kijiji.
• Considering that approximately 250,000 unwanted cats and dogs were abandoned to animal shelters in Canada in 2010. While thousands of companion animals are sold online, thousands are euthanized every year in shelters and city pounds. By removing the online market for pets, Kijiji would boost adoptions of healthy and friendly animals in shelters and rescue groups and increase opportunities for responsible, humane breeders.
• Considering that impulsive online purchases are common and are a contributor to the problem of pet overpopulation. Consumers are not well informed on the type of pets that would fit best in their lifestyle and their household, greatly increasing the risk of an owner not being properly equipped and ready to welcome a pet into his or her family, and ultimately surrender or abandon the animal. According to a B.C. Supreme Court, requiring owners to put additional thought and preparation into their decision to purchase a pet is rationally connected to reducing unwanted pets. All too often, pets bought on impulse are eventually abandoned, and then euthanized, in shelters. This is not only inhumane, but it is costing taxpayers’ money to collect, store and kill these animals in our city shelters.
• Considering that pets sold on Kijiji do not come with a package that includes the spay/neuter surgery, a complete veterinary check-up, vaccinations, pet identification, and pet licensing which are essential for people to be responsible owners. Most animal shelters and rescue groups include these features in their adoption packages.
• Considering that pet sales bans also serve as a means to protect consumers. Puppies from puppy mills are sold online with little to no regard for a dog’s health, genetic history or future welfare. By opting to adopt or by choosing a responsible breeder, many consumers will avoid a great deal of heartache, frustration, and expense.
• Considering that there is a strong educational aspect to banning the sales of pets online. An animal should never be perceived simply as an object to be bought or sold, and this is increasingly being recognized by ethical pet supply stores, who are choosing not to sell live animals. By banning the sale of pets online, Kijiji will present itself as a forward-thinking company that cares about companion animal welfare. It also proves that it is ready to take concrete measures to tackle the problem of pet overpopulation in Canada, as well as educate citizens about responsible pet ownership.
• Considering that puppy mills and disreputable breeders can sell directly to pet collectors and animal abusers. By selling animals online, not only are people unaware of where the animals are coming from, but they are also unaware of where their animals are going. Kijiji makes it easy for pet collectors–for animal research–for people collecting for purposes of training for dog fights, meals, and animal abusers to buy pets. Little to no screening of the purchaser is done online as the primary motivation for selling a pet online is profit.
• Considering that Craigslist is already taking steps to reduce pet overpopulation. Many big Canadian pet stores like PetSmart and PJ’s Pets have taken a stand against mills by stopping pet sales and only promoting adoptions. Even some Canadian cities have banned the sale of cats and dogs in pet stores to halt the proliferation of puppy mills.
• And finally, considering that Petfinder is the only effective platform upon which more than 13,000 animal shelters and adoption organizations across the U.S., Canada and Mexico advertise their presence.
For all these reasons, we urge Kijiji to prohibit the sale of household pets. Kijiji has the power to curb the distribution of puppy mills pets and to reduce pet overpopulation in Canada, and demonstrate its commitment to a popular cause.
Barbara Lapointe started this petition with a single signature, and now has 124,325 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.