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I was recently at Vaughan Mills when I came across Safari Pet Centre. I was shocked to see puppies in glass displays lining the storefront. When I inquired about where these puppies come from, and what their lives are like in the store, I discovered a disgusting truth. It is still legal to sell puppies and kittens in pet stores in Vaughan!
The puppies in petstores do not come from registered breeders - stores put profit before animal welfare by contributing to an industry of puppy mills and commercial breeders.
Please put an end to this practice, and pass a by-law to stop the sale of puppies and kittens in Vaughan!
As you may know, Toronto city council passed a bylaw in 2011 that would ban the sale of puppies and kittens in pet stores. Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker put forward the motion, saying that pet stores that sell animals are bad for pets and consumers.
“They’re kept in small cages, they’re not socialized, they have immense health problems,” he said. “Consumers are getting ripped off.”
The bylaw states that shops cannot sell dogs or cats unless the animals come from a municipal shelter, a Humane Society or registered rescue group. “It really slams the door closed on people who mass produce animals for profit,” said Mr. De Baeremaeker.
Although this legislation has not yet reached Vaughan, there is an opportunity for your city to move ahead, as Toronto, Mississauga, and other cities before it.
Pet store dogs do not come from registered breeders - reputable breeders will not, and cannot, sell their dogs in shops. This means that the puppies come from “commercial breeders” and “puppy mills. ”
Commercial breeding is an operation in which puppies are mass-produced: the goal is to produce as many puppies as possible with minimal cost to—and maximum financial gain for—the operator.
These stores also encourage impulse buying from individuals who are not necessarily prepared to take on the challenge of owning a pet. One consumer wrote:
"My daughters and I are from the Ottawa area. We were on holidays in July 2013 and took the girls to wonderland near Vaughan mills. We decided to stop in to the shopping centre to buy some new clothes for back to school. We had no idea there was a pet store inside. My daughters walked by and saw this really cute yorkie dog. Although we couldn't afford the selling price of $2000, we charged it to our credit card and bought the dog not knowing anything about puppy mills. They told us it was a purebred and came from a registered breeder in Quebec although no information was given. 4 weeks later, the dog was dead. Our daughter was devastated and we had to bury the dog. We called the store and we were advised there is nothing they will do. So so horrible experience for my family. I hope this store gets closed down for good and no more families have to go through such heartache."
We urge you to consider that pet stores could opt to bring rescued dogs into the store from local shelters to help re-home them instead of being a part of this industry.
Please, make it illegal to sell puppies and kittens in your city.