Rabbit Advocacy Animal Matters


Cat, dog sale ban decision delayed 

Wednesday, August 22, 2007 Jessey Bird - Windsor Star

Windsor pet store owners concerned about whether they will be banned from selling dogs and cats will have to wait for a final decision. A recommendation by the city's licensing commission that included banning dog and cat sales at pet shops was delayed Tuesday pending additional research. "Without the sale of puppies, we're gone," said Mike Drouillard, owner of Corbret's Pets. "We would have to move our business out of the city."

Corbret's Pets doesn't sell many cats, but Drouillard said he sells between 12 and 20 puppies a month. He told the commission Windsor's over-population problem isn't the fault of pet shop owners, but "neglectful or irresponsible pet owners." The report recommended council adopt one or more of the four proposals for stricter control of pet stores, including preventing dog and cat sales.

"It's unconscionable that we are importing cats to an environment where there isn't enough space for them in good homes," said John Roushorne, executive director of the Windsor-Essex County Humane Society.

In 2006 the humane society euthanized 223 dogs and 4,041 cats, a three per cent increase over 2005. Besides pit bulls, the humane society has not euthanized an adoptable dog since 2004.

Before making a final recommendation to city council, the commission will seek veterinarian input. It will also consider the mandating of spaying and neutering, as well as grandfathering pet stores so only current stores can sell, said licensing commissioner Diane Sibley. If the ban is passed, Windsor will be the first municipality to restrict the sale of cats and dogs in pet stores.

Comment: Ideally, our group would like to see all animal sales prohibited by pet stores. There is far too much suffering and cruelty associated with this industry, and as most animals are purchased on impulse, the chances are awfully high that the kitten, rabbit, bird, or any other pet will not end up in a forever-home.

Pet retailers to weigh lawsuit against city
Thursday, December 13, 2007 Craig Pearson - Windsor Star

REGULATIONS QUESTIONED: Chad Drouillard, part owner of Corbret's Pets, with Pug. Railers say they may sue over the city's pet store bylaws.
The president of a national pet industry association says Windsor's tough new pet shop bylaw -- which he calls the first of its kind in Canada -- creates an uneven playing field and may be challenged in court. On Monday, city council passed a series of regulations, but stopped short of a controversial proposal to ban pet stores from selling cats and dogs.

Pet shops must now have a written agreement with a veterinarian for on-call service for emergency veterinary treatment and humane euthanasia of any animals kept for sale or display; must have suitable exercise areas; and must have an annual inspection form filled out by an investigator before they can have licences renewed.

But the new regulation which critics challenge most is that the city will consider revoking licences of any establishment if the humane society places an order on it or finds an animal in distress. "It's disappointing," Louis McCann, executive director of the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council of Canada, said Wednesday. "We're not opposed to stores being regulated. But it should apply to all pet establishments." McCann said new regulations should also apply to the local humane society.

John Roushorne, executive director of the Windsor-Essex County Humane Society, said he's pleased the city now has the power to revoke a licence from rogue operators, though he had hoped for a ban on the sale of cats and dogs. McCann thinks city inspectors should make orders against pet shops and the humane society alike.

"If you have an establishment that really does not want pet stores selling pets, and that establishment has the power to issue orders, and the pet stores need a licence to sell pets, what do you think is going to happen?" McCann asked. "You would never see another scenario like this, where you put somebody who is in a position of competition to enforce laws with their competitor. It's ridiculous."

McCann said the Windsor situation will be discussed, and a legal challenge considered, at the national board meeting of the association -- which represents almost 600 members -- Jan. 12 and 13 in Montreal.

Mayor Eddie Francis said he believes the new bylaw is close to what the pet council suggested in a Dec. 6 letter. "I would be the first to admit that if council passed a law banning pet stores from selling cats and dogs there may be an issue, because that's what pet stores are in the business of selling," Francis said.

Dennis Radosz, manager of Corbret's Pets on Tecumseh Road, said he's upset the new bylaw singles out pet stores. "I agree with PIJAC that if city council's going to pass this, it should apply to the humane society, boarders, breeders and everybody else," he said.

Pet store bylaw may bring about accountability

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I applaud the City of Windsor for the new bylaws regarding pet stores. It is time these business owners are held accountable for the health and well-being of the animals they sell. Those who speak for pet stores believe that the humane society is also a pet store and should be licensed as such. I have yet to see any shelter purchase animals for profit, or any pet store be not-for-profit. That is a lame argument by pet store supporters and they should be ashamed that a bylaw has had to be put in place.

Wendy Gatehouse,
Pet store crackdown will uphold standards

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I'm disgusted, though not surprised, that the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council is opposed to tightened regulation of pet stores. In every city, there are responsible stores, but also nightmarish operations.

Anyone familiar with politics knows that bylaws don't arise from a vacuum; they are problem-driven. If PIJAC were responsible, it would object to those who give their industry a bad name. It would encourage measures that would uphold humane standards.

Most troubling is their suggestion that the humane society is essentially a pet store. PIJAC knows full well that, unlike pet stores, the humane society makes no profit from its animals, and in fact loses money on adoptions. The adoption package includes veterinary services typically valued at two to three times the price of adoption. They're also fully aware that the humane society is subject to inspection by the Ministry of Agriculture.

There's a simple solution to this. Whenever the humane society finds a pet-store animal in distress, call the city and have the bylaw unit send a car around. This entirely eliminates this "conflict of interest" notion. Perhaps instead of threatening lawsuits, PIJAC could try making constructive suggestions that would protect both the businesses and the animals in their care.

Susan Weldon,

June 19, 2011: At Pets Unlimited, there no longer is a puppy in the window, reports the Chronicle Herald. The chain, with 18 locations in Atlantic Canada, including 10 in Nova Scotia, has decided to stop selling puppies, according to spokesman Jim Harrison. There have been complaints to the SPCA and to animal welfare and advocacy organizations about animals in their stores and breeders that supply the chain.

The competition for Pets Unlimited is using shelter animals says Nova Scotia SPCA executive director Kristin Williams.  For instance, Pet Valu, Global, even Pet Smart is coming into the market in the fall, and all of them use a shelter program, meaning that the animals are available for adoption."  She further added a voluntary code of breeding practices for the pet industry is being developed at the national level.  

We need required codes with enforcement. The pet trade is a multi-billion dollar industry that treats animals as mere commodities to be bought and sold for profit. The suffering and collateral damage is staggering.  Whether captured from the wild or bred and warehoused in backyard mills, these creatures represent nothing but dollar signs to the greedy profiteers. Denied basic veterinary care, many animals from mills are overbred, sick, have genetic problems, and other ailments. People who buy puppies from stores, for example, often spend thousands of dollars trying to fix their new canine companion only to have them die or live short, painful lives.

Animals matter to us. We stand in solidarity with them and in the name of compassion, urge you to do the same. Carmina Gooch

Update: August 18, 2011 The Canadian chain PJ's Pets has announced it will stop selling puppies as of September 1.  PJ's will be shifting its focus to adoption, helping to find homes for animals living in shelters as part of their Every Pet Deserves A Home Program.

PJ's and its sister company, Pets Unlimited have 41 stores across Canada. Space in their stores will be offered to pet adoption services to educate and to advertise animals available for adoption. Stores with enough space will actually house adoptable pets. This is a complete turnaround from only a year ago.

Update #2 December 17, 2012 Edmonton Humane Society issues warning over new pet stores selling puppies 

Comment: PJs Pets announced last year that it would stop selling puppies in all of its stores nationwide. That did happen but since then, PJs has closed all of its stores in Western Canada. The former president of PJs Pets has recently opened My Pet in the former PJs Pets locations in Londonderry Mall and West Edmonton Mall. All that matters to these people is the bottom line. Consumers beware!

September 9, 2011 Petland CEO Robert Brissette announced that it will phase out the sale of puppies and kittens in its retail outlets across Canada. The chain has eight stores in BC.  

In a media release, Brissette said more people are using online services to purchase animals, leading to a drop in sales at pet stores. In fact, as the public becomes aware of cruelties like puppy mills and other animal mills, they are choosing to adopt from rescue groups and humane societies. The Petland chain has frequently been identified as a retailer of puppy mill bred dogs according to investigations by the Humane Society of the US. Animal advocacy groups in Canada have been a strong and relentless voice in bringing attention to the brutal realities of the powerful and ruthless pet industry and in lobbying local governments to create new animal welfare bylaws that prohibit the sale of live animals in pet stores. Its a beginning, but with so much more to be done, wont you get active?

September 21, 2011 Toronto City Council voted unanimously to ban the sale of dogs and cats in stores. The decision restricts pet stores to carrying only dogs and cats that are available for adoption from humane societies and other shelters. This move is applauded by animal activists who have been lobbying municipal governments for ages. Undercover video and media reports on investigations of puppy mills and backyard breeders show shocking and sickening conditions of all kinds of animals, from rodents to birds and reptiles, bred for one purpose only to line the pockets of the ruthless exploiters engaged in this lucrative industry.

July 19, 2012 Maple Ridge Mulls Live Pet Sale Ban; aims to make pet stores more accountable, 2013

August 15, 2014 Only rescue and shelter animals allowed at Waterloo pet shops

June 22, 2017: Vancouver councillor seeks ban on pet store sales of dogs, cats and rabbits. Heather Deal has put forward a motion calling for a ban on the sale of puppies, kittens, and bunnies at retail pet stores. "We're doing this because a lot of other cities have already done it places like New Westminster, and Richmond and because of a recent store opening here in Vancouver has raised a huge issue around this," she said. 

Carmina Gooch, representing the Rabbit Advocacy Group wrote to City politicians supporting the motion, which is long overdue. Our leaders have a responsibility to help prevent the routine suffering and abuses prevalent in the industry. In closing she wrote, I kindly request that you follow the lead of other cities and make the humane and ethical decision to put an end to sales of rabbits, cats, and dogs in pet stores. The time to act is now.

Updates: BC municipalities starting to prohibit rabbit sales in pet stores; UBCM resolution passes; letters; Vancouver 2017

There's plenty more to read on our Pet Shops/Rabbits/Legislation page  Choose adoption!