Rabbit Advocacy Animal Matters


Maple Ridge bylaw aims to make pet stores accountable

February 21, 2013 BC SPCA News

The BC SPCA was pleased to learn that the District of Maple Ridge has adopted a new bylaw that will address animal welfare concerns in pet stores. In response to input from the BC SPCA, the bylaw will now regulate the sale of dogs, cats and other animals and requires them to be spayed or neutered prior to sale. It also requires that any kitten or puppy for sale in a store that reaches the age of 12 months must be socialized in a home environment.

The BC SPCA has previously raised concerns about the lack of public transparency provided by pet stores about the living conditions and sources of the animals they sell. Without educating the public about the animalís lifespan, housing requirements and health conditions, pet stores also allow people to make a blind choice when they purchase a pet. 

When a pet store refuses to accept returns, pets are frequently abandoned or surrendered to the shelter. The new bylaw includes a number of provisions to ensure pet stores keep good records and educate the public about the pet they are about to purchase.

The District had also previously considered bylaw amendments that would restrict ownership of pitbull-type dogs, but after receiving informed feedback from the BC SPCA and the community, chose against breed-specific legislation. The most effective way to protect the public from dangerous dogs is with multifaceted strategies that address aggressive behaviour in all dog breeds. 

Maple Ridge citizens were a part of this victory by writing to council to ensure these changes adopted. You too can encourage your municipality to have a more humane bylaw. Check out our Pets in the City action centre for updates about your local bylaws or contact bylaws@spca.bc.ca for information about how you can advocate for the animals in your community.