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Toronto city council passed a by-law this afternoon requiring pet stores as well as all other retail outlets within city limits, including flea markets, who want to continue selling animals to only source them from rescues and shelters.

From The Star:

“The goal is to stop animal cruelty,” said Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker. “I think this is a wonderful day in the city of Toronto for anyone who loves cats, dogs, puppies, and wants to ensure animals are treated humanely.”

That's two strikes against puppy mills this past week.

Thank you Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker for leading the charge on this issue. It's about time someone at city hall had the decency and put in the effort to see this law through.

Now if only we could do something about those puppy mill peddling pricks on Kijiji.

9 Comments to “Toronto pet stores now required to be puppy mill free zones”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Let me be the first to congratulate Toronto for following Richmond's lead. Now, if every city in Canada did the same thing, the puppy and kitten mills would shrivel for lack of market, and the shelters would be considerably less crowded.

    And the provinces could do their bit by adding basic animal care to the elementary school curriculum....

  2. Laura HP says:

    Not to nitpick, but not all animals are safe from mills - the by-law deals with dogs and cats. Stores are still free to get birds, rabbits, reptiles and rodents from mills, just as they always have.

    I don't mean to be a wet blanket, though, this is an excellent step forward! Huge kudos to Councillor De Baeremaeker. I hope we keep going with this - maybe one day Toronto will stop the sale of all animals in stores :)

  3. NK says:

    Bravo! One small step...

  4. Joanne says:

    YAY...I was in PJ's last night and the horrible cages that held the puppies in the back of the store were boarded over. One small step...a long road to go.

  5. mel says:

    What a great week for animals! So hoping Ottawa steps up.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Do you think if there was mandatory licence/fee and restrictions placed on an owners ability to breed their dog that it would cut down on the number of backyard breeders/hobby breeders/puppy brokers/millers? just a thought....I think this would be good for any animal bred as pet/companion,including livestock ie. horses...just my opinion, but I wonder if fees/fines had the potential to cut too much into careless breeders pockets, that it would no longer be worth it....those caught breeding without a license fined/puppies seized and adopted out through rescues, and those with a breeding license required to have their dogs first licensed with the city and puppies produced licensed prior to sale (cause yeah, then they would have to actually talk to buyers PRIOR to sale and find out personal info from them, then wait a few days more for the paperwork to go through..THEN money may exchange hands). Too much profit loss/work for bad breeders? A good way to ensure pet licensing? I don't know..just wondering...(in my mind licensing fees/fines paid would be put toward shelters/rescues) there already ideas out there for a solution?

    PS. sorry the lengthy ranty-question..if there is blog etiquette, I don't know it.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I'm a breeder. My dogs live in my home. They are treated very well. They don't live in cages. I would NEVER consider selling a dog/puppy to anyone who I didn't first approve. I have rejected several people for various reasons. I wish that people could understand the difference between responsbile breeding and those who do it only for profit.

  8. Anonymous says:

    KIJIJ continues to sell unsuspecting animals on their site and then they have the nerve to attend woofstock. Petfinder is now on KIJIJI.

  9. Anonymous says:

    to the anonymous breeder...I do understand the difference between a responsible breeder and one who does it only for profit, that is why I know you are the latter. Being a discriminate seller makes you still only that..a SELLER. I am only mistaken of course if you do in fact prior to breeding have blood work/xrays done on your breeding dogs, they are CERF/OFA , and you sell with a spay/neuter contract ( a written/signed actual legal document that is legally pursuable, and NOT some scribbles and a signature you made on the back of a receipt you dug from your purse). Also as a responsible breeder, you would limit your litters to at most 2 a year, and avoid having puppies available at Christmas. You also refer buyers to breed specific rescues when you have none available, and have again, a contract that states you will take back /re-home dogs past buyers can no longer keep, regardless of the dogs physical or mental state. If any one of these are things YOU DO NOT DO, YOU ARE NOT A RESPONSIBLE BREEDER!!! I understand though, these cost money, and that hurts your profit (oozing with false empathy and sarcasm).
    PS. the defense that both parent dogs are "healthy" and have "never had any problems" means nothing. If both dogs carry recessive genes for a trait/disease it can be expressed as a dominant trait in the puppies. If only one parent carries a recessive trait it can still be passed on.

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A request

The reason for this blog is to help get specific dogs adopted from TAS but equally important is to try to normalize the idea of shelter dogs being just as good and just as desirable as any other dogs including those which are regularly merchandised by backyard breeders, puppy millers and those few remaining pet store owners who still feel a need to sell live animals. The single greatest stigma shelter animals still face is the belief that shelter animals are substandard animals. Anyone who has had enough experience with shelter animals knows this is untrue but the general public hasn't had the same experiences you've had. They see a nice dog photo in a glossy magazine and too many of them would never think of associating that dog with a dog from a shelter. After all, no one abandons perfectly good dogs, right? Unfortunately, as we all know, perfectly good dogs are abandoned all the time.

The public still too often associates shelter dogs with images of beat up, sick, dirty, severely traumatized animals and while we definitely sometimes see victims such as these, they are certainly not the majority and, regardless, even the most abused animals can very often be saved and made whole again.

Pound Dogs sometimes discusses the sad histories some of the dogs have suffered. For the most part, though, it tries to present the dogs not as victims but as great potential family members. The goal is to raise the profiles of animals in adoption centers so that a potential pet owner sees them as the best choice, not just as the charity choice.

So, here's the favour I'm asking. Whenever you see a dog picture on these pages you think is decent enough, I'd like you to consider sharing it on Facebook or any other social media sites you're using (I know many of you do this already and thank you for that). And when you share it, please mention that the dog in the photo is a shelter dog like so many other shelter dogs waiting for a home. If we can get even five percent of the pet buying public to see shelter dogs differently, to see how beautiful they are and how wonderful they are, and to consider shelter dogs as their first choice for a new family member, we can end the suffering of homeless pets in this country.