Burnaby looks at banning sale of puppies, kittens, and rabbits in pet stores
Animal lover Kathy Powelson is excited. She appeared before Burnaby council on July 16 to talk about banning the sale of puppies, kittens, and rabbits in pet stores in the city. According to her, council members voted to refer her presentation to staff for a possible revision of Burnaby’s animal control bylaw.
“They were very receptive,” Powelson told the Straight in a phone interview on July 18.
Powelson is the executive director of the Paws for Hope Animal Foundation. Established in 2011, the group promotes animal welfare.
According to Powelson, many of the puppies, kittens, and rabbits sold in stores come from pet mills that breed animals under “inhumane conditions”. Animals that are no longer able to produce offspring are often killed, she added.
Powelson said the sale of these pets is also a taxpayer issue. “Once these animals [bought from pet stores] are surrendered and abandoned, it’s municipal tax dollars that become responsible for caring for them in our shelters,” she said.
She said that as far as she knows, Richmond is the only city in the Lower Mainland that has a ban on pet stores selling animals, but that this covers only puppies and rabbits, not kittens.
Councillor Nick Volkow said Burnaby is revisiting its animal control bylaw. He said the city may put in a ban on selling these animals in pet stores. However, Volkow also told the Straight in a phone interview that it would be better if the provincial government would take the lead and impose a blanket prohibition on the sale of these pets across B.C.