Vancouver doesn't ban sale of animals in pet stores, unlike New Westminster and Richmond

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      Vancouver city council could be ready to take action to reduce the number of animals from puppy mills being marketed.

      This comes after Paws for Hope Animal Foundation and the SPCA have raised concerns about the opening of Granville Pet and Garden at 8697 Granville Street.

      The City of Vancouver has not outlawed retail stores selling pets, unlike Toronto, Richmond, and New Westminster.

      “People have started telling us that there has been a history of bad treatment of animals, not at the stores necessarily, but at the mills that produce these animals,” Vancouver councillor Heather Deal told Global B.C. “And so, our staff went down to the new store and discovered that many of these animals come from the U.S. or overseas. We don’t know how to control whether or not they come from puppy mills.”

      Puppy mills are commercial breeding facilities that have raised the ire of animal-welfare organizations. Video footage has documented that puppies are confined to tiny cages in these notorious businesses. In some cases, they're living in their own waste and at times have shared cages alongside dead animals.

      Meanwhile, the Canadian Kennel Club Code of Practice states that no breeder "shall sell or donate dogs" for the purpose of being auctioned, raffled, or sold through pet store.

      Granville Pet and Garden first came to public attention when Paws for Hope members held a demonstration outside the store in May, calling for action from city council. Protesters alleged that the pets for sale in the store come from puppy mills.

      Members have also maintained that the store's owner formerly operated Pet Habitat at Metrotown, which was the subject of many complaints to the B.C. SPCA.

      The B.C. SPCA has statutory authority to enforce the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

      It includes provisions concerning "relieving distress" and "relieving critical distress" of animals.

      "An authorized agent may, without a warrant, during ordinary business hours enter any premises, other than a dwelling house, where animals are kept for sale, hire or exhibition for the purpose of determining whether any animal is in distress in the premises," the law states.

      This award-winning investigative report on puppy mills was broadcast last year.