Coun. Heather Deal seeks bylaw change to prohibit sale of cats, dogs, and rabbits in pet stores

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      This morning, the Straight cited concerns from Paws for Hope Animal Foundation about a Vancouver retailer selling pets that may be sourced from puppy mills.

      And this afternoon, Vision Vancouver councillor Heather Deal has introduced a notice of motion for a bylaw amendment to address the issue.

      Deal's motion calls for a ban on the "the sale of cats, dogs, and rabbits in a pet store or other type of retail premises".

      The only exceptions would be "those animals offered for adoption from a recognized animal rescue society or shelter organization".

      Deal's motion is on the Tuesday (June 27) council agenda and has been seconded by Vision Vancouver's Geoff Meggs.

      It points out that Richmond restricted the sale of rabbits in 2009 and dogs in 2010. New Westminster council took action in this area in 2012, also restricting the sale of cats.

      Deal's motion notes that potential pet owners can obtain animals from "reputable breeders and through recognized animal rescue and shelter organizations".

      The Paws for Hope Foundation website drives home the point that many pets in retail stores are sourced from "breeding mills".

      Last month, Paws for Hope organized a peaceful demonstration outside a new retail store, Granville Pet and Garden. The protesters alleged that the business was sourcing some of its animals from puppy mills.

      According to Deal's motion, it's "been shown that commercial breeding facilities can raise animals in horrible conditions resulting in neglect, abuse, and suffering".

      She noted that this, in turn, causes animals to often suffer from disease and other physicial, emotional, and behavioural problems.

      On Saturday (June 24), there will be a peaceful demonstration from noon to 4 p.m. outside Granville Pet and Garden at 8697 Granville Street.

      On July 8, Paws for Hope will host a fundraising lunch with guest speaker Marcie Moriarty at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. Moriarty is the chief prevention and enforcement officer of the B.C. SPCA.