Delta residents will no longer be able to ask how much that puppy is in the window now that a new bylaw bans the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in pet shops.
Delta council members on Monday unanimously approved the regulation that prohibits the sale of those animals in retail stores.
Animal adoptions remain available through the Delta Community Animal Shelter or recognized animal rescue groups approved by the manager of the animal shelter.
Bylaw manager Hugh Davies said the input the city has received is that most people are opposed to the sale of animals in stores.
Only one store in Delta, located at Scottsdale Mall in North Delta, currently sells puppies and kittens.
“When we’ve asked where these animals came from they provided us with locations we really couldn’t check or do a background on,” said Davies. “For example, one was up in the interior off a rural road. So, not allowing the sale of those pets provides them still to have the opportunity to have animals in the store but it is going to curtail their business to some degree.
“We’ll give them plenty of notice on what we intend to see happen and give them time to move the animals they have in the pet store along,” he said.
This summer Vancouver council unanimously voted to ban the sale of cats, dogs and rabbits from pet stores. That bylaw, aimed at putting an end to puppy and kitten mills, was approved due to the difficulty assessing the breeding conditions of animals in stores. Richmond and New Westminster had already passed such bylaws.
Other cities across the country have also passed similar restrictions in recent years, including Toronto, where dogs and cats sold in pet shops must come only from animal shelters, rescue groups or people giving up animals for free.
Meanwhile, California is about to become the first U.S. state to ban the sale of dogs from puppy mills.
Under the new law, which comes into effect next January, pet shops can only sell dogs, cats and rabbits primarily from shelters and animal rescue centres.
According to the SPCA, by adopting a pet from a shelter or a rescue group, people ensure they’re not supporting puppy mills, where inhumane treatment of cats and dogs has been documented, while helping to reduce pet overpopulation. They will also be providing a home to a homeless animal in need.
Pet store owners in cities that enacted bylaws have argued they get their pets through reputable breeders.