Sale of cats, dogs and rabbits prohibited under proposed regulations

Com. Charlayne Thornton-Joe, who defended the move, acknowledged there was only one pet store in Victoria but said the rules would stop anyone moving in.

How much is that dog in the window? The biggest question Victoria residents will have to decide is whether this dog should be for sale in the first place.

Council voted on Thursday to set time for public comment on the Animal Responsibility Amendment Bylaw, which would ban city stores from selling cats, dogs and rabbits.

Com. Charlayne Thornton-Joe, who defended the move, acknowledged there was only one pet store in Victoria but said the rules would stop anyone moving in.

“That doesn’t mean others couldn’t open,” she said. “The focus is really on kittens and puppies, because when pet stores put them in the windows, the purchase is due to cuteness and first impressions.”

Buyers don’t know if the breed is appropriate for the household or if the animal is from a responsible breeder who will ensure the animal is healthy, Thornton-Joe said. “And when things like that aren’t addressed, it’s the pets that end up at the SPCA and adoption agencies,” she said.

Due to the difficulty in enforcing it, the regulation would not apply to private sellers who may use other methods, such as the Internet, to sell cats, dogs and rabbits.

Kittens, puppies and rabbits can still be adopted or sold through recognized animal rescue societies and shelter organizations that promote responsible pet ownership and match owners and pets potential company.

“It takes away the cute, impulse-buying kind of thing that doesn’t benefit animals,” Thornton-Joe said.

If the by-law is adopted, the City intends to write to the other municipalities in the region to encourage them to adopt similar by-laws.

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About Patrick K. Moon

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