Toronto cracked down on puppy mills this week by voting to ban pet stores from selling puppies and kittens from commercial breeding facilities.
Under the new law, retailers will only be allowed to sell cats and dogs that come from shelters, rescue groups or that were donated. Two currently approved sources are Toronto’s Animal Control Services and the Toronto Humane Society.
Toronto is the second major municipality in Canada to ban the sale of animals from puppy and cat mills. On Thursday, the City Council voted unanimously to pass the measure.
The new regulations come on the heels of the rescue of 527 dogs from a puppy mill in Quebec, in the largest animal cruelty case in the province’s history. Quebec is known as the puppy mill capital of North America.
Council member Glenn De Baeremaker, who introduced the Toronto ban said, “…from coast to coast, we’re going to protect dogs across this country. For all intents and purposes we’ve shut the taps to the puppy mills at retail locations in Toronto.”
“The goal of this motion is to stop animal cruelty,” De Baeremaker continued. “It really slams the door closed on people who mass produce animals for profit.”
De Baeremaker also pointed out how the ban will cut down on the number of pets euthanized at Toronto Animal Services. There will be fewer animals coming into the shelter system and more homeless cats and dogs being adopted at pet shops.
The new regulations will have an impact on licensed dog breeders who will be prohibited from selling kittens and puppies to pet shops. The breeders will be able to sell animals from their own facilities.
Many pet shops in Toronto have voluntarily stopped selling animals from puppy mills. In August, the national chain of PJ’s Pets announced it would no longer sell puppies and instead focus on supporting pet adoptions.
Photo from saturnism via flickr.