Pet stores challenge law making it obligatory to sell rescue animals

Fourteen Montréal pet stores are suing the city over a bylaw which makes it obligatory to sell rescue cats and dogs. The law came into force on July 1. Their argument is that there aren’t enough cats and dogs (and rabbits) in rescue centres to provide them with suitable animals for their customers.

Maxim Tremblay works at Animal Expert in the Gay Village. He says there are both good and bad sides to the new regulations. (Sarah Leavitt/CBC)
Maxim Tremblay works at Animal Expert in the Gay Village. He says there are both good and bad sides to the new regulations. (Sarah Leavitt/CBC)
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

The lawyer representing the stores, Yves Pepin, said that the animal shelters rarely have animal suitable for families with small children.

As a result, they want to suspend parts of this new law by the end of the month. Of course, the counterargument is that Montréal is trying their hardest to address the amount of animals at shelters and make sure that they find new homes. It’s the usual problem.

On a commonsense basis it makes sense to force pet stores to use rescue animals because if they don’t they are simply working against the rescue network in selling purebred animals. This encourages the creation of animals by breeders which puts more animals into the marketplace creating competition for rescue animals.

Also, rescue cats and dogs at rescue centres have been vetted. They know where they come from. Often kittens and puppies at pet stores come from puppy mills.

In fact, it is said that reputable breeders in Canada cannot sell to pet stores because the breeder wants to meet the person who wants to buy their puppies or kittens.

The lawyer says that the new bylaw might encourage people to buy their animals online. If that’s the case it would create a fresh problem.

Comment: I don’t see the argument by this lawyer. It is wrong to say that shelters rarely have puppies or kittens suitable for families with small children. I think that is arguing that the animals at shelters have behavioural problems which patently isn’t true. I’d like to hear from Montreal’s animal shelters on this. Are they are running out of cats and dogs? I doubt it.

It’ll be interesting to see how this pans out and I will update the page as I can.

Update: One pet store, Animal Expert, says that they are acting like a shelter already. If that is the case it is bypassing animal shelters. The new law is encouraging people to use stores as shelters. This is an interesting development.

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