Ottawa Reviews its Pet Shop Laws

The City of Ottawa is currently reviewing the by-law that regulates the inspection of pet shops.

The review is subject to two proposed options. The city can either decide to completely restrict the sale of cats, dogs and rabbits from pet shops leaving only adoption and non-commercial sources available for aspiring pet owners or simply increase monitoring and inspections.

As Eileen Woodside, founder of Puppy Awareness Working Solutions, explains, this review is largely based on the ethics of the industry.

“Pets that are sold in pet stores contribute to the high rate of abandonment and surrender to shelters,” says Woodside. “This is due to a combination of impulse purchasing at the retail level, lack of knowledge and training by pet store staff and no adequate screening done to match pet with suitable owners.”

The repercussions of these actions can lead to very unfortunate situations for the animals.

“This, in turn, can ultimately lead to euthanasia in shelters due to lack of space and, or resources,” says Woodside. “There are more animals than there are homes available.”

Others are taking an even more aggressive stand in support of a ban on the relationship between pet stores and breeders.

“PETA wants to see a ban on the sale of all dogs, cats and rabbits across the board,” says Matt Bruce, a campaigner for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. “And on breeding, altogether.”

Bruce encourages those looking to buy from a pet store to go visit the local shelter, see the victims of neglect and consider adopting.

Bruce says he feels that it’s “criminal” to breed and sell these animals when millions are dying for a good home.

While public views through online submissions were due to the city Feb. 29, Woodside and other parties will go before a city committee March 21 to discuss the review.