About Us

Puppymill Awareness Working Solutions is a volunteer, non-profit organization in Ottawa, Ontario dedicated to raising public awareness and educating the public at large regarding the cruelty and abuse associated with puppy mills. This includes selling puppies via the internet, newspaper advertising, and in pet stores.

Through education and awareness, we empower individuals to make informed and ethical choices when choosing a companion animal.

PAWS fully supports and promotes the adoption and/or fostering of homeless animals via non-profit rescue organizations.


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Our Work

Pet stores are one of the primary distribution channels for substandard breeders to sell puppies, and they contribute to the overpopulation of pets in the homeless system, as well as the high euthanasia rates in shelters.

PAWS is strongly opposed to pet stores selling puppies for profit.

PAWS has successfully legislated against the selling of cats and dogs in Ottawa pet stores, in addition to the following other Ontario cities:

Toronto, Kingston, Mississauga, Vaughan, Waterloo, and Oakville.

Latest News

Following a two year campaign lobbying the City of Ottawa, together with a broad coalition of partners and supporters, PAWS was successful in obtaining a 21 to 3 vote in favour of amending Bylaw 2002-189 with respect to restricting the sale of cats and dogs sold for profit in Ottawa pet stores and retail outlets.

An adoption-only model for Ottawa pet stores will take effect on May 25, 2021, following a five (5) year transition period. In the meantime, consumers can take advantage of the following key points as written into the bylaw:

  •  A 48 hour cooling off period whereby consumers can return a cat or dog for a full refund. This is to protect both consumers and animals in the case of consumers who buy on impulse and then experience buyers remorse.
  • A certificate containing key information about a cat or dog’s history and veterinarian information.
The amendments to the bylaw can be seen here:   Amendments to Bylaw May 25, 2016


PAWS formal submission and recommendation to the City of Ottawa can be seen here:

PAWS FINAL Recommendations Report to City of Ottawa February 16, 2016