City of Ottawa Staff Recommendations

City of Ottawa staff recommendations on retail sale of cats, dogs and rabbits leave many questions – Do not address many issues.

Today, City of Ottawa staff released their recommendations on an amendment to Bylaw 2002-189 (as amended 2011-241) with respect to restricting the sale of cats, dogs and/or rabbits sold for profit in Ottawa pet stores and retail outlets.

Link to report:

Puppymill Awareness Working Solutions (PAWS), which is leading a broad coalition of animal welfare groups advocating for a ban on the for-profit sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores, believes these recommendations do not address most of the issues of concern to Ottawa residents:

  • While these amendments begin to address the care of breeding animals which supply these three stores, they place the onus and cost for inspection on the provinces of Quebec and Ontario;
  • These amendments will not address any of the other issues that PAWS has raised:
  • Ottawa consumers being sold unsterilized animals with potential health problems, and few guarantees from the seller;
  • The impulse purchase of pets leading to high rates of pet abandonment and euthanasia; and
  • Continuing costs to the City of Ottawa and its taxpayers for bylaw inspections of these pet stores, bylaw responses to stray animals purchased from these pet stores, and the burden on Ottawa’s municipal shelter, in which a disproportionate percentage of animals are originally from pet store purchases.

Finally, as surrounding municipalities enact their own retail pet store sale bans, grandfathering these three pet stores will lead Ottawa to become a dumping ground for the retail sale of pets in eastern Ontario and western Quebec.

Over 50 pet stores in Ottawa have adopted an ethical responsible approach in their business model, many of them working with local humane societies and/or animal rescue groups in an adoption-only model. We encourage the last three pet stores who continue to sell dogs, cats and rabbits to embrace a more ethical and responsible business model.

We also encourage the CPS Committee and Ottawa City Council to adopt our recommended changes to Bylaw 2002-189 (as amended 2011-241).

Our recommendation – a total ban on the retail for-profit sale of dogs, cats and rabbits – will save the City of Ottawa and its taxpayers money, and address all the animal welfare issues involved. Today’s recommendations from City staff are well-meaning but largely ineffective.

For high-resolution video of Ontario and Quebec puppy mills and their link to the pet store sale of dogs: