Thursday, 24 January 2013

Please help Vernon residents secure a ban on the sale of live animals in pet stores

Many dogs sold in Canadian pet stores are brought into Canada through dog brokers in the United States.  Dogs bred and acquired through these brokers often suffer terrible neglect.  The same conditions can be found in many Canadian puppy mills.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Three municipalities in Canada have banned, or severely restricted, the sale of puppies  in pet stores: first was Richmond, BC; then Toronto (which also banned cat sales), followed by Mississauga, ON.
So the City of Vernon, BC, would be in good company should Council decide to restrict pet stores to adoptions through rescue groups and shelters.
Gina, a resident of Vernon made a presentation to Council last week, asking Council to consider a similar ban.

Vernon City Council is meeting again on January 28, 2013 to examine the impact such a decision would have on the City’s existing bylaws.

Your voice would be much appreciated.  Please phone or send a polite letter or email to Council (an example is below), urging them to take this important step forward – a complete ban on the sale of all live animals.  Let them know that you believe animals should be adopted only through rescue groups and shelters, not purchased in a store like a widget.
If you’d like to see Gina’s submission to Council, check out page 39 – 48 via this link:
Thank you for speaking out for the animals!
Lia and the AAC crew

Contact Info for the City of Vernon

City Hall: 8:30 am – 4:30pm, Monday to Friday
3400 30th Street
Vernon, BC
V1T 5E6
Fax: 250-545-7876
Mayor Robert Sawatzky
Patrick Nicol:
Cell: 250-550-6823
Juliette Cunningham:
Cell: 250-309-2432
Catherine Lord:
Cell: 250-309-1685
Bob Spiers :
Brian Quiring:
Cell: 250-309-2861
Mary-Jo O’Keefe :
Cell: 250-540-0634
Dear Mayor and Members of Council,

I write to express my support for the creation of a bylaw in the City of Vernon that will ban the retail sale of live animals on all commercial and public properties.  I strongly urge you take steps to make this issue a priority and make this bylaw a reality.
- To remove an outlet of puppy mill (or kitten factory) sales and curb impulse pet purchases, both of which play significant roles in pet overpopulation; after all, hundreds of pets are euthanized each year in our city alone simply because they are “unwanted”.
- To combat the perception that companion animals are commodities, promoting the responsible procurement and ownership of pets.
- Vernon would not be the first: Richmond, BC’s ban took effect April 2011, and in September 2011 Toronto’s bylaw passed unanimously.  In the United States, more than a dozen cities already have retail pet sale bans in place, including Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Austin, Texas.  In April 2012, the city of Los Angeles passed a ban on the sale of commercially bred dogs, cats and rabbits. Laguna Beach, CA followed on May 2, 2012 with a ban on the retail sale of dogs and cats.


Retail pet sale bans have been shown to contribute to an increase in pet adoptions and a decrease in the euthanization of unwanted pets – two improvements that will directly financially benefit our city’s Animal & Bylaw Services, as well as help ease the burden of the several local rescue agencies that routinely find themselves at capacity.
Retail Pet Sales
The commercial sale of pets is not permitted by breeding organizations such as the Canadian Kennel Club, which explicitly prohibits their members from providing puppies to stores, auctions, or other retail outlets.  Therefore, the question remains: if not from members of established breeding clubs, where do retail stores get their animals? 
The point of the bylaw is not to limit one’s ability to obtain a pet, nor to handicap retailers (several pet retailers have been very successful not selling pets), but rather to improve the way residents think and act with respect to pet ownership and care.  Greater visibility of adoptable pets, together with education, benefits both Vernon pets and their owners.  Even with a ban there will still be no shortage of available dogs and cats.
I thank you very much for your consideration of this issue and I look forward to seeing it discussed formally by City Council in the near future.
Best regards,
Name: _____________________________________
Street Address:  ______________________________

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