Toronto city council voted Wednesday to ban the sales of dogs and cats in pet stores, becoming the second Canadian city to do so.
“You can no longer buy dogs in a pet store,” Coun. Glenn De Baeremaeker told reporters.
De Baeremaeker had proposed the bylaw back in May, arguing that many of the animals come from puppy mills.
“Animal cruelty has to stop,” he added.
Earlier this year, council voted to restrict pet stores to selling dogs and cats that only come from shelters, humane societies and certified breeders.
Now, no dogs or cats will be sold in pet stores – no matter where they come from.
Toronto is the second Canadian city to restrict the sale of animals in pet shops. Richmond, B.C., decided to ban the sale of dogs in pet stores in 2010.
For one Toronto shop, that’s been their policy all along.
“We choose not to sell cats or dogs,” Kaelo Gallagher, dog and cat manager at Menagerie Pet Shop on Parliament Street, told CityNews.
“We don’t believe that a pet store is a healthy environment for puppies and kittens. They need to get out and walk. They need exercise.”
“A lot of the dogs that come into pet stores, they come from puppy mills,” Gallagher added.
Council ruled that pet store owners will now be able to take in shelter or rescue dogs and adopt them out, much like local humane societies.
Opponents of the bylaw say that if customers can’t get what they want at a Toronto pet store, they’ll go to Mississauga or other cities in the GTA to find a dog or cat.