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When animal lovers walk by pet shop windows, they are often overcome with joy at the sight of bouncing baby puppies and tiny mewing kittens. However, what many people do not realize is that these precious animals were likely born in backyard breeding operations, also known as “puppy mills.”  For those unfamiliar with the term, puppy mills are horrific places where animals are overbred for sale to both pet shops and individuals. With profit at the top of their priorities, the health and well-being of the animals are neglected, and many animals used for breeding purposes are kept in cramped, filthy cages for their entire lives, forced to live in a constant cycle of being pregnant or nursing. Animals who are not considered profitable are often discarded like garbage.

Many U.S. cities, including San Francisco, Chicago, and Phoenix, have already instated laws banning the sale of animals in pet shops, instead requiring pet shops to partner with animal rescues and shelters to promote the adoption of animals. And now Vancouver has done the same!

Put forward by City Councilmember Heather Deal, the motion to ban the sale of dog, cats, and rabbits in pet shops passed with a unanimous vote. Richmond and New Westminster have similar laws in effect.

There is only one pet shop in Vancouver known to still sell animals, the Granville Pet and Garden shop. Members of the Paws for Hope Animal Foundation, an animal welfare organization in Vancouver, had been protesting the sale of animals at this store for five years. Paws for Hope executive director Kathy Powelson was at the recent council meeting and stated that the new legislation “sends a clear message to Vancouver residents and the rest of the world that city council believes in a humane community. A city that places animal welfare before profit.”

We are thrilled to see Vancouver join the fight against puppy mills and promote the adoption of animals. According to Deal, over 1,200 concerned citizens sent e-mails voicing their support of banning the sale of animals in pet shops, proving that public opinion truly has the power to create change. If your town does not prohibit the sale of animals in pet shops, speak up and contact lawmakers about it.

Many people are unaware of the cruelties inherent in puppy mills, so please share this story with your network as a lesson why we should never support businesses that sell animals!

Image Source: Pixabay / pexels.com

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