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New Law Compels Toronto Shops To Sell Only Shelter Pets

Cute puppies!
Cute puppies!

In an effort to curb puppy and kitty mills, the Toronto city council approved a new resolution that restricts the kinds of pets shops can sell. Now, pet shops will only be allowed to sell dogs and cats that come from a shelter, a Humane Society or a registered rescue group.

The National Post reportson the reaction of one of the people behind the law:

"I think we're the second major municipality in Canada to do this, so that from coast to coast, we're going to protect dogs across this country," said a jubilant Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker, who had championed the partial ban.


"For all intents and purposes we've shut the taps to the puppy mills at retail locations in Toronto. We won't eliminate them because people will still sell at Kajiji and there is other ways to sell puppy mill dogs, so those evil people will continue but there's a lot less demand for their product," said Mr. De Baeremaeker. "Eventually, hopefully, there won't be any puppy mills at all."

Dan Karpenchuk reports for NPR's Newscast that the ban comes after news of a massive puppy mill bust in Quebec. Karpenchuk filed this report:

More than 500 dogs were taken from the mill by authorities in what could represent the largest case of animal cruelty in Quebec's history. The animals are now in the care of Humane Society. Many of them are suffering from skin and respiratory problems. A representative of the society says the operation involved some of the worst conditions she's ever seen.

It's just the kind of tragedy that prompted the action by Toronto's city council. Many animal rights activists hope the action by the country's largest city will furhter the movement to ban or restrict pets being sold in shops across Canada.

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Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.