The sale of cats and dogs in stores is in the crosshairs of the Nanaimo SPCA, which is calling for a ban as a way to cut off supply from puppy mills.
But Barry Bender, owner of Nanaimo’s Paws N Jaws pet store, says his shop doesn’t get its dogs from puppy mills and the ban would be unfair.
Leon Davis, general manager of the Nanaimo SPCA branch, has sent a package for review to Nanaimo city council about a ban of puppies and kittens from pet stores. He also wants to looks at requirements within business licences on care standards for stores that sell pets, like for the animal to have food, water and veterinary visits if sick.
Vancouver, New Westminster and Richmond have already brought in bans. Davis told the News Bulletin he thought it was a good time to keep the momentum going. Driving the ban are puppy mills which he said would have nowhere to sell puppies if they didn’t have the option of going to retail stores.
According to the SPCA manager, Paws N Jaws is the only store in Nanaimo that sells puppies, but said it’s not that they’re just looking at that business. Davis thinks the B.C. SPCA hopes the ban will be in every municipality.
“What the ban would do is stop another company from opening up because if you are the only game in town, then the playing field is ripe for someone else kind of showing up and opening up a store,” he said. “I would love to work with Paws N Jaws to talk about other options there are.”
Bender said there is a movement in B.C. to ban puppy sales in all pet stores, painting them all with the same brush and saying they all get puppies from puppy mills – “this is unfair.”
“We don’t get puppies from puppy mills period. Never have. Never will,” said Bender, who also told the News Bulletin he is willing to share information with the SPCA about where they get their puppies.
Mayor Bill McKay told the News Bulletin he’d like to have a broader conversation with the community and it would be an ideal subject to bring up at a community town hall of some sort, same as licensing of cats.
“This may well be an opportunity to have a conversation about rabbits, too,” he said, referring to what the city may do around the sale of the critters.
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