Animal rights advocates have long argued that retail pet stores contribute to the ongoing life of puppy and kitten mills. Also, when there are so many pets waiting for adoption at humane societies throughout the country, having people pay for pets that may come from questionable sources makes no sense.
Governments across Canada are finally starting to listen. Last month, the Vancouver city council passed a law banning pet stores in the city from selling cats, dogs, and rabbits with selected exceptions. The news was received with great enthusiasm from activists and I support this position.
As there is no way to know for certain where the animals in pet stores are coming from, purchasing your feline or canine friend there can mean you are inadvertently contributing to the animal cruelty that is the hallmark of disreputable breeders. You could also be setting yourself up for substantial vet bills as the health of these animals may be compromised from the get-go.
While not perfect, the animal rescue operations in most cities and towns perform a valuable function. The animals they take in for adoption are rigorously checked before being offered. That means health issues, both major and minor, are cleared up in advance. These animals are also spayed, which helps to cut down on the surplus population roaming the streets.
Thus, when you head to your local humane society and choose that incredibly cute kitty, you can rest assured that there is a very good chance she is healthy and will remain so. Also, the money shelters make from these sales go towards paying for their operations and restoring/maintaining the health of other animals in their care.
So next time you are in a city without such laws, think about writing their city council. Let your voice be heard on behalf of these beings who bring us so much joy and happiness, but cannot speak for themselves.