Ottawa council approves pet shop ban on commercially bred dogs, cats

There will be no more doggies in pet shop windows after councillors voted to ban the sale of commercially bred puppies and kittens on Wednesday.

Only three Ottawa pet stores sell commercially bred animals. The other 13 licensed shops house cats and dogs from animal shelters, humane societies or rescue centres. 

Those pet stores will have five years to adjust their business models before the bylaw is phased in. Kitchissippi Coun. Jeff Leiper tried to fast-track the sunset clause to three years, which he called a "reasonable transition period," but his motion failed.

The Humane Society International/Canada said it agreed the five-year transition period was unnecessary.

"Similar by-laws have been adopted in other Canadian cities without a transition period, and Ottawa had the opportunity to do the same," HSI/Canada campaign manager Ewa Demianowicz said in a statement. "These animals are trapped in inhumane conditions; it doesn’t take five years for established pet stores to stop the sale of commercially bred dogs and cats."

Still, she said her organization welcomed the decision and noted the support Ottawa citizens showed the bylaw.

Councillors also voted in favour of requiring pet shop owners to provide breeders' certificates ahead of sale. Stores must also grant a 48-hour "cooling off" period in which new pet owners can return the animals.

- with files from OBJ staff

This article originally appeared on metronews.ca on April 13.