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Victoria looks to ban sale of dogs, cats, rabbits in stores

Bylaw change intended to reduce impulse buying, abandoned pets
Victoria is moving towards banning the sale of dogs, cats and rabbit from stores in an effort to limit impulse buying. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Victoria is hoping to reduce the number of abandoned pets in the city with a proposed bylaw change targeting pet stores.

Headed by Coun. Charlayne Thornton-Joe, the change would prohibit pet stores from selling cats, dogs or rabbits.

“It takes away from that kind of impulse, cute buying, which doesn’t benefit the animal in any way,” Thornton-Joe told council Feb. 24.

She said when people can browse cats, dogs and rabbits in stores, they sometimes end up buying a pet without thinking the decision through. Once they have it at home and realize the level of care pets need or determine they don’t like the breed they bought, impulse buyers are more likely to decide to give their pet up.

“Those are the pets that end up back at the SPCA and adoption agencies,” Thornton-Joe said.

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She pointed out there is only one pet store in Victoria that currently sells these kinds of pets, but said the bylaw change could still be important to regulate future shop owners.

Store owners will still be allowed to display cats, dogs and rabbits if they are being offered for adoption by an animal shelter or registered non-profit. If not, the fine is set at $200.

Council unanimously voted to pass the first and second readings of the bylaw change Feb. 24, approving it to go ahead to a public hearing.

If the change is adopted, council will encourage other municipalities in the Capital Regional District to follow suit.

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