What We Do
Pets Are Not Products
Don’t support animal cruelty.
If they don’t come from a shelter or rescue, every pet sold in a retail store comes from an inhuman breeding mill.
Our Pets Are Not Products campaign aims to bring awareness to the inhumane business practices of animal breeding mills and backyard breeders. Many people are not aware that animals purchased in pets stores and online are not coming from reputable sources and are often bred in deplorable conditions.
Animals forced to breed for stores often spend their lives in cramped stacked wire cages, where they have no choice but to eat among their (and other animals’) urine and feces. Many never have their medical needs attended to and when they are no longer able to breed, they are killed.
As a result, animals sold from these operations are often sick and have behavioural issues. Unsuspecting individuals may fall in love with the cute puppy in the window but end up with heartache and years of very expensive veterinary bills due to the neglect and malice of these breeders.
Banning Pet Sales
Since 2011, Paws for Hope has been lobbying municipal governments to ban the retail sale of cats, dogs, and rabbits—and many have listened! In BC, a number of cities have passed bylaws to prohibit the sale of cats, dogs, and rabbits in retail outlets unless they come from a rescue organization or shelter.
Best Friends Society has a list of jurisdictions across Canada and the US that have similar bans.
BC cities that have banned animal sales:
Richmond (dog and rabbits only)
Burnaby (dogs and cats)
As the number of pet stores that sell cats, dogs, and rabbits decreases, there seems to be an increase in the online sales of pets. Just as a reputable breeder would not sell their animals through a pet store, they would also not do so online or in a newspaper. Sites such as Kijiji are not reputable sources and likely are not putting the animal’s health before profit. No Puppy Mills Canada is a great resource for what to look for in a reputable breeder.
While our lobbying efforts have focused on banning the retail sale of cats, dogs, and rabbits, our long-term goal is a ban on the sale of all animals. Small animals, such as hamsters, gerbils and guinea pigs are bred and transported in horrific conditions and are dumped at alarming rates. Local shelters have limited capacity for these small animals and organizations such as Small Animal Rescue Society of BC bear the responsibility of caring for and re-homing discarded small animals.
Download the Pets are Not Products toolkit.
You’ll find letters, petitions, printable flyers, and postcards to help you lead your own campaign against the retail sale of animals in BC. Thank you for giving time to our furry friends. Your advocacy makes change happen!
Download the Pets are Not Products toolkit and do your part to help en the selling of cats, dogs, and rabbits in BC stores.
Advocate for a provincial ban of animal sales.
Selling animals in pet stores is an inhumane and archaic business practice. Do you want to see a province-wide ban? Send a message to your MLA that you support a provincial ban on the retail sale of animals!
Learn who your MLA is, find their contact info, and tell them that you support a province-wide ban of the retail sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits in BC!