Montreal

Montreal pet stores can only sell pets from shelters — at least for now

A group of Montreal pet stores opposed to the city's new bylaw has been told they will need to conform to it and can only get their dogs, cats and rabbits from local shelters like the SPCA. 

Pet stores had requested the city’s new bylaw be suspended while awaiting legal challenge

The lawyer representing the group of pet stores, Yves Pépin, says the rule will push people to buy their pets online from backyard breeders and puppy mills. (The Associated Press)

A group of Montreal pet stores opposed to the city's new bylaw has been told they will need to conform to it and can only get their dogs, cats and rabbits from local shelters like the SPCA. 

On Wednesday, Quebec Superior Court Justice Johanne Mainville denied the group's request that two articles of the municipal regulation be suspended, while the group waits for their case to be heard. 

Mainville said she didn't grant the request because there was no urgent need to suspend the law. She added that the plaintiffs did not show that it would be in the public's best interest to suspend the regulations.

The lawyer representing the stores, Yves Pépin, does not see this as a loss for his clients. He said the decision shows the courts are taking their case seriously. 

"There's clearly basis for a court to look at this; the court concluded that this is a serious issue to be decided on," he said. 

Pépin had previously said the pet stores were coming out against the regulation because of safety concerns. 

He said some shelter animals have behavioural issues, and that shelters do not always have animals that are a good fit for families.

Supporters of the bylaw, however, say it will help crack down on unscrupulous breeders who sell their animals at pet stores.

The regulation came into effect in July as part of the city's new animal control bylaw. 

Based on a report by Radio-Canada

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