Council bans for-profit pet sales at 3 Ottawa stores

Pet stores in Ottawa that sell cats and dogs from for-profit breeders have five years to stop. On Wednesday, city council amended its pet store bylaw to give three stores time to make the transition to an adoption model.

Sale of cats and dogs from breeders to be phased out over 5 years

Two dogs at Little Critters, one of three Ottawa pet stores that sell animals for profit. (CBC)

Pet stores in Ottawa that sell cats and dogs from for-profit breeders have five years to stop. On Wednesday, city council amended its pet store bylaw to give three stores time to make the transition to an adoption model.

Coun. Jeff Leiper tried to move up that timeline by two years, but lost the vote. 

Leiper said while he's disappointed with that decision, he's still happy animals being sold in stores will be better protected.

"Compared to where we started with this issue — which was a staff recommendation to allow those three store to continue to sell live animals for as long as they had the same ownership — we've come a long way."

Animal rights groups have been trying to get the city to change its bylaw to ban the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits for profit since the 2014 municipal election campaign.

Currently, only three of the city's 16 pet stores sell cats and dogs from for-profit breeders: Little Critters at Billings Bridge Plaza and the Pet World locations at St. Laurent and Bayshore shopping centres. The remainder sell them through non-profit shelters and rescue agencies.