Butt, however, contends pet stores can responsibly sell cats and dogs.
The Church St. pet store manager says his store buys from home breeders and tries to ensure older pets are sold before bringing in a fresh crop of kittens and puppies. He says he would be saddened to see the ban implemented — not only would he lose revenue, he would also lose the opportunity to sell pets to first-time owners.
“For independent stores, they are a good place for people who are first-time pet owners,” he argues. “Yes, I think, cats and dogs are overbred. At the same time, I don’t think people who are inexperienced pet owners should be getting pets from shelters.”
Butt would like to see stricter regulations placed on pet stores rather than an outright ban.
“Make them a little more strict,” he says. “But completely banning (pet store sales) altogether is not the answer.”
According to Maher’s report, Toronto had 27 registered pet shops as of March 28, eleven of which sold cats or dogs. In his bylaw proposal, stores currently selling dogs or cats would have one year to sell off their inventory.