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City council bans pet sales in Victoria

Pet stores in Victoria will not be allowed to sell cats, dogs or rabbits after council passed a motion this week to ban the sale of the animals.

Council offered a chance for anyone to weigh in on the issue Thursday evening, but had no takers.

Coun. Charlayne Thornton-Joe, who was behind the push, said the Animal Responsibility Amendment Bylaw will stop anyone from setting up shop in the city to sell cats, dogs or rabbits.

There is currently just one pet store in the city, and it does not sell any of those animals.

Thornton-Joe said the bylaw’s intention is to cut down on impulse buying of cute animals, which can lead to pets ending up at places like the SPCA and adoption agencies if they don’t fit in well with a family.

“As I like to say, every pet deserves a home, but not every home deserves a pet,” she said.

The bylaw does not apply to private sellers who might use other methods, such as the internet, to sell cats, dogs and rabbits.

Kittens, puppies and rabbits can still be adopted or sold through recognized animal-rescue societies and shelter organizations that promote responsible pet ownership and match prospective owners and pets.

Victoria plans to write to other municipalities in the region urging them to adopt similar bylaws.