Reluctance arises over banning pet sales

There are reservations about banning the sale of puppies and kittens.

There are reservations about banning the sale of puppies and kittens.

Vernon council was recently asked by two people to ban the retail sale of dogs, cats and rabbits provided by backyard breeders. However, on Monday, a local pet store owner, lobbied against such a move.

“Targeting pet stores won’t achieve much because they don’t sell many,” said Mayor Rob Sawatzky, pointing out that many animals are bred in residential settings and advertised online for sale.

Sawatzky also isn’t sure what role the city can take to monitor so-called puppy mills.

“The worst offenders don’t deal with licenses and are transitory.”

Coun. Patrick Nicol believes pet stores may actually help curtail puppy mill activities by identifying poorly treated animals and alerting the authorities.

“It’s off base to ban the sale (of cats and dogs),” he said.

In her presentation, Lisa Badach, with AJ’s Pets and Things, stated that she sold three animals in 2012 and 12 in 2011.

“Vernon pet stores do not support puppy mills,” she said, adding that she only allows people to sell animals in her store if she knows them and is familiar with their breeding environment.

“We do support ourselves to the highest standard when securing pets.”

She says that pet stores work closely with animal rescue organizations but there is also a need for commercial sales.

“We do support the adoption of rescue animals but the reality is, that doesn’t fit every families.”

Council members are expected to make a decision on a possible ban Feb. 12.