Puppies, kittens and rabbits won’t be available in Delta pet stores any more, thanks to a new bylaw that was unanimously approved during council Monday night.
According to Hugh Davies, bylaw manager with the city, the new business bylaw — which encompasses everything from business licenses to dumpster maintenance — bans the sale of cats, dogs and rabbits in Delta pet stores.
Similar bans have been adopted by other Lower Mainland municipalities such as Vancouver, Richmond and New Westminster.
Animals will still be available in stores if they come from the Delta Community Animal Shelter or another recognized rescue group — although these are technically adoptions rather than sales.
The new bylaw will come into effect on Nov. 1, 2017.
Puppies Fish and Critters in Scottsdale Mall is the only pet store in Delta currently selling dogs, cats and rabbits.
“When we had asked for where these animals came from, they provided us with locations that we really couldn’t check or do background on,” Davies told mayor and council.
“Not allowing the sale of pets provides them still the opportunity to have animals in their store, but does curtail their business to some degree.”
Davies said the store would be given ample notice for what Delta wants to see happen, and will be given time to move the animals currently in the pet store.
Delta council received a number of letters in support of the pet store ban.
SPCA manager of public policy and outreach Amy Morris said the new bylaw is a step forward in preventing animal cruelty in a press release Tuesday.
“Delta council is standing up against the importation of dogs from puppy mills and the inherent cruelty involved with unscrupulous breeders,” Morris said. “With so many cats and rabbits being abandoned and surrendered to shelters and rescues, this is the right move.”