I am writing in response to your paper's decision to print a three-quarter page for Pet Habitat in a recent edition. The purpose of this advertisement is to encourage people to buy puppies or kittens from their store.
The sale of puppies and kittens in pet stores supports inhumane puppy and kitten mills. Such mills keep animals in deplorable and cruel conditions, as evident in the September bust of a Quebec puppy mill where more than 500 dogs were rescued from the most horrific conditions. There has been an increasing awareness internationally about puppy mills, and as a result there has been a strong movement to ban the sale of animals in pet stores. As you know, the City of Richmond was the first city in Canada to impose a ban, and more recently the City of Toronto.
On Oct. 5, your paper published an interview with me regarding my organization's attempt to encourage Mayor Derek Corrigan to follow Richmond and Toronto's lead and implement a bylaw that would ban the sale of animals in pet stores.
While I understand the revenue from advertisement is essential to the operation of the paper, I encourage you to consider your corporate, social and community responsibility when choosing the adverts to run.
Many animals purchased in stores have significant health and/or behaviour problems. Many are impulse purchases, only to be later dumped at a shelter.
Many are bought as presents for people who may not want or be equipped to care for an animal, and then they, too, are dumped at a shelter.
And there is no check and balance to ensure the animals are going to appropriate homes where they will not suffer further cruelty or neglect.
Finally, for as long as stores continue to sell animals, there will be mills to produce this "commodity," which results in the suffering of thousands of animals whose sole purpose in life is to breed.
Kathy Powelson, Paws for Hope Animal Foundation