• As U.S. pet stores are seeing a decline in the sale of animals, Western Canadian pet stores have increased the sale of puppies, kittens, and other small animals… like this emaciated puppy found in a West Edmonton Mall last week that was shared on Facebook over 9,000 times within days leading to an investigation of the store, My Pets
  • Vast majority come from commercial breeding mills with horrific conditions, intense animal suffering, and poor breeding practices resulting in serious diseases, genetic and hereditary disorders, thousands of dollars in vet bills, and often early death
  • Paws for Hope encourages people to take the “Pets are not Products Pledge” to NOT purchase an animal from a pet store, online, or a disreputable breeder this holiday season
  • Read submitted pet store “horror” stories and meet some puppy mill survivors thriving today

VANCOUVER, BC – December 9, 2014 – Paws for Hope Animal Foundation, a Vancouver-based charity committed to more sustainable companion animal protection in B.C., has ramped up its Pets Are Not Products campaign in time for Christmas in hopes of stopping the public from buying an animal from a pet store or online as a holiday gift for someone they love. This comes on the heels of a public outcry on social media this past week when an unhealthy puppy was photographed in a West Edmonton Mall pet store.

“Every year, thousands of animals are bought and sold irresponsibly, without any care to their health and well-being,” stated Kathy Powelson, Executive Director of Paws for Hope Animal Foundation. “Not all, but so many end up suffering from serious behaviour and/or health problems… like this Edmonton puppy may face. Poor breeding leads to genetic deficiencies, poor veterinary care leads to illnesses, and isolation can create temperament problems leading to needless pet suffering followed by heartache and high vet bills for consumers. Too many of the animals end up
abandoned and surrendered to an already over-burdened animal rescue system when this can all be avoided by simply ‘adopting vs. shopping’.”

While there are many, quality stores that do not sell animals, Paws for Hope and other animal welfare-related charities have noticed there is a
trend of new pet stores opening across Western Canada selling animals. Adds Powelson, “We want parents to think twice before purchasing a
small animal for their children as a gift, and to caution shoppers that if they want to add a cat, dog or other small animal to their family, find one through a responsible rescue organization, shelter, or reputable breeder. With no regulations to monitor the breeding industry and inadequate laws to protect animals bred and sold for profit, it is up to the consumer to end this inhumane business practice. Our goal with this important campaign and pledge is to increase people’s awareness and let them know they do have options and can be a part of the solution, not the problem.”

An underweight boxer puppy house in a glass box much too small at Pet Habitat in Metrotown

An underweight boxer puppy house in a glass box much too small at Pet Habitat in Metrotown

Kittens crammed in a single display box at Pet Habitat, Metrotown Mall

Kittens crammed in a single display box at Pet Habitat, Metrotown Mall

To help stop the sale of animals, Paws for Hope is asking people to:

1. Make a pledge that they will not purchase an animal from a pet store, online, or disreputable breeder and will help spread the word, “Adopt. Don’t Shop.”
2. Share their stories with others, whether about a pet they bought that became sick or had behaviour problems or to share the joy a rescued animal has brought to them:

To learn more about Paws for Hope’s Pets are not Products program including more information on pet store
alternatives, please visit
Kathy Powelson
Executive Director, Paws for Hope Animal Foundation

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