Pets Are Not Products


Our Pets Are Not Products campaign aims to bring awareness to the inhumane business practice of animal breeding mills and backyard breeders. Many people are not aware that animals purchased in pets stores and online are not coming from reputable sources and are often bred in deplorable conditions. Animals forced to breed often spend their lives in cramped stacked wire cages, where they are forced to eat amongst their, and other animal’s urine and feces. They can spend their entire lives not having the medical needs attended to, and when they are no longer able to breed they are killed.

Because of these horrible conditions, animals sold from these operations are often sick and have behaviour issues. Unsuspecting individuals fall in love with the cute puppy in the window and may end up with heartache and a very expensive veterinary bill.

Since 2011, Paws for Hope have been lobbying municipal governments to ban the retail sale of cats, dogs and rabbits and many are listening! In BC, the following cities have passed bylaws to prohibit the sale of cats, dogs and rabbits in retail outlets unless from a rescue organization or shelter. Best Friends Society has a list of jurisdictions across Canada and the US that have similar bans: Pets Are Not Products

  • • Richmond (dog and rabbits only)
  • • New Westminster
  • • Vancouver
  • • Delta
  • • Surrey
  • • Burnaby (dogs and cats)
  • • Victoria

Advocate for a provincial ban

Over the past 6 years, we have seen successful municipal bylaws that now ban the sale of cats, dogs, and rabbits in stores. It is clear that most people don’t support this inhumane business practice. And while municipal bans are a tremendous first step, we need a provincial ban in order to make a significant impact. Only a provincial ban will ensure that there are no stores in the entire province selling cats, dogs, or rabbits (unless through an adoption program with a reputable rescue organization).

Selling animals in pet stores is an inhumane and archaic business practice. Do you want to see a province-wide ban? We sure do! Visit and share our petition link! You can also send a message to your MLA that you support a provincial ban!

Show your support for a province-wide ban of the retail sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits in BC!


Online sales

As the number of pet stores that sell cats, dogs, and rabbits decreases, there seems to be an increase in the online sales of pets. Just as a reputable breeder would not sell their animals through a pet store, they would also not do so online and in newspapers. Sites such as Kijiji and those that are selling multiple breeds and/or various mixed breeds are not reputable sources and likely are not putting the animal’s health before profit. No Puppy Mills Canada is a great resource for what to look for in a reputable breeder. Learn more about the impact of online sales here.

Small Animals

While our lobbying efforts have focused on banning the retail sale of cats, dogs and rabbits, we wish for a ban on the sale of all animals. Small animals, such as hamsters, gerbils and guinea pigs are bred and transported in horrific conditions and are dumped at alarming rates. Local shelters have limited capacity for small animals, and organizations such as Small Animal Rescue Society of BC bear the responsibility of caring for and rehoming discarded small animals.


Download the Pets Are Not Products Toolkit.

You’ll find letters, petitions, printable fliers, and postcards to help you
lead your own campaign against the retail sale of animals in BC.
Thank you for giving time to our furry friends.

Your advocacy makes change happen!