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Calgary woman renews calls to ban sale of puppies in stores

A petition that was started last fall to ban the sale of puppies in private retail stores has garnered more than 21,000 signatures so far.

Meghan Huchkowsky, co-owner of Calgary pet supply store Doodle Dogs, launched the petition to spread the word about the issue, hoping it will garner support from new city councillors.

“Unfortunately there is just no bylaw or regulation in Calgary to disallow that, so the petition is meant to create more awareness around, ‘Hey, this is something we really want to get rid of,’” said Huchkowsky.

“Now that we have a new council, I kind of want to get in front of their faces and say, ‘I hope this is something you’re interested in pursing this year.’”

The Calgary Humane Society confirms that there is one store in the city that sells puppies, but that there are many other retailers that sell lizards and birds, pets that are called “pocket animals.”

Brad Nichols, director of operations and enforcement with the Calgary Humane Society, says with the overpopulation of animals at the facility and other rescue operations, retailers that sell puppies are adding to the problem.

“There’s a finite amount of resources for kennels and foster homes, and we aren’t the only ones in this boat. What we’re asking people to do is foster from an animal welfare organization, or adopt an animal from a shelter rather than purchase one from a store.”

Robert Church, owner of The Top Dog Store, which sells puppies, does not believe his store is contributing to the overpopulation in the shelters. He is confident the animals from his store are not ending up in the shelters.

Church says all the puppies at his business are well taken care of and feels he is being unfairly targeted.

“I consider our store an exemplary provider and we provide a valuable service in the community by providing ethically-bred puppies to better people’s lives, if they can bring a puppy into their homes,” said Church.

“We operate under veterinarian supervision and have professionally designed kennels. The dogs are out and socialize with us. They get fed the best food, all their vaccinations are up to date, and we microchip them.”

Furthermore, Church believes his store provides a safe and reliable option for people who do want to buy puppies.

“The flip side is people would go to places like Kijiji or some other unreliable source.”

Huchkowsky believes the practice of selling dogs in private stores is archaic and dated.

She says Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto have all banned the sale of cats and dogs in retail stores and hopes Calgary will follow suit. Top Stories

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