Chatham crackdown on pet sales wise, says humane society

Council puts the freeze on bylaw that would see dogs brought indoors during extreme cold

In a bid to crack down on puppy mills, Chatham-Kent council has set in motion a legal move that will outlaw the sale of some animals in pet stores.

Coun. Brock McGregor recommended the changes to the city's animal control bylaw.

His goal is to force people to adopt animals from a humane society, while reducing the number of animals available to anyone looking to create a puppy mill with substandard conditions.

Chatham-Kent councillor Michael Bondy confirmed the motion to amend the animal bylaw passed on Monday. It will amend the Responsible Animal Ownership bylaw to prohibit any sale of cats and dogs that aren't rescues. The amendments will go back to council to be officially passed but it's "essentially approved," according to Bondy.

Officials at the Windsor-Essex County Humane Society support the move, saying several communities in southwestern Ontario have considered similar moves, but did not follow through.

"It makes a statement and really does encourage people to consider adoption and to look at adoption first," said Melanie Coulter, executive director at the humane society.

Finding more ways to discourage the sale of dog from puppy mills should be encouraged, Coulter explained. 

"If you're buying a puppy from a puppy mill, unfortunately, what you're supporting is that mom living her life, likely in a kennel for years at a time and being bred one after another," she said.