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Petition calling on feds to stop outsourcing of puppy mills, sales of pets on sites

FILE - In this Monday, Aug. 26, 2019 file photo, Puppies play in a cage at a pet store in Columbia, Md. A federal judge on Friday, Feb. 7, 2020 threw out a lawsuit that challenged Maryland’s newly enacted ban on the sale of dogs and cats by retail pet stores, a statute billed as a check against unlicensed and unsanitary "puppy mills." (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — An online petition is circulating to convince the federal government to stop the outsourcing of puppy mills and the sale of pets on classified sites.

It comes after a disturbing incident in June, in which dozens of dogs died while they were being flown into Toronto from the Ukraine, bound to be sold online.

According to the petition, the incident “has highlighted a major hole in the Canadian system for monitoring the commercial sale of animals.”

Dr. Adrian Walton from the Dewdney Animal Hospital in Maple Ridge is behind the petition, and says change is badly needed.

“Ever since we stopped selling dogs in pet stores, we have been seeing this change to online puppy sales,” says Dr. Walton. “You just have to go-on to places like Kijiji and look at the sheer number of ads for various breeds where they are only selling a single dog.”

Wilson says it’s never just ‘one’ dog a breeder has, and that it’s more likely those animals have been flown in from other countries.

He says the issue has only gotten worse during the pandemic, with more people stuck at home and wanting a furry friend.

“Everybody who suddenly is at home, decided that now we need a puppy. And unfortunately, people with nefarious motives are seeing profit here, and are looking to overseas females to supply the demand that’s been built up here in Canada.”

As of Wednesday, the petition has been signed over 600 times, a majority of the signatures coming from B.C.