Today I was pleased that we took the next step towards moving Ottawa to an all adoption retail marketplace.
I am thankful to my colleagues for supporting my motion to amend and strengthen the city report on pet store bylaws to include a sunset period for the three remaining retail pet stores in Ottawa's sales of animals sourced privately.
Growing public sentiment and concern about the ethical treatment of animals as well as the potential opportunity for the three remaining stores not involved in the adoption model to migrate to this model are all important reasons to make this change.
With the sunset period the three existing stores will have adequate time to adjust their business model to offer adoption animals sourced from humane societies or rescue organizations. The period respects their business model, the employment of their staff and facilitates an orderly opportunity to evolve to what has become a broad community standard in many places across North America without a shock to their business.
In a caring community our standards and beliefs evolve. An industry that was once not well understood has become a source for community concern and an opportunity for us to change our standards.
I'm thankful to colleague Councillors for today's debate and further enhancement of my motion. I'm thankful to all those who came today to share their views with us on all aspects of this issue and also to all those who participated in the public consultation prior to the meeting. I am hopeful for the support of our entire City Council on this issue in the coming weeks.
I believe a healthy and caring community includes speaking in the best interests of those who cannot speak for themselves. Today those were the cats and dogs that are our pets, companions and for many in our community - family members.