Nearly 40,000 Call Out Kijiji.ca for "Allowing Puppy Mills to Profit"

Nearly 40,000 Call Out Kijiji.ca for "Allowing Puppy Mills to Profit"
September 6, 2013 by Modern Pets

Petition on Change.org calls on popular classifieds site Kijiji.ca to "catch up with Craigslist" and prohibit the sale of live animals

Last week, popular BC classifieds site BuySellTrade.ca announced it has also removed private pet ads section, will promote adoptions via local shelters instead.

MONTREAL, QC – Barbara Lapointe, a Montreal mother of two who owns a dog-walking and pet sitting business, has launched a fast-growing Change.org petition asking Kijiji.ca to take a stand against puppy mills and unethical breeders by banning all pet sales, and instead working to promote adoption from registrered animal rescue groups and the re-homing of family pets.

Lapointe believes that online pet sales “allow puppy mills and disreputable breeders to sell directly to unsuspecting animal lovers through online classified sites [where it is] really easy for unethical breeders to disguise themselves online." Every day, according to Lapointe’ petition, thousands of pets are posted for sale on Kijiji.ca, which bills itself as "Canada's most popular, free, local classifieds site," effectively creating what Lapointe calls “a marketplace for disreputable breeders.”

The urgency of stopping unethical breeders was highlighted once again this week with the seizure by the Montreal SPCA of 90 dogs living in squalid conditions in a large-scale commercial breeding facility (commonly known as a “puppy mill”) in the Monteregie region of Quebec. Prior to launching her petition, Lapointe had been working with local politicians in Town of Mount Royal, Montreal to implement a ban on pet sales in pet stores (as have several Canadian cities such as Mississauga, ON and Richmond, B.C.). Lapointe complemented her local pet store lobbying with her Change.org petition after several of her supporters pointed out that online classified pet sales are an even larger marketplace for puppy mills.

“Kijiji is a great site for some things but it's absolutely the wrong place to be buying and selling animals,” said Lapointe. “Ending online sales and instead encouraging shelter adoption or re-homing of family pets is the only real solution for the good of the animals and the consumers."

New signatures and comments on Lapointe's petition are sent via email to Zachary Candelario, general manager of Kijiji.ca. After collecting only 600 signatures, Lapointe was contacted by Shawn McIntyre, Kijiji’s community manager, who replied that Kijiji was not considering removing the pet sales section at this time, pointing out that Kijiji has animal posting policies to prevent use by mills.

"It's good that Kijiji gives users information about puppy mills, but their argument that they can catch suspicious posts and prevent mills from using the site is pretty naive," said Lapointe. "Many supporters of my petition have written in about their own experience buying a dog or cat through Kijiji only to discover after that the animal was sick, too young, and came from a mill or unethical, unregistered backyard breeder. Whatever Kijiji is doing, it’s clearly not foolproof."

Lapointe refers to the infamous case of Gail Benoit, a convicted animal abuser from Nova Scotia who was banned from using Kijiji but returned repeatedly using fake names, different computers, and asking others to post ads for her.

Lapointe was encouraged last week by the announcement that popular B.C. classifieds site BuySellTrade.ca has removed private pet ads altogether and will only be posting pets for adoption via the local BC SPCA shelter. “Shawn McIntyre told me that by closing their pet section, it would only be driving traffic to another website that might not care at all” said Lapointe. “But Kijiji should not act out of fear that another classified website might pick up the sale of animals. Kijiji is the number one classifieds website in Canada - this is their chance to set the example and encourage all the other smaller classifieds websites out there to take a stand against mills by stopping pet sales. BuySellTrade.ca and Craigslist did it. Kijiji should show that they are indeed THE leader in Canada.”

Journalists interested in setting up an interview should use the contact details at the top of the page.

Live signature totals on Barbara Lapointe’s petition: www.change.org/kijiji

For more information on Change.org, please visit: http://www.change.org/about

 

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