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A Montrealer's Petition For Kijiji To Stop All Pet Sales Has Over 400,000 Signatures

The petition says puppy mills and disreputable breeders can take advantage of the site.

Associate Editor, MTL Blog
A Montrealer's Petition For Kijiji To Stop All Pet Sales Has Over 400,000 Signatures

A Montreal woman's petition pushing Kijiji Canada to ban the sale of household pets has now officially garnered more than 400,000 signatures.

The Change.org petition was launched by Barbara Lapointe in 2013. But nine years later, Kijiji still has not revised its pet policy to stop the sale of animals. Meanwhile, signatures continued to roll in up to the minute this article was written. Change.org noted that, at 500,000 signatures, it will become one of the top signed petitions on the site.

According to the petition, Kijiji may not "want to support puppy mills and backyard breeders, but by allowing pet sales to happen on their sites they are providing a marketplace where these disreputable breeders can profit."

Studies show that puppy mill dogs tend to have more psychological and behavioural issues, the petition says.

Online classifieds website Kijiji currently allows the sale of animals with a number of policies set in place. For example, pet stores are not allowed to sell dogs and cats (they can sell other animals), you can't post an ad that offers to ship animals rather than selling them locally in-person and dog and cat breeders can only post a maximum of three breeds each.

Kijiji's pet posting policy also states that any pets advertised "must be owned by the individual rehoming the pet," which means the animals can't be bought from third parties for the purpose of selling.

Still, Lapointe says some things may fall between the cracks.

"[Kijiji] clearly know[s] about the problem too, because they have guidelines that warn buyers about mills. The problem is it's really easy for unethical breeders to disguise themselves online," Lapointe wrote in the petition.

Instead of allowing the sale of household pets, the petition asks Kijiji to "promote adoption from registered animal rescue groups and shelters, and the re-homing of family pets (for a small adoption fee)" — a policy put in place by other online classifieds, including Craigslist.

Craigslist prohibits the sale of pets and animal parts on its platform, with the exception of re-homing a pet with an adoption fee, as stated on its policy page.

The petition is not only asking for dogs and cats to be spared from Kijiji sales, but pets of any kind: "dogs, cats, primates, cage birds, rodents, reptiles, amphibians, and fishes."

After reaching out for comment, Kijiji's Community Relations Manager, Kent Sikstrom shared that while they continue to offer Pets as a category on their platform, "Kijiji works closely with respected animal welfare organizations across the country to discourage impulsive, irresponsible, and illegal trade in pets.

"Additionally, Kijiji has both automated technology in place and dedicated support staff who personally review any questionable content flagged to us. Any ads posted to Kijiji that reference uncontrolled breeding, aggressive or dominant dogs (including pit bulls), or those with more than three different breeds mentioned in the listing, are automatically deleted," Sikstrom said.

Kijiji encourages the community to reach out with questions or concerns, and assured MTL Blog that "Kijiji is consistently making changes and prioritizing working with animal welfare groups across the country to offer a safe channel for the re-homing of animals."

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

    Mike Chaar
    Associate Editor, MTL Blog
    Mike Chaar is an Assistant Editor for MTL Blog focused on recalls in Canada and is based in Montreal, Quebec.
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