Toronto's City Council voted unanimously Wednesday to ban pet shops from selling dogs and cats unless the animals come from shelters or rescue groups.
The move comes after authorities seized more than 500 dogs from a Quebec puppy mill in what could represent the largest case of animal cruelty in Quebec's history.
The animals are now in the care of the Humane Society. Many of them are suffering from skin and respiratory problems. A representative of the society said the operation involved some of the worst conditions she'd ever seen.
Under the new rule, pet shops in the city can no longer sell dogs or cats unless the animals come from a shelter, the Humane Society or a registered rescue group.
Many animal-rights activists hope the action by the country's largest city will further the movement to ban or restrict pets being sold in shops across Canada.