It all started with a fight, followed by a crazy idea
Three and a half decades ago a group of embattled business owners came together to fight a piece of unfair business legislation targeting the pet sector and they won. Bolstered by their success and support from PIJAC (US) The Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council of Canada was formed. Not long after a young SPCA Inspector, named Louis McCann, was put in charge. Many thought it was a crazy idea to put an SPCA officer in charge of a pet business association, however, hiring a leader who was experienced in working with pet businesses and an expert in animal welfare proved to be exactly what the association needed.
Watch out for the branches
Since that time PIJAC Canada grew to include trade shows, education, animal care, small business resources, and ongoing legislative work. Unlike other sectors, when your business is pets, a special kind of passion drives your work. From day one PIJAC Canada has worked to be the voice of the industry by developing exemplary business standards to support industry growth, healthy animals, and responsible pet ownership. It has not been an easy path. Working at PIJAC Canada we all know, that if you’re going to blaze a trail, you will get branches in the face. Some of those branches were really big, yet here we are 35 years later.
What we’ve accomplished
There are so many accomplishments we have achieved together. From a small group of Canadian companies, we have come a long way.
Here are just a few highlights:
- Building a network of 1750 businesses across the country from all sectors of the industry
- Partnering with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) to give 1020 members access to over $5000 in business benefits
- Bringing together 4800 pet professionals annually at our 3 pet industry shows fostering millions of dollars in sales
- Over 26,000 animal care programs completed
- Helping members enter international markets through our Canadian Pavilions program
- Working with partners to ensure pet food continues to make it to Canadian store shelves
- Our History Page
What we’re fighting for today
Today our biggest challenge is the debate around the ability to keep pets. Dogs, cats and rabbits have in many places removed from stores. Reptiles, birds and other specialty pets are now being discussed around the country. We need to continue collectively ensuring stories of how pet business puts the welfare of animals first are heard by the public and decision-makers. It is also important to have a diversity of pets available and reputable sources from which to find healthy animals in order to meet the needs of all pet families. Your support in this area is critical. It may seem unbelievable that pet ownership is being threatened, but believe us our opposition is putting millions of dollars into lobbying and campaigning to achieve just that. This is why we work hard to engage legislators so they understand how much our members truly put the wellbeing of pets first through the products and services they offer.
It’s always fun to reminisce (like how our first-ever piece of letterhead was a logo taped onto a blank page and photocopied), however for us it is really about looking forward as we craft the next chapter for the association. This year you can expect to see new industry stats, education opportunities, resources and our biggest news will be announced very soon.
We have said this before and we will continue to say it, you, our members, are the ears, eyes and heart of the association. Without your ongoing support and belief in what we do we would never have been able to make this milestone. It is our honor to be able to support the good work you do.