Sara Côté speaks about the Best Management Practices program

Co-owners Sara and Olivier Côtê

Summer is in full swing and this is the perfect time to sign up for the PIJAC Canada Best Management Practices Program. Take advantage of the summer to train your teams quickly and efficiently. Sara Côté, owner of La Grande Ménagerie has already seen the many benefits.

For more than 40 years, those of us at La Grande Ménagerie have made it our duty to offer the animals in our care the best possible facilities and care out of respect for their natural origins and their physiological and psychological needs. As co-owner and general manager of the pet store, I represent the second generation. My parents taught me, and they passed on their passion and their desire to always learn more about pets and to better understand them, in order to provide them with an environment respectful of their needs while maintaining high standards in our facilities as well as our care.

When PIJAC Canada offered me the opportunity to participate in the development and revision of BMPs in pet stores, I was glad to bring my expertise to the task. I am pleased to be a pioneer of this program, and my team is proud of the recognition.

I encourage any pet store that focuses their concern on the quality of care animals receive to join this program. Through it, a pet store will be able to stand out and make known to the public their sincere interest and commitment to animal welfare.

“The program makes it possible to distinguish ouselves…”

The Best Management Practices program is offered on a voluntary basis to all members of PIJAC Canada, and the training is simple because it can be done directly online. The program clearly explains defined standards to ensure a minimum quality of care and educate those responsible for the trade. The recommended practices offer the highest quality of care, and a pet stores that adheres to them promises the highest standards recognized by PIJAC Canada.

Browsing through the document allows us to self-assess the practices and workings already established in our stores. The program also makes it possible to distinguish ourselves, and to make our clientele, the consumers, aware that some pet stores make a commitment to better care and management in their business.

For many years I’ve been hoping that the standards for the care and management of animals in pet stores would get better and become standardized, in order to ensure that they are provided with all the necessities of life beginning right from their stay in the pet store.

My family and I have always been convinced that this clearly shows consumers the essential needs of the animal, and that consumers are encouraged to do the same if the pet store itself offers them first.

“I hope that hundreds of pet stores will benefit from the mutual assistance and expertise that is within their reach as PIJAC Canada members.”

Animal welfare is everybody’s business, and the more we improve the care of the animals around us and their lives, the stronger the animal community and our cause will be. As a pet store owner, YOU can make a difference with your team, your customers, and of course all the animals that come into your premises.

Thank you to Sara for sharing her experience. The Best Management program was developed to support pet businesses in their day to day operations and to educate consumers about care practices thereby opening the door for important conversations to take place. For more information on the program check out our press release, visit the info page on our website or email Jacynthe Lacroix at

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