A national pet store chain has announced it will phase out its sales of kittens and puppies.

"Our decision to end these sales was a tough one and was based on business fundamentals," said Robert Brissette, CEO of Petland.

In a media release, Brissette said more people are using online services to purchase animals, leading to a drop in sales at pet stores.

The Petland chain will continue to help families find pets through the company's Adopt-a-Pet program and its Petland Pets for Life Foundation, both of which aim to match homeless animals with good homes, said Petland officials.

Some hope Petland's announcement will mean more people will turn to buying animals from shelters.

Animal shelter owner D'arcy Johnston runs Darcy's A.R.C. (Animal Rescue Centre).

"The last thing we need is for more pet stores to be bringing in pets - puppies and kittens- in from other countries, other provinces just to make profit on them when here in the city of Winnipeg we have a huge kitten, puppy problem," said Johnston.

The City of Winnipeg is considering banning the sale of dogs in retail outlets to curb puppy mill operations.

Petland said it only buys dogs from legitimate breeders.

The Winnipeg Humane Society said it believes the news that Petland will no longer be selling puppies and kittens means the shelter will attract more people looking for pets.

- with a report from CTV's Jeff Keele