San Francisco considers banning pet sales

July 26, 2010

City officials are currently considering a proposal that would ban the sale of almost all pets in San Francisco. [LA Times]

In the beginning, the regulation was meant to apply only to cats and dogs, as a means of discouraging puppy mills. Towns including South Lake Tahoe and West Hollywood already have laws in place and larger cities such as El Paso and Austin are considering a ban.

However, San Francisco’s ban would be broader, including most animals. Even hamsters–turns out that hamsters are euthanized at a greater rate than any other pet in the Bay Area.

The city’s Animal Control & Welfare Commission is scheduled to vote on the measure in August, If it passes, then the Board of Supervisors gets to weigh in.

Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States, said he is “not aware” of any other jurisdiction considering such a widespread ban. And he’s not sold on the San Francisco effort.

“I think the best thing would be to start with [banning] the sale of dogs and cats from these pet stores,” he said. With a broader ban, “I think you attract a set of additional opponents that sink an otherwise achievable goal.”

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When I lived in Petaluma, the Forgotten Felines group in conjunction with the Humane Society’s Foster Program Volunteers successfully lobbied the City Council to start fining anyone who allowed their pets to reproduce. We had a problem where the professional catteries were concerned but we were successful with the families that thought it was nice to allow their children to experience seeing the “miracle of birth”. Anyone advertising free pets, pets for sale, or caught with a litter of kittens or pups got fined. That was over 14 years ago, it helped educate people and cut down on unwanted pets.

I hope more cities adopt this type of proposal. We need to be more proactive in taking measures to shut down puppy mills and stop giving money to people who breed animals in inhumane conditions. There are so many abandoned animals that need good homes. I wish there was more advertising done to shed light on the horrible situation of the shelters, especially in bigger cities. There are too many animals and not enough space, so hundreds are euthanized every month. I’m glad to see this article, and I hope to see more like it around California soon.

Good show SF, once again you are in the forefront of positive thought. We should do that here. The deathrate of abandoned, lost and unwanted little critters is astounding. I used to work at Woods, and then got on the Board of Directors. Our goal was to put ourselves out of business; rescuing and taking care of ‘given up’ pets drove us crazy with grief.

Getting rid of the puppy mills etc would drive folks to the shelters to adopt a perfectly good pet, without increasing the problem. And many of those ‘mills’ are hideous places, run only for money without regard to the overall well being of the animals in their care.

I fully agree. There are unwanted pets everywhere. Our neighborhood has adopted over 7 unwanted cats. Some are feral and we had to trap them to get them spay and neutered. The last thing we need is the puppy mills and cat fanciers, breeding more pets. Most high breeds are caged and are not pets or loved or considered family members like they deserve to be. I also volunteered for a shelter with the idea that we would put ourselves out of business. After 5 years I couldn’t handle the grief of seeing so many lovable pets put down. We had a foster program to save them and the shelter and foster homes were over run with unwanted critters. I can recall having over 30 cat’s and dogs housed on my property, in my garage and in my home, all waiting for room at the shelter. We even had outside adoption programs like at PetSmart. It was never ending, people have no idea the suffering that unwanted animals experience and the heartbreak the volunteers go through. I disdain people who intentionally breed cats & dogs for money. Want a pet, go to the shelter.

Right on Cindy, you expressed the situation very well. Another less dramatic issue is the time all these unwanted pets spend in jail, for the simple reason their human slime owners dumped them.

Yes hot dog, I doubt anyone will read this apart from you. They do suffer while in jail and that is exactly what they are sentenced to when they are abandoned, JAIL TIME. In my opinion, it’s the hardest on the dogs. I used to walk the dog’s at the shelter in Petaluma, I had a full time job but I worked for myself so I would try to get down there everyday and walk as many as possible. I remember until this day a beautiful white Akita named Loki. One day while walking him he saw a white pickup truck off in the distance and began to whale while beckoning to it. I immediately knew that his human had owned a similar truck, seeing him beg for his old way of life was heartbreaking. I watched many dogs pine, unable to even eat while they suffered from depression not knowing what had gone wrong. People don’t get it. What drives me nuts is how common it is for people to move and decide that they aren’t bringing the lowest family member along, why? Get a new home, get a new pet? What is it with people? Moving was a common reason for giving up their pets. They knew their pet might die by the needle because we warned them, the owners just graced themselves with denial. IT’S SICKENING, I’m the last person to want gov intrusion in our lives or to get in people’s faces but when it comes to innocent creatures, I’m all for ” IN YOUR FACE” , gov style.

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