San Francisco May Ban Pet Stores


(CANVAS STAFF REPORTS) - In the city where (almost) anything goes, dogs, cats, hamsters, mice, rats, chinchillas, guinea pigs and other common pets could become contraband.

San Francisco officials are considering a ban on the sale of all pets except fish as a way to curb unwanted animals getting dumped at shelters or euthanized.

San Franciscans who want a pet would have to get one in another city, adopt from a shelter or rescue group, or find one through the classifieds, reported the San Francisco Chronicle .

"People buy small animals all the time as an impulse buy, don't know what they're getting into, and the animals end up at the shelter and often are euthanized," said Sally Stephens, chairwoman of San Francisco's Commission of Animal Control and Welfare. "That's what we'd like to stop."

Final approval of the ban would come from the city's Board of Supervisors.

An abundance of rescue groups ensure excess puppies and kittens are not the problem at the city shelter.

Hamsters aren't so lucky. Officials said people no longer want them once the nocturnal animals maniacally race on their exercise wheels in the middle of the night or bite them, reported the Chronicle .

Hamsters are euthanized more that any other animal at the city's shelter, said Rebecca Katz, director of San Francisco Animal Care and Control.

Not surprising, pet store owners oppose the proposal.

"It's terrible. A pet store that can't sell pets? It's ridiculous," said John Chan, manager of Pet Central, which has been in business 30 years. "We'd have to close."

Laurie Baker, owner of Feathered Follies and president of a parrot rescue group in nearby Concord, sent a flier that warned such a ban could spread beyond San Francisco.

" It would be a precedent-setting law if enacted and invariably would be the model used by other communities," the flier stated, reported SFist .



From Dusk 'til Dawn
An Insider's View of the Growth of the Animal Liberation Movement

© Keith Mann