After postponing a vote on the controversial issue for several months, the Commission of Animal Control and Welfare is scheduled to consider a ban to prohibit the retail sale of dogs, cats, birds, small animals (including but not limited to hamsters, gerbils, rats, mice, guinea pigs, and chinchillas), reptiles, amphibians, and aquarium fish.
The ordinance would allow people in San Francisco to acquire pets of all species through one of five options:
1.) Pet store adoption events
2.) Pet store permanent adoption centers/partnerships
3.) Direct sale from small breeders
4.) Adoption from shelters such as Animal Care and Control and the SF/SPCA
5.) Adoption from animal rescue organizations.
The proposal to ban sales of pets at pet stores sparked much debate when it was introduced about a year ago. According to the commission’s agenda, the ordinance is not a prohibition of owning pets, but instead encourages adoption from shelters and rescues versus purchases from stores. The goal is to increase shelter adoptions and decrease euthanasia rates.
The Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC) testified against the ban, arguing that limiting the availability of pets to the public will not solve the shelter issue. PIJAC noted that the issue had already been addressed with a commitment by pet retailers to re-home adoptable animals from shelters. Now that the ban is back on the agenda, PIJAC is calling on the public to continue to speak out against the proposal, stating that pet stores provide responsibly raised pets and should remain an options for potential pet owners.
The Commission of Animal Control & Welfare is set to hear the proposal on June 9, 5:30 p.m., at city hall. To view the agenda and the proposal, click here.