Rewarding Pet Stores That Don't Sell Pets is Latest SF Idea

What is a pet store if it doesn't pet

By Chris Roberts
|  Wednesday, Nov 9, 2011  |  Updated 12:34 PM PDT
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Some would say of this story: "Only in San Francisco."

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How much is that doggy in the window? It's going to cost you a seal of approval from the city of San Francisco, buster.

The city's Commission of Animal Control and Welfare tried and failed to ban pet sales outright. So now the commission will do the next best thing -- reward and highlight businesses that only sell pet food and pet toys, and not the pets themselves, according to the San Francisco Examiner.

The reason behind the bonus are such notorious facilities as puppy mills and kitty mills, the inhumane farms and breeding facilities that supply some commercial pet stores with animals, according to commission members. Identifying pet stores who don't associate with puppy mills will help customers support them, according to commission director Ryan Young.

"The idea would be to highlight and reward the pet stores who have chosen not to sell live animals," Young said.

However, the proposal has pet store owners who do sell pets and who don't participate in puppy mills hopping mad. Justin Hau owns a fish store called Ocean Aquarium, where "we don’t sell sick fish and we don’t sell unhappy fish," he told the newspaper, adding that nobody from the commission has visited his store to check out conditions.

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