SF to Look at Licensing Pet Owners

By Jessica Greene
|  Friday, Aug 13, 2010  |  Updated 12:20 PM PDT
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Pet stores in San Francisco can continue to sell pets -- at least for now.

The city's Commission of Animal Control and Welfare voted Thursday night to delay a proposed  ban on the sale of dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, birds and other pets until January.

In the meantime, commissioners will look into an education and mandatory licensing program for potential pet owners. The idea is that people who are looking to adopt a pet would have to spend time learning about how to care for an animal before just rushing out and buying one.

Teresa Murphy from the guinea pig rescue group Cavy Spirit introduced the licensing idea as a way to help prevent impulse pet purchases. The classes would be a must for shelters and pet stores.

Supporters of the pet sale ban argue it's a way to save small animals by encouraging shelter adoptions but oponents say it would put small pet shops out of business.

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