San Francisco Considers Ban on Small Pet Sales

Law would apply to sales of cats, dogs, hamsters, rats, birds

By Jessica Greene
|  Thursday, Jul 8, 2010  |  Updated 9:22 AM PDT
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The San Francisco Animal Control and Welfare Commission will take up a proposal tonight that would ban the sale of all small animals from the City's pet shops.

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It could soon be illegal for pet stores in San Francisco to sell pets.

The San Francisco Animal Control and Welfare Commission will take up a proposal tonight that would ban the sale of all small animals from the City's pet shops. Only fish would be allowed to be sold under the ordinance, which is believed to be the first of it's kind in the country.

The proposed law is designed to encourage people to rescue animals from the shelter instead of buying from a pet store. Supporters say it would reduce overcrowding and euthanasia rates.

Animal shelters say they are overrun with perfectly adoptable dogs, cats, hamsters and rabbits. The law would also crack down on puppy mills, which sometimes supply pet stores.

"If puppy mills don't have a place to sell their puppies, then they wont be in business," Sally Stephens, with the San Francisco Animal Control Welfare Commission said.

But there is some concern that the animal sale ban would be bad for businesses. A small bird store owner told us the measure would put him out of business, even though shelters are not overrun with birds.

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