San Francisco Pet Store Might Be Banned From Selling Pets

 A San Francisco city commission will consider a proposal tonight  to ban sales of dogs, cats and possibly other small animals by pet stores in  the city.
     The San Francisco Commission of Animal Control and Welfare proposed  the ban in an effort to minimize the number of animals sent to city shelters,  according to Commissioner Philip Gerrie.
     Gerrie said animal breeders often breed large amounts of dogs and  cats for sale, a practice he called "inhumane."
     "It's a huge problem across the country," Gerrie said.
     Gerrie's proposal to just ban sales of dogs and cats was expanded  by the commission last month to include smaller creatures such as hamsters,  rats, mice, guinea pigs and chinchillas, he said.
     There would be an exemption for sales by animal shelters and  rescue groups.
     "There's a huge problem in this society," Gerrie said, "of us  buying things that are cute. They're fun for a while but lose the novelty  really soon and wind up in city shelters, which is a huge expense and can  also result in euthanasia."
     Gerrie said he recommended the ban for San Francisco - despite  knowing residents could simply drive to neighboring Daly City to buy pets -  as a way for the city to take a stand on the issue.
     He said it was not the commission's intention to put local pet  stores out of business, though he acknowledged smaller, non-chain stores  could be severely impacted.
     "Our intention is animal welfare," he said.
     Pet store owners have been invited to attend tonight's hearing.
     An alternative being considered by the commission is an agreement  with local pet stores for them to sell animals from San Francisco's shelters.
     The seven-member commission is scheduled to discuss and possibly  vote on the proposal at its 5:30 p.m. meeting at City Hall.
     If the body recommends an ordinance changing city law, it would  have to be approved by the Board of Supervisors.

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