San Francisco Approves Adoption-Only Pet Stores
“Adopt, don’t shop” is a motto that many animal lovers live by, and now it will be the only way to take a beloved pet home in the city of San Francisco. It didn’t take long for the The San Francisco Board of Supervisors to recognize an ordinance from District 4 Supervisor Katy Tang to end the sale of dogs and cats in pet stores that are obtained from “puppy mills.”
An impassioned editorial written on February 14 by Tang, Virginia Donohue (Director of San Francisco Animal Care & Control) and Jennifer Scarlett of the San Francisco SPCA was published by The San Francisco Examiner.
“This ordinance will serve as a deterrent, preventing a business from moving into San Francisco and selling animals from irresponsible mass-producing breeders that churn out puppies and kittens as if they were on an assembly line,” they wrote. “The ordinance is designed to bring attention to and halt the inhumane and deceptive practices of large-scale breeding operations that supply animals to pet stores and directly to consumers online. Break the cycle by not purchasing puppies or kittens online or from local pet stores. Adopt from a local shelter or rescue organization.”
The board voted unanimously to amend the health code to prohibit pet shops from selling any dogs or cats — unless they came from animal rescue organizations or animal shelters. Pet shops are also required to prove the source of each dog and cat, along with identifying where they come from on each cage.
Tang said in a statement, “We really do believe that it will send a great message not just in San Francisco but across California, nationwide and hopefully worldwide.”
She took to Facebook on February 15 to celebrate their victory.
“Yesterday the Board of Supervisors unanimously supported legislation I sponsored to ban the sale of non-rescue cats and dogs in San Francisco pet stores,” she wrote. “Dogs and cats sold in pet stores often come from inhumane puppy and kitten mills that churn out animals with no regard for their health or well-being.”
Tang also implored to the U.S. Department of Agriculture to continue documenting cruelty cases — including information about puppy and kitten mills — which had previously been removed from their website.
Tang posted a photo alongside Donohue, adoptable Abbey the Pitt Bull and Speedy the Chihuahua with representatives from SF SPCA and San Francisco Animal Care & Control to say to everyone that, “there are many animals in need of homes at our local shelters.”
Sharing in the good news, the city’s Animal Care and Control announced all pit bull-type dogs would be free to adopt this month.
— City of SanFrancisco (@sfgov) February 16, 2017
San Francisco joins other cities such as Los Angeles, San Diego, California, Philadelphia, Boston and Austin in this adoption-only movement.