San Francisco To Ban Pet Sales

Instead of asking "how much is that doggy in the window," you should be asking "how many years in jail?" if you live in San Francisco. See, the Bay Area city is weighing a ban on all pet sales, with exception of fish:

Sell a guinea pig, go to jail.

That's the law under consideration by San Francisco's Commission of Animal Control and Welfare. If the commission approves the ordinance at its meeting tonight, San Francisco could soon have what is believed to be the country's first ban on the sale of all pets except fish.

That includes dogs, cats, hamsters, mice, rats, chinchillas, guinea pigs, birds, snakes, lizards and nearly every other critter, or, as the commission calls them, companion animals.

"People buy small animals all the time as an impulse buy, don't know what they're getting into, and the animals end up at the shelter and often are euthanized," said commission Chairwoman Sally Stephens. "That's what we'd like to stop."


What do you think? Is it a good idea to ban pet sales?

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Newest 5 Comments

Let the gov't monitor and close down the bad puppy breeders. If pet stores get all their puppies and small animals from approved and good breeders, most of the problems are resolved. Then work on weeding out the bad pet stores. This is still AMERICA, and people and business need to be up to gov't standards. This is NOT a communist country. Good, well run pet stores exist. They bring fun and animal companionship to many families. The typical pet store owner works hard and long hours for a minimal (if any) profit. Animal rights activists have good intentions, but their focus is off.
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When I heard about this idea, I was intrigued. When I bought my first dog from a pet store I felt like I was rescuing him. He is so awesome. A great first pet. Since my good experience I have adopted 2 other animals from the street. Without the good experience with my first pet, I'm not sure if I could have adopted the other two.

I have very mixed feelings about this law.
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Im very okay with a ban on the sale of puppies and kittens at pet stores. There are plenty of unwanted, perfectly good animals in shelters and (provided you can pass the screening process) you can just get one from there. I would like to add that birds (or at least parrots) should be included in this, since they are are really smart, live a very long time and can become self-harming when not taken care of properly, essentially making them as terrible a choice for impulse buys as dogs and cats.

However, I dont think this should extend to smaller animals. Its not that I dont think that rodents arent entitled to respect, but the fact of the matter is that they are often sold as food for other animals. I bought a ball python expressly because even full-grown it will eat small rodents that are commonly availble through local stores.
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Dogs and cats go stray, clog up under-funded shelters, really cause some serious ethical and budget problems. This law would be a good idea for dogs and cats, because there are plenty to go around for free, and they can have such a negative impact. But why for those other dumb less common pets? there's not really a hamster problem, and really, who cares if a lame hamster dies at the shelter?
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