San Francisco has voted to ban the selling of non-rescue dogs and cats at local shops to combat so-called “puppy mills.” Under a proposal from Supervisor Katy Tang, of District 4, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to amend the city’s health code.
The new rules state that only the sale of dogs and cats from animal rescue groups or shelters can be sold. They have also banned the sales of any animals that are younger than eight weeks of age.
“We really do believe that it will send a great message not just in San Francisco but across California, nationwide and hopefully worldwide,” said Tang at a recent board meeting.
Licensed breeders are not going to be affected by this new rule. The rule is primarily meant to proactively put an end to “the inhumane and deceptive practices of large-scale breeding operations that supply animals to pet stores and directly to consumers online,” wrote Tang and other representatives from the Humane Society of the U.S. and local animal care agencies wrote in an editorial.
“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,” reads the editorial.
“The Board of Supervisors unanimously supported legislation I sponsored to ban the sale of non-rescue cats and dogs in San Francisco pet stores. 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.
I was shocked to find out that recently the USDA removed information documenting cruelty cases, including information about these puppy and kitten mills, from their website. We implore the U.S. Department of Agriculture to make this information available publicly once again.
We also hosted adoptable dogs from Animal Care & Control San Francisco and The San Francisco SPCA to remind everyone that there are many animals in need of homes at our local shelters.
Thank you to all the tireless staff from SFACC and SFSPCA and the volunteers who give countless hours to ensure these animals find their #foreverhome.”
Tang posted on their Facebook page that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s recent move to scrub its website of animal welfare records also included information about cruelty cases involving puppy mills.
“I was shocked to find out that recently the USDA removed information documenting cruelty cases, including information about these puppy and kitten mills, from their website,” wrote Tang. “We implore the U.S. Department of Agriculture to make this information available publicly once again.”
The San Francisco SPCA declared the decision, “great news!” and San Francisco Animal Care and Control conveyed their support.
These two groups adopt out over 6,300 animals each year. Many were made possible by working in partnership with local pet stores.
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