The city of San Francisco has just voted to implement a new law, banning the sale of non-rescue dogs and cats in pet stores. This move is an effort to bring an end to "puppy mills", where dogs are used as breeding machines to mass-produce and sell puppies, as well as to bring thousands of abandoned or unwanted, but perfectly lovely, dogs and cats into loving homes, reports the Huffington Post.
The health code was amended to integrate this new law, introduced by Supervisor Katy Tang, and pet stores will also be required to maintain records proving that each dog and cat sold come from rescue organizations. She said in a board meeting:
We really do believe that it will send a great message not just in San Francisco but across California, nationwide and hopefully worldwide.
The law was voted in unanimously by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and it will also ban the sale of animals younger than 8 weeks old.
Tang wrote in an editorial in the San Francisco Examiner that licensed breeders will not be affected because this move aims to halt "the inhumane and deceptive practices of large-scale breeding operations that supply animals to pet stores and directly to consumers online". Pet owners will still be able to buy pets directly from licensed breeders. She noted that it was high time for the city to take a stand and be a leader for the rest of the country, saying:#
Now it is time for San Francisco to join this growing list [of states banning the sale of non-rescue animals in pet stores] — which includes Los Angeles, San Diego, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston and Austin.
When purchasing a puppy or a kitten from a pet store, customers are often cheated into paying more for something that has been falsely advertised. While most pet stores boast about only selling pets from humane, small-scale breeders, the Humane Society of the United States have conducted numerous investigations revealing the terrible conditions of the puppy and kitten "mills" that most pets come from.
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. It will help break the supply chain until these irresponsible operations have no way to profit from their abusive practices.
Source: Katy Tang/Facebook
The city of San Francisco has made a small step towards animal protection, but a giant leap in being an example to the rest of the country.
San Francisco has the chance to take a stand against an immensely cruel industry and should seize this opportunity.
Tens of thousands of dogs and cats end up in shelters each year, either due to neglect, abuse or abandonment. Consider adopting before you shop, and visit your local shelters before going to a breeder. Every dog and cat deserves a fair chance at a forever home.
Featured image: Expert Canine
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