Monday, July 26, 2010

S.F. Animal Welfare Commission puts our Board of Commissioners to shame

It seems as though (from recent "Board Reports" submitted to Council by Linda Barth) we-- the 2nd largest city in the nation-- want to emulate the practices of smaller cities when it comes to our Animal Care and Control. Here's one for you that's putting us to shame.

The San Francisco Animal Welfare Commission.


Publicly Held Monthly Meeting  
  • 2nd Thursday of each month (no meeting will be held in the month of December)--I bet they don't cancel any of the other 11 meetings.
  • 5:30pm
  • City Hall, room 408
  • Interested individuals are welcome to attend  

The Commission of Animal Control & Welfare is a representative body acting as the eyes and ears of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors with regard to animal issues within the City. The Commission is an advisory body and makes recommendations to the Board. The Board of Supervisors is responsible for all policy decisions and development.

Enacting Legislation Section 41.2

In addition to any other powers and duties set forth in this Article, the Commission of Animal Control and Welfare shall have the power and duty to:

Hold hearings and submit recommendations regarding animal control and welfare to the Board of Supervisors and Chief Administrative Officer. The Commission may study and recommend requirements for the maintenance of animals in public, private, and commercial care. The Commission may work with the Tax Collector to develop and maintain dog-licensing procedures and make recommendations. The Commission of Animal Control & Welfare is made up of seven voting commissioners and four non-voting commission members. The voting commissioners are appointed by the Rules Committee and approved by the Mayor for two-year terms. Non-voting commission member are City employee delegates representing Animal Care & Control, the SF Police Department, the SF Health Department (seat currently vacant), and the Recreation & Park Department (attending on an as-needed basis).

The Commission of Animal Control and Welfare shall consist of the Director of Animal Care and Control or his or her designated representative, seven members to be appointed by the Board of Supervisors and one city department representative member appointed by each of the following: the Director of the Department of Health or his or her designated representative, the Chief or Police or his or her designated representative, and the General Manager of the Recreation and Park Department or his or her designated representative.

The members appointed by the Board of Supervisors shall be six members representing the general public having interest and experience in animal matters and one licensed veterinarian practicing in San Francisco.

Contact information: (yes, they have an office)

Mailing Address City Hall

Attn: Commission of Animal Control & Welfare

1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, Room 362

San Francisco, CA 94102

( 415) 554-6074 (and their own phone number which is NOT the Department of Animal Care and Control--someone takes messages for them)

Hey...check out those minutes. One can actually tell what happened at the meeting and who said what. And wow...the June meeting minutes are posted and it's only July!

Excerpt of minutes:

7. Unfinished Business (they return to subjects rather than pretend they never existed)

7 A)

Continuation of discussion and possible action to recommend to the board that they pass an ordinance prohibiting the sale of cats, dogs and possibly other small animals in pet stores. Ordinance is intended to stop the sale of dogs and cats from puppy mills  as well as decrease euthanasia rates of other small animals in city shelters.

Comr. Gerrie – Last month our Commission voted to recommend a ban on the sale of dogs and cats in SF including a ban on selling certain small animals not from rescues or shelters. That part was not included in the agenda so we are revisiting the issue this month. Our intention was two-fold. First, was to endorse a compassionate, symbolic as well as preemptive ordinance to stop the sale now and in the future of puppy mill dogs and cats in SF. Only one store in SF currently sells puppies not from shelters or rescues.
Our second intent was to include other animals, many wind up at ACC which cares for them and are eventually euthanized or taken by rescues. If we could stop the sale of “other” animals, they would not wind up at ACC. We felt that banning “others” now would be more doable along with banning the sale of dogs and cats. A separate ordinance just for “others” may prove difficult to pass.

What was missing from our discussion and decision last month was hearing from pet stores that would be affected. I’ve talked with the three big pet stores in SF that sell small animals, Petco, Animal Connection, and Pet Central. Representatives from  Petco are here today. Pam and I met with Petco and ACC last week to talk about the ban and possible alternatives in which Petco and the other stores would take ACC’s unwanted “others” and sell them in their stores. Similar to the adoption Pact that ACC has with SPCA. It has been illegal to sell rabbits in SF since 1978. Petco recently announced they would only be selling rabbits from shelters and rescues nationwide. An ordinance banning the sale of “others” may be ineffective as they would still be for sale just outside the city. Are there any comments or questions from Commissioners before I invite our speakers up? (HEY...he's running the meeting- A commissioner is running the meeting--not a "secretary." or an AGM)

Just food for thought. I thought I might send one of our meeting minutes --with audio--up there and get some input. Nah.
~ Jeff.

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