Fur and feathers fly as San Francisco weighs ban on pet sales
What began as a proposal to ban sales of dogs and cats quickly grew to include birds, hamsters, rats and other small mammals. Shelters and rescue groups could still offer adoptions.July 25, 2010|By Maria L. La Ganga, Los Angeles Times
Reporting from San Francisco — Here in the land of animal companions and their faithful guardians — do not call them pets and owners — a battle is raging over just what it means to be creature-friendly.
In true San Francisco fashion, city officials are considering a ban on sales of almost all pets. If the prohibition passes, it would mean no cats for sale here, no dogs, no hamsters, no rats, no guinea pigs, no macaws, no parakeets, no cockatiels, no finches. If Junior wanted a snake, Mom could probably still buy him one within the city's precious 47 square miles. But forget about those mice for Drago's dinner.
The proposal started out small: prohibit commerce in cats and dogs as a way to discourage puppy mills and kitten factories. South Lake Tahoe and West Hollywood passed such laws within the last 18 months; in Texas, Austin and El Paso are considering similar ones.
But this being San Francisco, the discussion didn't stop there.
After multiple meetings of the Animal Control & Welfare Commission and hours of impassioned testimony — peppered with the word "symbolic" — the narrow proposition blossomed to include most creatures great and small. The commission is set to vote on a ban in August. If it passes, the Board of Supervisors will weigh in.
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