New San Francisco Law: Pet Stores Can Only Sell Rescue Pets

Lori Ennis
by Lori Ennis
A new amendment to a health code in San Francisco now bans pet stores within the city from selling dogs or cats. Now, stores must obtain pets from animal rescues or shelters, in an effort to deter puppy mill production.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed new legislation this week that they hope will deter businesses from selling companion pets originating from puppy/kitten mills. The amendment to a current health code prohibits the sale of puppies and kittens under eight weeks old, and stipulates pet stores in the city can’t sell sell dogs and cats that were not previously from an animal rescue organization or shelter.

Related: New NJ Law Seeks To Ban Sale Of Puppy Mill Dogs

Board Member Katy Tang said that the new ordinance is to prevent the inhumane and deceiving practices of what are commonly known as puppy (and kitten) mills (breeders who churn animals out like they are on an assembly line).

The board vote was unanimous, and members aimed to give large-scale breeders the message that they will not tolerate their abhorrent treatment of animals, nor will they allow those breeders to profit from their city. The law does not apply to small, licensed breeders who give proper care, although it does restrict those breeders from selling puppies and kittens before they are eight weeks old to promote better bonding and health for the animals.

Related: UK Protects Puppies With Tighter Pet Dealer Laws

Tang says they are not currently aware of pet stores that sell animals from mills, but hope that this new bill discourages anyone from trying to sell or obtain pets unethically. San Francisco follows in the footsteps of big cities with similar bills, such as Chicago, San Diego, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Austin and Boston. As more and more awareness comes about the horrors of puppy/kitten mills, we hope that more cities follow!

Well done, San Francisco!

Lori Ennis
Lori Ennis

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