San Francisco Bans Pet Stores from Selling Puppy and Kitten Mill Animals

This is big news for animal protection.

In a victory for animal lovers, San Francisco has voted in favor of a law that bans the sale of non-rescue dogs and cats in pet stores. The city hopes the ruling will have a three-pronged effect: Bring an end to puppy mills, give thousands of rescue animals a chance at a happy home, and set an example for other cities nationwide.

The law was introduced by Supervisor Katy Tang. It amends the health code so that pet stores are required to maintain records proving that each animal came from a rescue. While most pet stores claim their animals come from breeders, the majority actually come from irresponsible—and often abusive—puppy and kitten mills.

In an editorial for the San Francisco Examiner Tang wrote, “This proposed ordinance does not prevent responsible breeders from doing business. [It] is designed to bring attention to and halt the inhumane and deceptive practices of large-scale breeding operations that supply animals to pet stores and directly to consumers online.”

According to the ASPCA, approximately 7.6 million dogs and cats enter animal shelters each year and almost a third of those wind up euthanized. San Francisco joins Los Angeles, San Diego, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, and Austin in banning the sale of puppies and kittens without rescue organization documentation—and hopefully bringing those shelter numbers way, way down.

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