In case you haven't heard yet, San Francisco really likes animals. So much so that they're considering banning the sale of pets in pet stores. The proposed ban aims to curb people from impulsively buying pets only to give them up later, which often results in shelter crowding or euthanization. The ban would cover the sale of all of God's creatures except for fish, because let's face it, nobody cares about your pet goldfish. But could the ban be making its way to New York?
The west coast proposal has east coast pet store owners in a frenzy. Puppies Paradise's owner Mike Rubin told WCBS that if New York implemented a similar ban, his store "would not be able to survive. That's absolutely not fair." But the Humane Society of the United States would rather pets be treated fairly than business owners. According to their statistics, over 40,000 pets are put into shelters every year, hundreds of which are pet store impulse buys like hamsters or birds. They said in a statement, "Unfortunately, we've seen time and time again that the pet stores are basically just trying to make a sale and they are pushing animals on people who may not be ready for it."
Though New York pet shop owners are worried, citywide rescue groups are supporting the ban. Peter McKosky of New York's Empty Cages Collective said, "We deal every day with the fact that people treat animals like disposable commodities and the pet trade just feeds into that." HSUS spokesperson Patrick Kwan also told us, "The inhumane puppy mill industry relies heavily on sales through pet stores. The Humane Society of the United States does not support the buying and selling of dogs, cats, and wild animals, such as large constrictor snakes and primates, through pet stores." If the proposal is passed, San Franciscans would have to leave the city to buy a pet, adopt one from a shelter or rescue group, or find one through the classifieds.