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No pets for you!
June 28, 2011 8:43 PM   Subscribe

Pet sales to be banned in San Francisco? The San Francisco Commission of Animal Control and Welfare, a panel of appointed commissioners advising the Board of Supervisors, recently passed "The Humane Pet Acquisition Proposal". This would ban the sale of all pets in San Fransisco - from rodents, reptiles and birds to dogs, cats and fish. The Board of Supervisors is yet to consider what the L.A. Times calls "a silly idea."
posted by joannemullen (113 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
All they really need to do is ban the sale of dogs. All the rest, I don't really care about; but banning the sale of dogs would actually do a lot of good, I think, if only because it'd kill dog breeding dead in San Francisco.
posted by koeselitz at 8:45 PM on June 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's not going to make a whole lot of difference when you can just go to a pet store in Oakland or Daly City in 20 minutes on the BART. I've some of the people involved in lobbying for this and their goals are laudable, but they don't seem even slightly practical. This will put the well-run local pet store down the street from me out of business. I don't own any pets at present and would start by looking at the animal shelter for a rescue cat or something next time I move, but think that the only effect of this proposal will be to drive breeding and sale of pets underground.
posted by anigbrowl at 8:55 PM on June 28, 2011


Cat sales, too. A good friend of mine used to do cat intake for the SFSPCA and his stories from work were pretty damn sad. Just because they're a no-kill shelter doesn't mean that all animals get accepted. Animal Control gets plenty of business.
posted by smirkette at 8:55 PM on June 28, 2011


There are well-run local pet stores that make their money off of animal sales? The best ones in my area sell fish, lizards, and sometimes birds, but they make the majority of their sales on dog/cat food and accessories.
posted by mikeh at 8:57 PM on June 28, 2011


Are the streets of San Francisco really overrun with feral goldfish? Does the Humane Society have more guppies than they can possibly adopt out?
posted by murphy slaw at 8:57 PM on June 28, 2011 [12 favorites]


Why would anyone buy a cat? I went out and caught mine. In fact, I stalk her and catch her again every damn night when she escapes. You deserve the cat you can catch.

Nothing's more fun than whistling and having a feral run to you from out of her hiding place in the woods.
posted by orthogonality at 8:59 PM on June 28, 2011 [44 favorites]


I used to want to live in San Francisco, but the more invasive nonsense I see their city government get up to, the happier I am to stay in Ohio. SF is starting to make my hometown look like a bastion of reason and good sense.
posted by MissySedai at 8:59 PM on June 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


It would also cover the sale of live animals such as mice used as food for pet snakes, but would exempt sales of live fish, lobsters and poultry destined for humans' dinner plates.

Fuck this law and anyone who supports it.
posted by kafziel at 9:02 PM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Why no, Officer. These are eatin' goldfish."
posted by murphy slaw at 9:04 PM on June 28, 2011 [46 favorites]


Fuck this law and anyone who supports it.

Nuanced.
posted by xmutex at 9:06 PM on June 28, 2011 [7 favorites]


WTF, SF?
posted by 2N2222 at 9:06 PM on June 28, 2011


The city's pet stores say the ban would put them out of business while doing nothing to prevent residents from purchasing pets elsewhere.

Irrelevant. Many pet purchases are impulse buys because the kids go "Awww can we have one?" and nobody can say no to their precious little brats any more. Then the family installs it in the backyard and gets all confused and offended when it defecates and chews things. This is because, for the most part, people have shit for brains. A pet license would be ideal but would be too tricky to implement, so the only way to stop cruelty, mistreatment, abandonment and dumping is by prosecuting people into fucking oblivion.

But I am 100% behind closing pet stores - that is, stores that sell pets, rather than stores that contain things that you would buy for your pet - and on top of that puppy farms and the like. There are a trillion billion animals in shelters all across this planet and if you buy a puppy or a kitten or a fucking turtlenecked rabbitfish from a pet store you are a Grade-A Asshole and I hope your nose hair grows thick, long, dense and backwards into your brain and throat. Animals are not pieces of furniture for your shitty house, and they are not accessories for your putrid lifestyle.
posted by tumid dahlia at 9:09 PM on June 28, 2011 [26 favorites]


How much of an impact will this have? I imagine it will inconvenience only independent petstores and snake owners, and not really much else will change for the average person or big chains that keep animal mills in business. I especially doubt that it will affect irresponsible ownership and abandonment of cats and dogs, the original target of the bill. I get the feeling many San Franciscans who buy bred pets order from fancy breeders, and most of these breeders are not located in cities like San Fran because they require space to raise animals. And since the internet, tons of people order pets online directly from breeders instead of going through the middlemen of breeders.

But good independent petstores that have a long term relationships with responsible breeders are valuable community resources. If they really wanted to cut down on bad breeding, even outside of SF, there would be harsher penalties for local pet stores that keep those assholes in money. I also wonder whether this bill allows non-bred animals to be sold at petstores (I got my cat from an amazing neighborhood petstore this way).

Or is this just more PETA pet hatred, [poorly] disguised as pro-animal public policy?
posted by lesli212 at 9:09 PM on June 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


They can still give away kittens in the parking lot, right?
posted by The Hamms Bear at 9:09 PM on June 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Are the streets of San Francisco really overrun with feral goldfish?

Doubtful. If you look more closely, you'll discover that what looks like a goldfish at a distance is oftentimes nothing more than an intricately-carved piece of carrot, possibly left there after a festival.
posted by tumid dahlia at 9:11 PM on June 28, 2011 [10 favorites]


The move was proposed by an animal welfare advisory board.

But the city's legislative authority, the Board of Supervisors, has yet to take up the matter.


So it really isn't news, as the measure is nowhere near being adopted, or as far as we know, even discussed, by the people in charge of these things.

Quit winding the crank.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 9:11 PM on June 28, 2011 [13 favorites]


"Quit winding the crank."

I'll masturbate as much as I like Ice Cream Socialist.
posted by joannemullen at 9:12 PM on June 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


SF is starting to make my hometown look like a bastion of reason and good sense.

Why? It seems nothing if not pragmatic. There too many currently unwanted animals. The city can A: let them roam the streets, B: bring them to the pound and spend a lot of money to care for them indefinitely, C: bring them to the pound and kill the majority of them. Any of those sound awesome?

There's a possible option D, where pet breeders would no longer be incentivized to add to the animal population, and that's the idea here.
posted by the jam at 9:13 PM on June 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


It's political correctness GONE MAD!!

(or, alternatively, ignorable filler on a slow-news day...)
posted by pompomtom at 9:14 PM on June 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


This is because, for the most part, people have shit for brains.

Yeah, you're not exactly selling your point of view to me here, because I've had 7 cats and none of them ever got abused or neglected. In fact, most everyone I've ever known who had pets took care of them pretty diligently. So, maybe you should take a class in communications, or basic manners.
posted by anigbrowl at 9:17 PM on June 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


Fuck this law and anyone who supports it.

It's not a law. It's a recommendation by a commision that the Board of Supervisors pass a law.

Am I supposed to be shocked that a commission to protect animal welfare is trying to do something to protect animal welfare? Am I supposed to be surprised that a body full of "members representing the general public having interest and experience in animal matters" might not be experts in crafting effective, well-reasoned legislation?
posted by hydrophonic at 9:20 PM on June 28, 2011


This will be worse for animals in the long run. I never had pets as a kid and as a consequence have zero empathy for animals.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:23 PM on June 28, 2011


I'll masturbate as much as I like

That's also an excellent metaphor for this sort of post.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 9:23 PM on June 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


Yeah, you're not exactly selling your point of view to me here, because I've had 7 cats and none of them ever got abused or neglected.

Right, and more to the point, having pets is how people learn animal empathy. If you outsource that job to slavering assholes on the internet, you'll see the Amazon paved source to mouth within probably three months.

On preview, see? see?
posted by furiousthought at 9:24 PM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Why? It seems nothing if not pragmatic. There too many currently unwanted animals.

Citation needed - I can't remember the last time I saw a stray dog, and the only unattended animals I've seen around my neighborhood/garden are a cat who I suspect actually belongs to a neighbor, a raccoon, and a couple of mice. I found a lizard in the garden a couple of years ago, who was reunited with his distraught owner about 48 hours later.
posted by anigbrowl at 9:24 PM on June 28, 2011


Why? It seems nothing if not pragmatic.

If by "nothing if not pragmatic", you mean the opposite of pragmatic, then yes.
posted by 2N2222 at 9:25 PM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I support this everywhere. No more getting scratched by cats or scared by dogs.!
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:26 PM on June 28, 2011


I never had pets as a kid and as a consequence have zero empathy for animals.

That's funny because I never had a baby and as a consequence have zero empathy for humans!
posted by tumid dahlia at 9:29 PM on June 28, 2011 [41 favorites]


This will be worse for animals in the long run.

Animals being known for their concern over easily-ignored recommendations by bureaucrats... I can just see their crushed little faces... *sniff*
posted by pompomtom at 9:43 PM on June 28, 2011



Why? It seems nothing if not pragmatic. There too many currently unwanted animals.

Citation needed - I can't remember the last time I saw a stray dog


Wait, what? The unwanted animals are languishing in shelters and/or being put down -- not seeing strays doesn't mean there's no problem with unwanted animals and abuse.
posted by sweetkid at 9:44 PM on June 28, 2011 [8 favorites]


Why? It seems nothing if not pragmatic. There too many currently unwanted animals.

Citation needed - I can't remember the last time I saw a stray dog


Yeah, at least SF isn't Spain or Italy where you see stray dogs everywhere. Poor little buggers.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 9:50 PM on June 28, 2011


From San Francisco Animal Care and Control website: fiscal year 2009-2010 intakes were 2295 dogs, 3247 cats and 2730 other. That's a lot of animals.
posted by oneear at 10:03 PM on June 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


This will put the well-run local pet store down the street from me out of business.

If that store is dependent on animal sales to stay in business, they're not "well-run."
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:20 PM on June 28, 2011 [6 favorites]


You can (and should!) adopt dogs, cats, rabbits, rats, mice, and guinea pigs from animal shelters. As much as I hate nanny-stating, I am beyond 100 per cent supportive of measures to help regulate irresponsible breeding and encourage adoption. As opposed to outright banning, I would probably be more likely to support extremely strict regulation of facilities and extremely high licensing fees, thus enabling people "doing it for the breed" or what-have-you to continue if their commitment truly is there, but discouraging people out for a quick buck or simply acting out of ignorance. I'm not sure I quite understand nixing lizards and goldfish. While there are a few reptile rescues, they are few and far between. Fish? Next to unheard of. Perhaps SF could look a little more closely at shelter statistics and tweak accordingly?
posted by troublewithwolves at 10:38 PM on June 28, 2011 [7 favorites]


Kittens for breakfast!
posted by Soupisgoodfood at 10:41 PM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is the kind of stuff that gives conservatives fuel for saying libruls want to take away our freedoms.

All this would do is ensue that the sketchiest puppy farms inbreeding animals in someone's backyard had an increase in business. I don't understand buying a pet or wanting a purebred dog, or whatever motivates people to buy their pets from stores or breeders. But this is ridiculous.

I've never had to buy a pet. I have three cats who literally showed up at my door. Even my old cockatiel flew into the house on its own. My in-laws got their black lab when it bounded out of the woods at them. There are plenty of awesome animals out there who need homes, and in my experience you don't even need to go looking for them. But if you want to, there are lots of shelters where you will be spoiled with choice.
posted by threeturtles at 11:00 PM on June 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


his is the kind of stuff that gives conservatives fuel for saying libruls want to take away our freedoms.

Why do you think it was posted?
posted by pompomtom at 11:02 PM on June 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


Would this be any kind of sale? Or just retail? Because current wisdom is that it's much better to ask for money when trying to rehome a pet (like on Craigslist or something) to discourage people with Bad Intentions (seeking animals to be used for dogfighting bait, sold to animal testing facilities, served with fava beans and a nice chianti for a nutritious lunch, etc.).
posted by taz at 11:11 PM on June 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


This is the kind of stuff that gives conservatives fuel for saying libruls want to take away our freedoms.

Yep. The recommendation of 7 people in a city of 800,000. A recommendation that has absolutely no chance of becoming a law. A recommendation from 7 people in a city of 800,000 is called a law and is cited as "PC run amok" and totalitarian government liberal Stalinism.

And you know what? You're right. The fact that this recommendation -- that has literally zero chance of becoming law in the lifetime of anyone who can read this and understand that I'm writing English circa 2000 -- is quoted as "law" and thus that liberals are run amok, proves exactly that conservatives and Republicans control entirely the discourse of our country, thus control our country as a whole.

Republicans in high places put forth a recommendation to destroy Medicaire, and not only is it taken seriously by everyone, it's pretty much taken as a foregone conclusion. A tiny group of local liberals talk about curbing puppy and kitty mills by banning sales in pet stores, and it's treated as Stalinism even by other liberals.

I'm beginning to see why the healthcare bill turned into the piece of shit that it did.

(You're going to die in poverty)
posted by dirigibleman at 11:30 PM on June 28, 2011 [19 favorites]


Metafilter: You're going to die in poverty
posted by benzenedream at 11:49 PM on June 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


Why would anyone buy a cat? I went out and caught mine. In fact, I stalk her and catch her again every damn night when she escapes. You deserve the cat you can catch.

Nothing's more fun than whistling and having a feral run to you from out of her hiding place in the woods.


This sounds like something Charlie would say on "Its always sunny in philadelphia"
posted by hal_c_on at 11:59 PM on June 28, 2011 [6 favorites]


tumid dahlia wrote Many pet purchases are impulse buys because the kids go "Awww can we have one?" and nobody can say no to their precious little brats any more.

I think the extra burden of a short drive to an out-of-town legal pet store is an insufficient annoyance to dissuade impulse purchases. A little afternoon traffic doesn't compare to the incessant whining of a "brat" child.

Ah, silence. That is, until the dog starts barking.

...I hope your nose hair grows thick, long, dense and backwards into your brain and throat.

Ha! And I hope you ass hairs take root in your colon and grow a tree of SHIT.

Just kidding! I thought your comment was hilarious. Just trying to join the vitriol party.
posted by troll at 12:00 AM on June 29, 2011


BUY A DOG COLLAR & WE'LL THROWN IN A FREE PUPPY!*

*offer limited to 'special' collar range, $200 or above.
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:00 AM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


throw
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:01 AM on June 29, 2011


A tiny group of local liberals talk about curbing puppy and kitty mills by banning sales in pet stores, and it's treated as Stalinism even by other liberals.

Oh nonsense. Nobody called it Stalinism, and as someone who lives in SF I can assure you that this sort of foolishness gets a disproportionate amount of oxygen down at City Hall even as the city lurches towards bankruptcy. Unwanted animals are a serious and even an expensive problem, but the city government won't get any closer to solving it by alienating people with such obviously doomed proposals.

We are awash in this kind of time-wasting grandstanding. Meantime, the for unfunded public pension liabilities is $35,000 per resident of SF. If it were up to me I'd put the animal commission on furlough for a year or possibly a full term of the Board of Supervisors. This idea would be better placed on the ballot by petition.
posted by anigbrowl at 12:06 AM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wouldn't out be simpler and more pragmatic for SF to ban the owning of pets? That'll solve the whole problem.

Or instead of harassing innocent animals, how about just banning people? There's any number of problems that could be solved by banning people from the city.
posted by happyroach at 12:18 AM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


"It's not going to make a whole lot of difference when you can just go to a pet store in Oakland or Daly City in 20 minutes on the BART."

Or, alternately, a higher percentage will get the hint, and adopt a pet through other means, such as going to the SPCA. That's where we've got our pets, with the exception of those which were strays that needed a home. Also, fewer will choose to have a pet.

Really, it is a good, laudable idea, if only because it would help to reduce the overall carbon footprint. Anyone who would equate this as "No pets for you!" would be incredibly biased and off-base. Rather, it's coming to terms with the kind of emergent world we see in films like Blade Runner. Crowded, ecologically disrupted, with fewer animals -- even pet animals -- and crops presumably reserved for humans.

I do think that there should be some allowances for places like aquariums, etc., so long as the fish in question aren't taken out of the sea. But let's face it... there's a *HUGE* crisis for tropical fish -- and fish in general -- and it is man-made, both in terms of what we are doing to the seas and how much we're taking out of them.

So, before we start up with ridiculous "no pets for you!" hysterics, perhaps we should consider for a moment whether we're actually doing these animals we claim to love any favors by how we deal with them and their kind?
posted by markkraft at 12:29 AM on June 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


"It would also cover the sale of live animals such as mice used as food for pet snakes, but would exempt sales of live fish, lobsters and poultry destined for humans' dinner plates."

Live poultry can make good pets I understand.
posted by longsleeves at 12:34 AM on June 29, 2011


"I think the extra burden of a short drive to an out-of-town legal pet store is an insufficient annoyance to dissuade impulse purchases"

Um... do you live in San Francisco? Seen our traffic lately? Paid the bridge tolls, perhaps?!

Trust me, going out of town for *anything* is kinda annoying... especially since a lot of people here don't own cars, rely on ZipCars, etc. S.F. is often like a bubble to itself, where walking or hopping on public transit is often the best way to get places... but considering it's surrounded by suburban sprawl, that's probably a good thing.
posted by markkraft at 12:37 AM on June 29, 2011


This is going to be awesome for my pet delivery start-up!
posted by sexymofo at 12:47 AM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Live poultry can make good pets I understand."

Well, they did have a poster for it at the S.F. Pride Parade this year... "Any cock'll do." Can only find a few cat and dog posters online though.
posted by markkraft at 12:48 AM on June 29, 2011


Question:
If the city takes in about 8500 stray animals a year, and is forced to take care of those animal's health, food, etc., well, wouldn't passing legislation that encouraged those interested in owning pets take a look at those available pets first, rather than buying one elsewhere actually save the city money?!

I understand that people don't like being told they can't do _____ in S.F., but this sounds like a really good way, frankly, to be both humane and fiscally responsible as well.
posted by markkraft at 1:00 AM on June 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


I've lived in SF for several years. It's a silly place, but not in the way some people seem to think. Sit & Lie is more outrageous than this IMO.
posted by scelerat at 1:12 AM on June 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


Hm, point taken.

Laws should be tailored to the circumstances of their jurisdiction. If this one wouldn't be easily bypassed by travel, I suppose that makes it more enforceable, and my argument is baseless.

However, I am wary of this broad-brush approach to solving very real problems that we have with specific pets. Surely dogs are not equal to goldfish in this regard. Why not regulate each species individually?

Btw, does it cost anything to adopt an animal from the shelter?
posted by troll at 1:16 AM on June 29, 2011


I'm working on the assumption that the proposal will tank; it's too massively sweeping to stand a chance. But let's say it did, or that something like it did. In the long term, I would absolutely be behind legislation that, as troublewithwolves suggests, puts some major restrictions and regulations in the way of anyone who is (or would otherwise be) an irresponsible breeder. Cost of licensing, inconvenience and scarcity means the price of breeder animals goes up; the higher price of breeder animals mean fewer impulse purchases, and more by owners who are serious about the commitment to that particular animal. Funnel the extra money from licensing to shelters, to go towards the cost of making sure as many of their animals as humanly possible are spayed/neutered, wormed, vaccinated, chipped - anything they can materially do to make adoption the most attractive option. More people adopt shelter animals, making a small 'suggested donation' in the process, which again, goes towards the shelters' costs. Everybody wins!

In the short term, though, assuming that part of the problem is puppy farms/irresponsible breeders/etc... that's a whole bunch of jerks with a whole bunch of animals that they suddenly can't make any money off of in the SF area.
posted by sophistrie at 1:33 AM on June 29, 2011


sexymofo: "This is going to be awesome for my pet delivery start-up!"

Careful you don't get branded a budgie smuggler.
posted by vanar sena at 1:37 AM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


If this one wouldn't be easily bypassed by travel, I suppose that makes it more enforceable, and my argument is baseless.

I think the real goal is to eliminate the sort of daily "Can we stop and look at the puppies!" routine that often ends in families getting fun little puppies that suddenly become big fucking shoe-chewing door-scratching ball-licking sidewalk-shitting hair-shedding vet-financing dogs no one wants to walk and feed every day for the next 15 years. The extra travel burden wouldn't be expected to prevent adults from finding pets they really want, but it would prevent kids from being exposed to windows full of puppies.

It's more like banning candy displays from store checkout lines so parents are less likely to be faced with CAN WE GET THIS?! CAN WE? CAN WE? CAN WE? CAN WE? CAN WE? CAN WE? CAN WE? No. AWWWW... CAN WE? CAN WE? CAN WE? I said no. AWWWW... CAN WE? CAN WE? CAN WE? when they go for a loaf of bread. Rational adults will still be able to walk over to the candy aisle if they really want to buy candy.
posted by pracowity at 2:00 AM on June 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


Also, I would point out... this banning of pet sales? Not new. Austin did something similar last year. Albequerque has had a similar ban since 2006, and has seen a shelter adoption increase of 23% and a euthanasia decrease of 35%.

So, we have a proposal here that:
- Is good for the animals, helping to find good homes for thousands of new pets.
- Decreases the stray animal population, and their impact on / damage to cities, their parks, and their wildlife.
- Decreases greenhouse emissions due to fewer pets / fewer unwanted strays.
- Allows city animal control centers to either stop the use of euthanasia, or reduce it substantially, moving towards being cruelty-free.
- saves cities money, due to increased adoptions and a decreased need for the sheltering, feeding, euthanasia and disposal of animals.

No wonder this legislation passed in Austin 7-0. From a city's point-of-view, it's a no-brainer.
posted by markkraft at 2:26 AM on June 29, 2011 [20 favorites]


(But hey, it's happening in San Francisco, so that's extra scary raw meat for the rightwing media, innit?! Clearly, we're a bunch of commie puppy-hating fascists here, obviously.

Funny how they never seem to mention how New Mexico or Texas led the way on this kind of legislation...)
posted by markkraft at 2:31 AM on June 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


Yes, this proposal will never actually become a law, but its mere existence makes this comic seem more prophetic than it did yesterday.

FWIW, this prediction already struck me as being totally plausible:
Fifty years from now maybe you'll be ranting about decency and shame while your own kids shrug and roll their eyes as they buy cock rings and dog collars for your eight-year-old grandson, explaining that all the other kids are wearing them and they don't really mean anything anymore, it's just a fad, so why not?
posted by Dr. Eigenvariable at 3:05 AM on June 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


happyroach writes "Wouldn't out be simpler and more pragmatic for SF to ban the owning of pets? That'll solve the whole problem."

That's why no one has pet ferrets in California or NYC.
posted by Mitheral at 3:11 AM on June 29, 2011


While I trust in these good people to legislate in their own best interest, shit like this gonna goddamn ruin the planned remark of Pee-wee's Big Adventure I was so looking forward to.
posted by 7segment at 3:13 AM on June 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


Returning to the LA Times article, why is it such a bizarre idea to ban circumcision? You wouldn't mutliate your newborn daughter's genitals, so why is it okay to install early trauma in baby boys and remove, like, half of their organ's nerve endings?
posted by Mooseli at 3:35 AM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think a lot of commenters are missing the point here. The legislation aims to ban the sale of pets, not pet ownership.

The problem with sale from a pet store, versus adoption from an SPCA or rescue group, is that pet stores make no effort to ensure that the person purchasing the pet can or intends to care for the pet. Neglect, abuse, and over-filled animal shelters are the result.

Listen, not everyone who gets a pet from a pet store neglects their pet. My sister got her dog from a pet store, and his life is pretty awesome. She dotes on him. But she also acknowledges that she was a 20 year old kid at the time, and the pet store made no effort to ensure that she had a vet lined up, adequate time/space for him, or even bothered to ask whether she planned on keeping him after she graduated college. She did, but the store had no idea. All they knew was that she had a couple hundred bucks.

I think some people are getting defensive and that's causing some misinterpretation. I can't see how encouraging responsible adoption of a living thing that requires ongoing care (and which, mostly in the case of dogs, could turn dangerous if abused or neglected) as opposed to sale for profit, would do a net harm to the community. The stats posted above about increased adoption and decreased euthanasia in shelters make more sense to me.

It's disappointing to see so much opposition to something that could make a real reduction to the numbers of animals abandoned/killed in shelters, for reasons that essentially boil down to "you're not the boss of me."
posted by AV at 3:46 AM on June 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think a lot of commenters are missing the point here.

Dude, this is the Internet. Missing the point is exactly the point.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:56 AM on June 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


AV writes "The problem with sale from a pet store, versus adoption from an SPCA or rescue group, is that pet stores make no effort to ensure that the person purchasing the pet can or intends to care for the pet."

How intensive is the adoption process from the SFSPCA? We adopted both of our cats from the SPCA but their wasn't much in the way of verification of the form we filled out. The only real difference I saw between adoption and purchase is with the adoption process we theoretically didn't actually own our pets; the SPCA could take them from us at any point.
posted by Mitheral at 4:01 AM on June 29, 2011


How intensive is the adoption process from the SFSPCA? We adopted both of our cats from the SPCA but their wasn't much in the way of verification of the form we filled out. The only real difference I saw between adoption and purchase is with the adoption process we theoretically didn't actually own our pets; the SPCA could take them from us at any point.

My cat came from the Animal Humane Society (we don't seem to have something called SPCA here). There was no verification of anything I ticked on the form (save for my address, I guess--they looked at my driver's license), so certainly one could lie their way through. That's not the point, though. The idea that you have to fill in an 'application' form makes people think a little harder about whether they can care for the animal, versus just walking into a shop. Sure, you can lie on the form, but most people will prefer getting the pet off Craigslist or from a shop than lying to someone's face at the shelter.
posted by hoyland at 4:23 AM on June 29, 2011


I think a lot of commenters are missing the point here.

Well, no shit. A lot of commenters miss the point about lawsuits against McDonald's and the tobacco industry too. Hey remember during the health care debate when en entire half of the country decided that having a messaging strategy against kneejerk idiot assholes like, totally wasn't necessary? Great job, City That Is The Living Embodiment of Liberal Stereotypes.

I think I just need to turn off my TV and internet now, since I guess instead of a legitimate discussion about the horrors of unlicensed pet breeding, puppy mills, etc., get set for a solid week of Fox News/libertarian snark filled with petulant jokes about San Francisco.

Dear San Francisco: please stop making this easy for those people. Sigh.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:26 AM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, you're not exactly selling your point of view to me here, because I've had 7 cats and none of them ever got abused or neglected. In fact, most everyone I've ever known who had pets took care of them pretty diligently. So, maybe you should take a class in communications, or basic manners.

If you've had seven cats and none of them ever got abused or neglected then you're not the one I'm trying to sell my point of view to. I'm selling my point of view - or, rather, slapping my vitriol on - people like those I used to live next to when I was a teenager, who forced me to kidnap their dog because they kept it on a short chain under the house with a big pink plastic bowl full of ant-covered dog food, and barely acknowledged its existence. But I'll get on to that etiquette class provided it's online and I can get recognition of prior learning for not slapping the shit out of everyone I pass in the street and don't like the looks of.
posted by tumid dahlia at 5:13 AM on June 29, 2011


Nobody called it Stalinism, and as someone who lives in SF I can assure you that this sort of foolishness gets a disproportionate amount of oxygen down at City Hall even as the city lurches towards bankruptcy.

SF is not "lurching toward bankruptcy" and this is not consuming any amount of oxygen, disproportionate or not -- any more than this ridiculous FoxNews-ready blurb is news. SF city/county boards perform stunts like this all the time and have for decades, and since you live there, you already know that.

It's only when the right wing needs fodder for flogging the LIBERALISM RUN AMOK OMG RADICALS hobbyhorse that things like this become "news."
posted by blucevalo at 5:20 AM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm amused so many people think the BBC is a viciously right wing anti-liberal attack squad.
posted by joannemullen at 5:27 AM on June 29, 2011


The right way to do this would be a more specific puppy mill law. Shine light on the absolute worst abuses that pet stores can cause, rather than delivering a steaming truck of troll bait to talk radio. Create exemptions for actual breeders who can show papers, (I know, you hate them too) working animals, etc. Create licensing and inspection for the sale of other animals and fund it with a licensing fee. Allow adoptions to go through with a donation to pay for shelter upkeep. Etc.

Basically, make sure that the film at 11 is a horrid sweatshop filled with mewling neglected puppies, and not Danny, age 10, worried that the bad people with clipboards are coming to take ol' yeller. Come on, this shit should be easy.
posted by condour75 at 5:44 AM on June 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


How about free healthcare if you adopt a pet from the pound/shelter?
posted by Soupisgoodfood at 5:52 AM on June 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


The SF supervisors tried to ban foie gras, so the idea that they don't do symbolic silly things is amusing.
posted by smackfu at 5:55 AM on June 29, 2011


How intensive is the adoption process from the SFSPCA?

It wasn't like the SPCA came to our house and conducted an inspection when we adopted our two cats, but we couldn't exactly walk in, point, drop some cash, and walk out again. There was a stack of paperwork - especially since Yorvit, the tuxedo cat, is not neurotypical (he probably has cerebellar hypoplasia, like Charley) - and much talking with at least two different SPCA adoption folks and a vet tech and possibly a vet. It took hours.
posted by rtha at 6:19 AM on June 29, 2011


I think it's a fine idea for cats/dogs. If you're breeding for show, by all means. Give the others away to good homes, spayed or neutered. If you don't want to do it anymore when you're not making money off the animal sales, you probably shouldn't be doing it.

But fish? Mice? Geckos? I looked into getting guinea pigs once years ago and had several people pushing me to adopt, only to discover that the quantity of adoptable guinea pigs in the area I lived in then was extremely small and the restrictions that came with them were ridiculous. I am a big animal person but I refuse to go to the lengths of allowing a rescue agency to come inspect my home on 24 hours notice *indefinitely* and having to turn my animal back in to them if I move and they don't approve it. Yes, those were really in the contract. For a guinea pig. I gave up; by the time I'd finished looking into that, I had a rather sour taste about the whole thing.

Are these things more widely available as adoptable in SF? The SFSPCA website only seems to list cats and dogs. Banning the retail sale of things that you can't really get other ways does not seem to make sense. And fish... seriously, fish are home decor you feed.
posted by gracedissolved at 6:37 AM on June 29, 2011


condour75: "The right way to do this would be a more specific puppy mill law."

We tried that in Missouri. (Missouri is the puppy-mill champion of the country.) The law stated, basically, that puppy mills couldn't stack cages, couldn't use wire-only cages (so the puppies are walking on wire mesh, shitting on the dog below) and couldn't be so small the dog couldn't turn around. It provided rest for bitches in between litters, and provided some inspection guidelines.

The law was passed (barely) in November, but our asshole legislature (term limited, so lobbyists can steamroll each new batch of fiery morons) went and nixed the whole thing. You should have seen all the ads, and all the butthole pols whining about small business owners being forced out of business. You know, by requiring some fucking decency.

Basically, right now, Cletus can get two pit bulls and start producing wormy puppies every three months and he's considered a "small business owner", not a bag of shit in shoes. The people spoke, but the legislature said to the people, "you're irrelevant."

(our shelters are overrun with pit bulls. Like, 80-90%. Breaks my heart.)
posted by notsnot at 6:42 AM on June 29, 2011 [12 favorites]


ugh, that's terrible. but maybe fighting the problem on the demand side (at the stores) would be more effective, as they wouldn't have the same amount of lobbying power and the local politics might be more amenable to it.
posted by condour75 at 6:47 AM on June 29, 2011


> SF is not "lurching toward bankruptcy"

San Francisco: Bankrupt in 2 Years?

A Month into the Job, Mayor Lee Foresees Extreme Financial Pain

Time will tell.
posted by jfuller at 6:49 AM on June 29, 2011



How intensive is the adoption process from the SFSPCA?


The Wake County (Raleigh, NC) SPCA has taken over the animal shelters and their adoption process is pretty thorough. You have to have a driver's license with your current address which they check against their records to see if any of your previous animals were ever picked up. They also call your vet to see how many pets you have or had and if they are all up-to-date on their vaccinations. We cannot adopt cats from them because we have a dog door and their policy is you must keep your cat indoors.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:58 AM on June 29, 2011


I'm ok with this law. Pets are not toys and impulse purchases should be discouraged. If pet stores can't do their business in a responsible way then they shouldn't be in business.
posted by ged at 7:00 AM on June 29, 2011


Oh, I forgot the "contract" as noted above. Basically if you agree to their terms (if we promised to nail the dog door shut) they can come and inspect your home and take back the adopted animal if they see fit.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:01 AM on June 29, 2011


Pot sales, on the other hand...
posted by obscurator at 7:01 AM on June 29, 2011


provided ... I can get recognition of prior learning for not slapping the shit out of everyone I pass in the street and don't like the looks of.

I think in most places this level of self-restraint is not considered "prior learning" so much as "eligibility for parole."
posted by nickmark at 7:12 AM on June 29, 2011


>...you are a Grade-A Asshole and I hope your nose hair grows thick, long, dense and backwards into your brain and throat. Animals are not pieces of furniture for your shitty house, and they are not accessories for your putrid lifestyle.

I'll grant you your right to speak your mind, but I don't see how this is helping.
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:31 AM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


If my city wanted to ban sales of kittens and puppies in pet stores, I would fully support it. I'm not sure about banning sales of smaller animals, like gerbils, birds and fish, but that's just because I don't know much about the issue. I'd have to do more reading before deciding on that topic.

I'm having problems finding out just what the proposed San Francisco ban means by banning pet sales in the city. Pet stores only? Or would it also cover breeders selling directly to customers? Because apparently these days, internet sales account for much of the market in purebred dogs and cats. People in San Francisco could still order that supposed purebred shih tzu from horrific puppy mill in another state. I'd much rather see a crack-down on puppy and kitten mills nation-wide.

As for adopting animals from shelters, the cost and process can vary. We adopted a dog in May who was surrendered by his family at the county animal shelter, which then contacted a local foster organization to take him. The foster organization spent almost three months on fixing him up medically and evaluating his personality and so on. In order to adopt him we filled out a long application, did two long phone interviews, and had a home inspection. We paid $10 to the county for his license, and $125 to the foster organization which didn't at all cover the cost of all the medical care they'd gotten for him, including neutering, dental work, and treating his valley fever.

He's been a wonderful addition to our lives, because unlike a puppy from the internet or a pet store, we had a very good picture of this dog's condition, personality, and problems before we got him.
posted by Squeak Attack at 7:38 AM on June 29, 2011


Dear San Francisco: please stop making this easy for those people. Sigh.

We aren't about to stop trying to improve our city just because those people are ruining the rest of the country. Come join us, we're making a nice place to live.

Haters gonna hate.
posted by spitefulcrow at 7:46 AM on June 29, 2011 [9 favorites]


Who exactly has proposed this? The articles are all "San Francisco has this nutty idea just like they always do, crazy hippies!" but there's a big difference between a tiny advocacy group getting a proposal submitted and a widely-supported movement for something. We get poorly-thought-out proposals here in Minneapolis, too, but we're pretty much stereotyped as stolid, provincial Midwesterners so no one makes a big deal out of it.
posted by Frowner at 8:08 AM on June 29, 2011


I'm just here to speak for all the pets, Woof Meow, Bwaak!
posted by pianomover at 8:20 AM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


The fish choose to remain silent.
posted by pianomover at 8:21 AM on June 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


If you outlaw pets only criminals will have them. I need my Pitbull to fend off the packs of feral cats that roam the neighborhood. I need my cat to dilute the bird population so I can sleep after sunrise. I need my cat also to protect my grain stores from ravenous rodents. Fie on thee San Fran Sisco. (BTW I need those plastic grocery bags to go walkees with my pitbull.)
posted by Gungho at 8:38 AM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


How intensive is the adoption process from the SFSPCA? We adopted both of our cats from the SPCA but their wasn't much in the way of verification of the form we filled out.

Took about 20 minutes to fill out the questionnaire and some paperwork. 10 minutes to microchip. It was quicker than I expected and we took home our cat Optimus Prime.
(I wanted to name her Volton but my girlfriend put her foot down. I tried to explain it was after Car Voltron and not that sissy Lion Voltron but she won't listen to reason).

The need to ban cat and dog sales seems obvious from a financial standpoint as strays become a burden on the city shelters. At first I was opposed to the idea of also banning fish and bird sales, but then I realized they're not pets, they're decor.

The city's pet stores say the ban would put them out of business while doing nothing to prevent residents from purchasing pets elsewhere.

Oh really BBC? I'd like to see one attributable quote on that. Every pet store I patronize pushes adaption, even chains like Petco and Pet Food Express invites the City shelter and SPCA for pet adaption drives.

The only reason to buy a dog or cat is because you need a poodle, bichon frise or those freaky hairless cats for allergy reasons. The shelters are packed with 'purse dogs' because they were fashionable a few years back, makes me sick to my stomach to see animal breeds bought as an accessory.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 9:47 AM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


I believe the San Francisco SPCA take only dogs and cats. The city shelter, San Francisco Animal Care and Control takes everything.
posted by oneear at 9:54 AM on June 29, 2011


They can still give away kittens in the parking lot, right?
posted by The Hamms Bear at 9:09 PM on June 28 [1 favorite +] [!]


Only if they're cooked properly and you're a licensed food vendor.
posted by FatherDagon at 10:01 AM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


SF is starting to make my hometown look like a bastion of reason and good sense.

I don't think reason and good sense have ever been high on the list of San Francisco's selling points.
posted by treepour at 10:10 AM on June 29, 2011


I'm not sure I quite understand nixing lizards and goldfish. While there are a few reptile rescues, they are few and far between. Fish? Next to unheard of. Perhaps SF could look a little more closely at shelter statistics and tweak accordingly?
posted by troublewithwolves at 10:38 PM on June 28 [5 favorites] No other comments.


well, IDK about the climate in SF, but all over the Southeast, especially Florida, escaped exotics establish themselves in the wild and outcompete *everything*. That photo everyone emailed you of the dead alligator inside the dead anaconda in the Everglades was actually not a fake, and it's a huge problem. Parrots, pythons, anacondas, iguanas (omg, especially iguanas), frogs, toads, lizards & fish - it's all bad.
posted by toodleydoodley at 10:57 AM on June 29, 2011


I'm kinda hoping that the imported Monk Parakeets in Austin out-compete the goddam Grackles, myself. But yeah, lots of people just release exotics that become too much trouble.

The Austin Zoo, which is exclusively as rescue facility, has 5 or 6 tigers. One of them was captured after a 911 call that was basically "Hello? There's a tiger in my yard."

People buy cichlids like Oscars, and they outgrow fish tanks and get tossed in creeks or lakes.
posted by Devils Rancher at 11:17 AM on June 29, 2011


"I don't think reason and good sense have ever been high on the list of San Francisco's selling points."

Except, of course, that San Francisco has been leading the way on just about every civic reform and major social issue for over 100 years now.

What we're talking about here is a recommendation from a city board that specializes in animal rights, so it's no wonder that they err on the side of wanting to stop all pet sales. To tell you the truth, there are benefits to the city for having a wider ban, even if doing so entirely is probably not as practicable and politically viable as a more specific ban on dog and cat sales.

But it's important to realize, it's just a recommendation, and the proposed legislation is subject to change. Our processes here allow for a wider range of options than you probably would find elsewhere, but by the time it becomes law, it's usually quite a reasonable -- oftentimes forward-thinking -- piece of legislation.

Seriously... for all of S.F.'s supposed nuttiness, how many of you can actually name laws we have here that are "loony"... as opposed to all the things we have had here that have been incredibly innovative firsts?
posted by markkraft at 11:22 AM on June 29, 2011 [5 favorites]


As a guy with herpetologist friends, I find the inclusion of the sale of feeder mice to be a really odd part of the proposed law.

I can see, even if I don't quite agree with, the logic behind banning the sale of cats, dogs, etc. But feeder mice? Goldfish? That seems to put this more into the category of random PETA lunacy rather than the category of serious proposal.
posted by sotonohito at 11:24 AM on June 29, 2011


Like I said earlier. Under the proposed scheme, it's illegal to buy a live fish to feed to your snake, but legal to buy a live fish to feed to yourself. This is psychotic.
posted by kafziel at 11:50 AM on June 29, 2011


Like I said earlier. Under the proposed scheme, it's illegal to buy a live fish to feed to your snake, but legal to buy a live fish to feed to yourself. This is psychotic.
posted by kafziel 28 minutes ago [+]


No, it's a well-thought-out concession. Most people place humans above animals in a hierarchy, and while you have to eat to live, you don't have to own a pet, much less one that eats live prey.

True, people don't have to buy live prey either, but buying live food animals is a well-established standard of freshness and soundness, and one established across income groups (that is, people of all income scales, depending on their culture, may buy live meat).

The bottom line is, rich people will continue to buy any kind of animals they want, in any condition, including feeder mice. This law just provides that everybody else will have to conform to certain "reasonable" uses for live animals for purchase.
posted by toodleydoodley at 12:27 PM on June 29, 2011


If you've had seven cats and none of them ever got abused or neglected then you're not the one I'm trying to sell my point of view to. I'm selling my point of view - or, rather, slapping my vitriol on - people like those I used to live next to when I was a teenager, who forced me to kidnap their dog because they kept it on a short chain under the house with a big pink plastic bowl full of ant-covered dog food, and barely acknowledged its existence. But I'll get on to that etiquette class provided it's online and I can get recognition of prior learning for not slapping the shit out of everyone I pass in the street and don't like the looks of.

I kind of assumed it was something like that, but you chose to vent these feelings in the second person, and address to the the people you are talking to now. No, you do not get any 'recognition...for not slapping the shit out of everyone...you don't like the looks of.' That's actually called normal behavior, and it's not the fault of everybody else that you had some unpleasant neighbors or even lived in a bad neighborhood. We're not here to take part in your therapy (although I am quite OK with subsidizing it financially through taxes). You don't come across as someone who is concerned about animal welfare, you come across as someone who is absorbed in their own problems and has chosen this particular stage on which to act them out, with your intemperate remarks about people's 'shitty houses' and 'putrid lifestyles'. Please, go have your tantrum somewhere else.


SF is not "lurching toward bankruptcy" and this is not consuming any amount of oxygen, disproportionate or not -- any more than this ridiculous FoxNews-ready blurb is news. SF city/county boards perform stunts like this all the time and have for decades, and since you live there, you already know that.

Yes, and I'm sick of it because it's wasting valuable resources. At every single Board of Supervisor's meeting, we have to stop for 3 minutes for the guy who participates in every single public comment period on every issue by singing some 70s/80s pop tune with new lyrics about whatever is in the news that day. Oh, he's harmless and occasionally hilarious. But over a year he takes up something like 10-12 hours of board time - 9 supervisors, a county clerk, several sheriff's deputies, and various support staff. That shit is not free.

We most certainly are lurching towards bankruptcy - although I erred in mentioning $35,000 in unfunded pension obligations per resident, when it is in fact per household - as documented here. That's still a huge burden for San Franciscans. As someone who both loves the city and is bound here by family commitments, I'm concerned about it because it's a long-term financial headache for me. Sales tax here is 10%, among the highest in California. Property is still absurdly expensive here, and the city won't take action against banks that foreclose and then let the properties sit empty. Want to buy a house? you can look some of the title information online, or you can come to city hall and look the rest of it up on an antiquated computer system. But you can't print it out. For that you have to go take a microfiche out of a drawer and pay 25 cents per sheet to make copies of the exact same documents you just looked at on the computer terminal, which cannot be connected to a printer 'for legal reasons.' Our public transport system is awful and the only good news in the last year is that the head of the transit authority - who is inexplicably paid more than the mayor, or indeed the president - is resigning at the end of this month.

Lest you think this is all right-wing angst or something, take a look at the most recent report from the city controller. We have a $308m budget shortfall this year on revenues of about $3.8 billion, rising to a $642 million budget shortfall on revenues of $3.95 billion...2 years from now. Or this 5 year financial projection, also from the city controller, suggesting that by FY2015/16 we'll have a budget deficit of $827 million on revenues of $4.2 billion. Meanwhile we have schools recycling unused books in bulk 'to save valuable space' and an arts director who telecommutes...from Rio de Janiero. We have already cut a lot of things and are looking at cutting a lot more, but in the usual 'someone else's problem' manner which ensures that vested interests always get cut last.

That's why I don't have any patience for stunts like this. You want to add a $25 or $50 animal control surcharge on the purchase of pets? OK, that's a serious proposal that both speaks to the problem and adds some revenue. I'm all for improving animal control and reducing abuse and dissuading people from operating or dealing with puppy mills. Banning all pet sales - a proposal which is obviously doomed - because some people want a stage for their psychosocial anxiety, as demonstrated above? A ridiculous waste of time which we cannot afford. Yes, stunts like these are the norm here. It's bad governance.

Back in 2003 I did some volunteer work for Matt Gonzalez when he was running for mayor. Part of his platform was about how the city was not saving properly for a rainy day and that some fiscal conservativism and organizational focus was badly needed at City Hall. Since he was president of the Board of Supervisors at the time, I was willing to give him credit for knowing what he was talking about, although I was pretty surprised to hear such a downbeat message and cautionary tone. He lost of course, and the City elected the handsome and optimistic Gavin Newsom. And now, here we are.
posted by anigbrowl at 1:27 PM on June 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm sorry we can't be internet-BFFS anigbrowl, I had hoped to spouse you and then stay at your place when I came to do the Alcatraz tour and get locked in one of those cells because for about fifteen years now I've wanted to legitimately bellow "What kind of a fucked up tour is this?" because I think that would get big laughs.
posted by tumid dahlia at 4:04 PM on June 29, 2011


Our public transport system is awful

Tangent, but can you or another SF person explain to me why I hear people say this so often? I've only lived here for about a month, but I have had overwhelmingly positive experiences with the public transportation (I take BART daily M-F and the Muni or the bus multiple times a week) compared to other places I've lived. The hours and frequency beat Boston or DC. It's cleaner than NYC's subway. What's the issue?
posted by naoko at 6:40 PM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


I invite any San Franciscan to come on down to Austin and ride our public transit. You will return home fully aware that Bart & Muni are most assuredly not awful.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:48 PM on June 29, 2011


How intensive is the adoption process from the SFSPCA?

Depends on the branch, I think.

Two of my fuzzy creatures are Humane Society rescues, and both of them are "special needs" cases - both were owner "surrenders", where "surrender" means the Humane Society showed up with the Sheriff and a warrant, and told the owners "You can either GIVE us the animal, or we can have the nice man with the badge here arrest your evil ass, and we'll TAKE the animal."

It took a couple hours with each of them, including them calling my vet right in front of me to verify that my critters are well cared for, and HS folks have been to the house to visit the critters several times.

We've had Whiskey Jack, an 8 year-old Pitbull/Lab/Border Collie mix for 5 years, and Lulu, a 4.5 year-old dollfaced Persian for 4 years. (They are both crashed out on the couch with Bailey, a 12 year-old Domestic Shorthair, and all three of them are snoring like hell.) In that time, HS peeps came to the house every three months for the first year. They still pop over once in a while to ask me if I can foster, since my adoptees are healthy, happy, and spoilt.
posted by MissySedai at 6:51 PM on June 29, 2011


Btw, does it cost anything to adopt an animal from the shelter?

As a data point, my adventure in dog ownership five years ago started at an area shelter (this was Anoka County, Minnesota). Getting the dog out the door of the shelter at the time cost $330. There was also a required dog license from the City of Minneapolis, don't remember how much that was then, current fees are here. Then there were all the other associated items, shots, supplies, and on down.

I think papers signed at the shelter did say they could take the dog back under certain circumstances, but didn't involve inspections. Since I'm in a different county, any actual problems or issues would have been handled by local animal control anyway (and nosy neighbors--this is Minnesota).

There were several choices for pet adoption around. The city or local pound was depressing and dank. Animals there seemed to be mostly dogs without tags for whatever reason that had been caught loose by animal control.

Humane Society was bright, modern, clean, sanitary. That's presumably what the $330 goes to pay for. At the time this particular spot was full of black labs that had been rescued from a puppy mill in southern Minnesota. Other reasons dogs were there: people no longer able to have a dog due to illness (or death), owner needed to move, landlord problems, etc.

There seemed to be a demand for dogs. Problem-free dogs at the humane society seem to get adopted fairly easily. Cats, however, are a different story: there was an oversupply at the shelters I visited. That's just an outsider's observation, though, and could fluctuate.

Then there was a wide variety of smaller rescue organizations, some oriented around specific dog breeds, some around philosophies (no-kill, etc.). Some of these would not let you adopt without a prior home inspection, some mentioned follow-up inspections. Not all of these, but at least a few, had a smell of ideological zeal that made me not comfortable with the idea of making their inspectors an ongoing part of my lifestyle. On the other hand, a one-time pre-inspection could be a valuable thing: is this particular dog a good fit for your home? That could be good advice from someone with expertise. Overall, I had mixed feelings about these.

I'll skip over Craigslist, which was a cesspit of lunacy, but the lunacy was obvious and everywhere, so it was easy to stay away.
posted by gimonca at 6:00 AM on June 30, 2011


This will put the well-run local pet store down the street from me out of business.

If that store is dependent on animal sales to stay in business, they're not "well-run."


In theory though, wouldn't this actually put pet stores out of business in the long run? Or at least, most of them? If people are banned from buying ANY pets at pet stores, the first thing you'll see is pet stores losing all the sales of pets, obviously. Which even if it isn't a majority of their business, is still SOME PART of their business. Then you have things like lizards, fish, etc with fancy expensive requirements (tanks, lights, pumps, filters), so you lose all the cash from those accessories. So what you've got left are people with existing pets, buying food and supplies for their existing pets. Which will eventually cut down to just dog and cat food and supplies, as pet lizards and goldfish die off and aren't replaced. And eventually, since you can only get dogs and cats from breeders, the demand for dog and cat food and supplies will dry up too. Or at least, dry up enough that a local pet store can't stay in business.

Not that I have a real strong feeling either way - it seems silly to ban ALL pet sales, but I'm all for making it harder to get puppies/kittens.
posted by antifuse at 6:21 AM on June 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


I didn't buy my cats. One was from a litter of kittens a friend found in her back yard. The other was a stray I started feeding that became very attached to me.
posted by mike3k at 9:58 AM on June 30, 2011


Tangent, but can you or another SF person explain to me why I hear people say [public transit in SF is awful] so often?

Lots of San Franciscans are from or have lived in Europe or Asian places where transit is much better, plus Muni itself used to be a lot better than it is now.

Try living on the west side of the city for a while; a common sight on the L-Taraval is to see a string of trains going in one direction, while none are available going in the other. On many occasions, I have walked the ~2 miles home from West portal station and passed 5, 6, or even 7 trains coming towards me, with none going in my direction. My wife and I are so used to this that if we're facing a wait of longer than 8 minutes at West Portal we'll just decide to 'race the train' and see if we make it to the corner of our street first. Of course only face such waits because sometimes you get on an L Train downtown but by the time it arrives in our neighborhood theyve decided to change it something else and throw everyone off.

Also, safety problems. Muni drivers have had a bad accident record in recent years, won't do anything about violent passengers, and are prone to doing things like whizzing light rail trains through tunnels with some of the doors still open, for which two drivers have been fired in the last few months...but only after frustrated riders gave up on the MTA and sent their cellphone videos to the local news stations or put them on Youtube.
posted by anigbrowl at 12:26 PM on June 30, 2011


a local outfit called the Animal Rescue Foundation will ask you some questions, and they will not allow a dog to be adopted if it would be left home alone all day. (cats can be.) While I was there adopting an adult cat they had rescued from a city pound, I overheard them refuse to allow two very young ladies who had just rented an apartment together to adopt a kitten.

obligatory photo of 10+ year old Juicyface warily eyeing camera
posted by longsleeves at 2:07 PM on June 30, 2011


Clearly I jinxed myself - the day after I defended SF's public transportation, I was headed out to Inner Sunset and waited around forever for a N train that just never came. I eventually called 511 and was told it was coming in 1 minute, and a few minutes later when it still hadn't come I called again and was told 10 minutes - at that point I tracked down a bus going more or less the same way. I guess I am lucky to live in the Mission, work in the Financial District, and do all of my commuting by BART.
posted by naoko at 10:35 AM on July 2, 2011


Oh and then today the bus I was on broke down. Damn.
posted by naoko at 1:05 AM on July 4, 2011


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