San Francisco is Renewing Efforts to Ban Pet Sales

San Francisco’s Animal Control and Welfare Commission is renewing efforts to ban pet sales in the city, which has been extended to include goldfish, tropical fish and guppies in an effort to raise awareness of the plight of even the smallest of animals who are raised inhumanely and to discourage impulse buys of pets.

Last year a ban on the sale of puppies, kittens and other small animals was proposed in hopes of increasing adoptions and dropping euthanasia rates, but a decision was put off and the issue was scrapped altogether.

This year’s proposal comes after a year of study and was expanded to include breeders as well as pet stores to help protect pets, consumers and the environment.

“The pet trade is a multi-billion dollar industry that treats animals as commodities to be bought and sold for profit. This leads to suffering on a massive scale when animals are warehoused, bred for sale, denied socialization and basic veterinary care, and finally transported with minimal care. Animals from mills develop diseases creating public health problems. Importation of sick animals to SF is bad for SF animals. Buying animals from local breeders and adopting from rescue/shelters are healthier companion animal choices,”  according to a statement from the commission from their meeting on June 9.

They also point out that the ban will address problems with taking animals from the wild, along with the problems that come with releasing domestic pets who are no longer wanted.  

“Most fish in aquariums are either mass bred” under inhumane conditions “or taken from the wild,” commission member Philip Gerrie told the San Francisco Chronicle. That leads to “devastation of tropical fish from places like Southeast Asia.”

Some of the recommendations of the commission haven’t made any progress, but others have, including the ban on declawing cats in 2009. San Francisco also wouldn’t be the first city in California to ban pet sales. West Hollywood passed a ban last year, and was more recently joined by Los Angeles.

The ban does not in any way mean a ban on pets, it only means that people will need to choose alternative methods of bringing them home. According to the commission, this can include 1) Pet store adoptions events; 2) Pet store permanent adoption centers/partnerships; 3) Direct sale from small breeders; 4) Adoption from shelters such as Animal Care and Control and the SF/SPCA; 5) Adoption from animal rescue organizations. 


Sign the petition showing your support of the ban and the promotion of pet adoptions. 

Related Stories:

Victory! Las Angelos Bans Puppy and Kitten Mills

West Hollywood Votes on Pet Shop Ban

San Francisco Considers a Ban on Declawing Cats

Photo Credit: Lachlan


William C
William C2 months ago

Thank you.

W. C
W. C2 months ago

Thanks for caring.

Duane B.
.4 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Jennifer Smith
Jennifer Smith4 years ago

It's sorta iffy for fish though. Some fish don't breed so much as multiply. I've had guppies, and sword tails, and if you have a male and female, you're going to have babies, no matter what you do. Just the way those species are. And keeping just males leads to them fighting. Ideal ratio for those species is at least 1 more female then males.

How do you regulate something like that where the act of keeping the species healthy and happy basically will result in offspring?

Marilyn Traver
Marilyn Traver4 years ago

Then regulate the private breeders

alex l.
alex l4 years ago

i love it - what a wonderful idea.

and i wish they would ban breeding.
it causes nothing but the illnesses from inbreeding,l sales that turn animals into things, and the untalked of killing of those animals that the breeders don't think are up to standards.
if you support breeders, you support kitten and puppy "culls" - killing of those unfortunate animals for whom the breeding went wrong, or simply weren't a perfect specimen.

hope someday that this ban will be world wide. if you want an animal in your life - rescue it! there are millions that need you! give one the love and hope of a lifetime.

Donna Hamilton
Donna Hamilton5 years ago

Good to hear.

Molly R.
Molly R6 years ago

Gee John K. What a thoughtful comment. NOT. Really, that is all you care about, that too many things are being banned? You don't consider the reason behind this particular ban, the positive effect it will have on thousands (or more) animals? I suppose in a different time, you would have also opposed a ban on slavery? You just think that we humans should have carte blanche to do whatever we want to any creature we can exert power and control over? Come on, use your brain, maybe even engage your heart a bit too.

Akin Adelakun
Akin Adelakun6 years ago

Interesting article

Sue Griffiths
SUE Griffiths6 years ago

@Jon K.
You question what's next to be banned. What's next, is whatever injustice comes to the attention of caring people.

And who are the 12% that voted NO? Animal breeders or anyone who makes a profit out of animals no doubt.