Victory! San Francisco Bans the Sale of Puppy Mill Dogs

Animal advocates are celebrating another major victory for companion animals following an announcement that San Francisco has officially banned the retail sale of dogs and cats who come from mills.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to pass an ordinance introduced by District 4 Supervisor Katy Tang that bans pet stores from selling dogs and cats who were not from shelters or rescues, will require stores to post information about where animals are from, and bans the sale of puppies and kittens who are under eight weeks old.

Yesterday the Board of Supervisors unanimously supported legislation I sponsored to ban the sale of non-rescue cats and…

Posted by Katy Tang on Wednesday, February 15, 2017

As Tang pointed out in an editorial, the ordinance doesn’t prevent responsible breeders from doing business, and people will still be able to go to them to get a dog, or cat, or adopt from local shelters and breed-specific rescues. She adds that while there are no stores currently selling dogs and cats, this will ensure that none ever can, which now makes San Francisco one more place where breeders who mass produce puppies and kittens like they are mere commodities are unwelcome.

While many continue to defend pet store sales of dogs and cats, claiming that they only come from breeders who are licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the standards that have to be met for licensing are the bare minimum and are definitely not in line with the level of humane care that breeders should be providing.

Dogs can be kept in cages only a few inches longer than their bodies for their entire lives, cages can be stacked with wire floors and dogs can be bred as often as they can produce to maximize profits. Often they are left without adequate care in unsanitary conditions.

“Most animal lovers are horrified at the thought of keeping their beloved family pet in a dirty wire cage for a second ― let alone a week, month or even years. Yet, that is the fate of many animals at large-scale commercial breeding operations across the nation, including the mothers of many puppies and kittens sold in pet shops,” wrote Tang.

When it comes to inspections, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s (APHIS) Animal Care (AC) unit is responsible for enforcing the Animal Welfare Act, but it has been completely ineffective when it comes to dealing with problem breeders and repeat offenders.

We had access to the violations and a lot of the problems that have continued to be exposed until the USDA shamefully scrubbed its website of animal welfare records, which included information about cruelty cases involving puppy mills.

Hopefully, more awareness about puppy mills will continue to be raised and the list of communities that have already passed regulations like this, including Chicago, Los Angeles , San Diego, Phoenix and Boston, will continue to grow.

You can help by spreading the word and by signing and sharing the Care2 petition demanding the U.S. Department of Agriculture stop shielding animal cruelty by restoring animal welfare records to its website.

Photo credit: Thinkstock


Marie W
Marie W10 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

Melania P
Melania Padilla11 months ago

Awesome, we need this worldwide

iveta NoFwdsPls c
iveta NoFwdsPls cerabout a year ago

Thank you !!!!!

Leong S
Leong Sabout a year ago

Thanks for sharing.

Clare O
Clare O'Bearaabout a year ago

Well done.

Elaine W
Elaine Wabout a year ago


heather g
heather gabout a year ago

Wasn't this in a previous newsletter?

Chen Boon Fook
Chen Boon Fookabout a year ago


Leanne K
Leanne Kabout a year ago

Great article and pleased you included the petition!

Leanne K
Leanne Kabout a year ago

Well done S.F!