SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- San Francisco officials are considering whether to ban the sale of pets, except fish, throughout the city.
Supporters of the ban say animal shelters are overrun by people who buy hamsters, parrots, snakes and other animals from pet stores on impulse, then regret the purchase. Under the proposal, San Francisco residents would have to go outside the city to purchase pets.
I think this is overstepping, but I can see the reasoning. It makes me sick to see the dogs, cats and other animals being sold in pet stores in this country, being bought and sold like a can of beans. Buyers get tired of the animal and abandon it. By chance I found out that the supplier for one major pet store chain is a real animal factory, with less than humane conditions and treatment.
That said, my wife runs a cattery. She raises and sells Maine Coons. I think that's different because the buyers who buy from a breeder pay a lot of money (between $800 to over $2000 for a show-quality cat), and are unlikely to just dump it. My wife maintains contact with her customers and offers to help find another home for the animal if they would ever no longer want it (so far nobody has ever taken her up on that).
By the way, our estimates are that the average cost of raising each kitten is around $825 per kitten, taking into account all the vet bills, high quality food etc.
In many other countries, live animal pet store sales are banned. If you want a pet, you either go to the local animal shelter or you go to a breeder. I think that makes sense, because the two choices are either to spend a lot of money, thus improving the probability that you are serious about a long term commitment, or going to the shelter, and you see all the poor animals there and what happens if you abandon the animal later.
So I think they should ban pet store sales, but not breeder sales.