Pets R Not Us

By: Daniel Nardini

I have noted that extreme legislation is not just confined to right-wing Republican nutcases. The City of San Francisco is now considering a total ban on the sale of pet animals— all pet animals. This includes cats, dogs, hamsters, and yes goldfish. The lame reason is that people “only buy these pets for their kids and then throw them out when their kids get bored.” Well, I have no doubt that this happens. Such people do exist, and in my view it makes sense to fine them heavily and threaten them with jail if they continue. That in my view would do more to fix the problem (of course catching them may be extremely difficult, but that is the job of the police and neighborhood watch committees).

But the total ban on being able to buy pets is as irresponsible as irresponsible pet owners. Many cats and dogs who came from animal shelters would either have to be euthanized because they can no longer be sold and given to good homes or kept in animal shelters indefinitely. Is this a better solution to the homeless pet population? This kind of law would also put pet shops in San Francisco out of business. But would-be pet owners can just as easily go to a pet shop outside of San Francisco and buy a pet. So this piece of legislation would resolve nothing. What would San Francisco do about this? Put people in jail for buying a cat or a dog? It’s beginning to sound like the People’s Republic of China here.

The legislation exempts food animals such as fish, cows and pigs so that restaurants can buy them to serve them on the dinner plate. I find it disconcerting that you can sell an animal to eat but not to give a home and a life. This legislation would punish and criminalize responsible animal lovers as well as irresponsible pet owners. It would make criminals of people whose only ambition in life may be to have a four-footed little friend for company. I can only hope that the people of San Francisco rise up and take their cats and dogs to San Francisco city hall where their loving pets can do their business on these leftist loonies!

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