PuppyMill2-hsus.jpgA San Francisco city commission delayed deciding whether to ban the selling of dogs, cats and other small mammals tonight after a two-hour discussion unearthed extensive new information, a member of the commission said.

Philip Gerrie of the San Francisco Commission of Animal Control & Welfare proposed the ban to discourage excessive animal breeding and minimize the number of animals euthanized in the city’s shelters, he said.

Gerrie originally intended the measure to just include dogs and cats, but last month the commission expanded the proposed ban to include small mammals such as hamsters, rats, mice, guinea pigs and chinchillas. The measure was discussed again at tonight’s commission meeting.

Some people who attended the meeting wanted to expand the ban to include other types of animals, but others – such as representatives of PETCO and other pet stores – proposed alternatives to an outright ban.

“We had a lot more information presented to us and weren’t ready to decide what to do with it,” Gerrie said. “It’s good we have the hearings, do the work and make an informed decision.”
Gerrie acknowledged the ban would be largely symbolic because it would only apply within San Francisco’s city limits. Its original goal was to discourage Bay Area stores from selling dogs and cats bred at puppy mills, which utilize inhumane breeding practices, Gerrie said.

The seven-member commission will consider the ban at next month’s meeting, which is scheduled for July 8.

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