hamster.jpgA San Francisco city commission held a third hearing Thursday night on a proposal to ban sales of some animals by pet stores in the city.

The San Francisco Commission of Animal Control and Welfare has proposed a prohibition on stores selling dogs and cats; smaller creatures like hamsters, rats, mice, guinea pigs and chinchillas; and possibly birds.

The commission is hoping to decrease the amount of animals sent to city animal shelters after overzealous pet purchasers later regret their decisions. Many of the animals later have to be euthanized, commissioners say.

Hearings have already taken place on the inclusion of dogs and cats, and of small animals, in the proposed ordinance.

On Thursday night, the commission heard four hours of testimony on a proposal to extend the ban to also include birds, according to commissioner Philip Gerrie. He said there were speakers on both sides of the issue, including animal rescue advocates and pet store owners.

The commission is still weighing the issue, Gerrie said, and will take it up again at its next meeting on Aug. 12.

If approved, the law would allow an exception for animal shelters and rescue groups to sell the animals. The ordinance would still have to be approved by the Board of Supervisors.

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