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(a) Findings and Purpose.
(1) In many parts of the country, a significant number of puppies and kittens sold at pet stores come from large-scale, commercial breeding facilities that do not adequately provide for the health and welfare of the dogs and cats living there. These facilities are sometimes referred to as “puppy mills” or “kitten mills.” The Humane Society of the United States estimates that 10,000 puppy mills produce more than 2,400,000 puppies a year in the United States and that most dogs and cats sold in pet stores come from puppy mills and kitten mills.
(2) The documented abuses endemic to dogs and cats living in puppy mills and kitten mills include: over-breeding, inbreeding, minimal to non-existent veterinary care, lack of adequate and nutritious food, water, and shelter, lack of socialization, lack of adequate space, and lack of adequate exercise.
(3) The inhumane conditions in puppy mills and kitten mills lead to health and behavioral problems in the animals living in and bred in those facilities, which many consumers are unaware of when purchasing animals from pet stores due to both a lack of education on the issue and misleading tactics of pet stores in some cases. These health and behavioral issues, which may not present themselves until after the purchase of the animals, can impose exorbitant financial and emotional costs on consumers.
(4) Current Federal and State regulations do not sufficiently address the sale of puppy mill dogs and kitten mill cats in pet stores.
(5) Restricting the retail sale of puppies and kittens to only those that come from shelters or rescue organizations is likely to decrease the demand for puppies and kittens bred in puppy mills and kitten mills, and is likely to increase demand for animals from animal shelters and rescue organizations.
(6) Dog and cat overpopulation is a problem in California. More than 250,000 dogs and cats are euthanized in California animal shelters annually, due, in part, to overpopulation. Overpopulation also increases burdens on animal shelters, which causes increased costs to taxpayers. Prohibiting the retail sale of puppies and kittens to only those that are sourced from animal shelters and rescue organizations will likely reduce these problems.
(7) Across the country, thousands of independent pet stores and large chains operate profitably with a business model focused on the sale of pet services and supplies, and not on the sale of commercially bred dogs or cats. Many of these stores collaborate with local animal shelters and rescue organizations to offer space and support for showcasing adoptable homeless pets on their premises.
(8) This Section 1C.2 will not affect a consumer’s ability to obtain a dog or cat of his or her choice directly from a breed-specific or other rescue organization or a shelter, or directly from a breeder where the consumer can see the conditions in which the dogs or cats are bred or can confer with the breeder concerning those conditions.
(9) It is medically unsound to separate a puppy or kitten from its mother before the puppy or kitten has reached eight weeks of age.
(10) It is in the best interests of San Francisco to adopt reasonable restrictions on the purchase of dogs or cats from a pet store or other business establishment. This Section 1C.2 is designed to reduce costs and burdens to the City and those of its residents who may purchase dogs or cats from a pet store or other business establishment, and to help prevent inhumane breeding conditions, promote community awareness of animal welfare, and foster a more humane environment in San Francisco.
(b) Definitions. For purposes of this Section 1C.2 , the following terms shall have the following meanings:
“Animal Care Facility” shall mean an animal control center or animal shelter, maintained by or under contract with any governmental entity, whose mission or practice is, in whole or significant part, protecting the welfare of animals and placing animals in permanent homes or with Animal Rescue Organizations.
“Animal Rescue Organization” shall mean any not-for-profit organization which has tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code, whose mission and practice is, in whole or significant part, the rescue of animals and the placement of those animals in permanent homes, and which does not obtain Dogs or Cats from a Breeder or Broker for payment or other compensation.
“Breeder” shall mean a Person who maintains Dogs or Cats for the purpose of breeding and selling their offspring.
“Broker” shall mean a person who transfers Dogs or Cats at wholesale for resale by another.
“Cat” shall mean a member of the Felis catus family.
“Dog” shall mean a member of the Canis familiaris family, or resultant hybrid.
“Offer for Sale” shall mean to sell, offer for sale, offer for adoption, barter, offer for barter, auction, give away, offer to give away, or otherwise transfer or offer to transfer.
“Person” shall mean corporations, estates, associations, partnerships, trusts, and other business entities, as well as one or more individual.
“Pet Shop” shall mean a retail establishment where Dogs or Cats are Offered for Sale to the public. Pet Shop shall not include an Animal Care Facility or Animal Rescue Organization.
(c) Sale of Dogs and Cats in Pet Shops.
(1) A Pet Shop shall not Offer for Sale a Dog or Cat unless the Pet Shop has obtained the Dog or Cat from or displays the Dog or Cat in cooperation with:
(A) An Animal Care Facility; or
(B) An Animal Rescue Organization.
(2) A Pet Shop shall not Offer for Sale a Dog or Cat that is younger than eight weeks old.
(d) Recordkeeping and Disclosures.
(1) A Pet Shop shall maintain records sufficient to document the source of each Dog or Cat the Pet Shop acquires, for at least one year following the date of acquisition. Such records shall be made available immediately upon request to the Chief of Police, the Director of the Animal Care and Control Department, or any authorized designee of these City officials.
(2) A Pet Shop that Offers for Sale Dogs or Cats shall post, in a conspicuous location on the cage or enclosure of each such animal, a sign listing the name of the Animal Care Facility or Animal Rescue Organization from which the Pet Shop acquired each Dog or Cat.
(e) Penalties. Any Person who violates subsections (c) or (d) of this Section 1C.2 shall be deemed guilty of an infraction and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by (1) a fine not exceeding $100 for a first violation; (2) a fine not exceeding $200 for a second violation within one year; or (3) a fine not exceeding $500 for each additional violation within one year.
(1) Each Dog or Cat Offered for Sale in violation of subsection (c) of this Section 1C.2 shall constitute a separate offense.
(2) Each recordkeeping violation under subsection (d)(1) regarding a particular Dog or Cat shall constitute a separate offense.
(3) Each failure to post a sign as required by subsection (d)(2) regarding a particular Dog or Cat shall constitute a separate offense.
(f) Enforcement. This Section 1C.2 shall be implemented and enforced by the Animal Care and Control Department with the support of the Police Department in the exercise of its ordinary law enforcement functions, and the support of other City agencies as appropriate. The Director of the Animal Care and Control Department, or his or her designee, may issue rules, regulations, or guidance consistent with this Section 1C.2 to further the purpose of this Section.
(Added by Ord. 48-17, File No. 161352, App. 3/10/2017, Eff. 4/9/2017, Oper. 6/8/2017)