Class could keep small pets safer

Spearmint gum is an impulse purchase, but what about a cute little creature for the kids? Animal officials say no, and now you may be required to take a class on it first.

A crash course pet owners would have to sit through before buying small critters — hamsters, rats, etc. — is an option The City’s animal commission will consider as a second attempt to minimize the hundreds of small animals that are euthanized every year.

Previously the animal commission discussed asking the Board of Supervisors to ban the sale of small pets. Now it will hear about the Pet Ready program at its regular meeting Thursday. The program would require owners to present a certificate of completion before buying a small animal as an alternative.

“With the pet store ban on the sale of small animals that end up getting euthanized, usually they’re impulse buys, then three weeks later it drives them crazy,’’ said commission Chair Sally Stephens. “This way, at least the hope is that people will be more informed first.’’

Teresa Murphy, who is presenting the Pet Ready nonprofit to the commission, has for a decade run a guinea pig rescue program in San Mateo that has re-housed hundreds of the creatures all over the Bay Area.

“It’s not like going and buying a pair of jeans; hey, it doesn’t fit so I’ll just take it back,’’ Murphy said. “I’m in favor of whatever it takes to stop the front-end problem … I’m trying to put something in place. It’s not a perfect solution, but I do think it’s a huge step in the right direction.’’

The pet ban was kicked around for months, but never surfaced. Jim Lazarus, senior vice president of The City’s Chamber of Commerce, said the alternative could be running down the same path.

“The devil is in the details,’’ Lazarus said, listing questions such as “Who’s going to be regulating it?” and “Who will check the pet store records?”

Lazarus did not reject the idea but did say The City has a habit of biting off more than it can chew.

“Let’s get Muni on time first,’’ he said.

kkelkar@sfexaminer.com

 

Bay Area NewsclasseducationLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted changes to The City's streets including Slow Streets closures to increase open space access and the Shared Spaces program, which allows businesses to use public right-of-ways for dining, retail and services. (Examiner illustration)
COVID is reshaping the streets of San Francisco

Walk down Page Street, which is closed to thru-traffic, and you might… Continue reading

At a rally in February, Monthanus Ratanapakdee, left, and Eric Lawson remember Vicha Ratanapakdee, an 84-year-old Thai man who died after he was pushed to the pavement in San Francisco. (Ekevara Kitpowsong/Examiner file photo)
The criminal justice system can’t fix what’s wrong in our community

My 87-year-old mother walks gingerly, slowly, deliberately, one step in front of… Continue reading

Superintendent Vincent Matthews said some students and families who want to return will not be able to do so at this time. “We truly wish we could reopen schools for everyone,” he said. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFUSD sets April reopening date after reaching tentative agreement with teachers union

San Francisco Unified School District has set April 12 as its reopening… Continue reading

José Victor Luna and Maria Anabella Ochoa, who cite health reasons for continuing distance learning, say they have been enjoying walking in Golden Gate Park with their daughters Jazmin, a first grader, and Jessica, a third grader. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Some SFUSD families prefer distance learning

Health issues, classroom uncertainties among reasons for staying home

Most Read