A city commission in San Francisco is getting ready for a vote to ban the sale of cats, dogs, and other small mammals in the city because too many unwanted pets end up in city shelters. And now, at the 11th hour, they are considering adding birds, which are also often abandoned, to the ban.
“These birds end up in shelters, on Craigslist, surrendered to rescues, set free, threatened to be set free, abandoned at vets,” said Elizabeth Young from the Mickaboo Bird Rescue organization.
One can only hope that the three pet stores in San Francisco are soon shut down and the flood of animals that end up in shelters soon slows to a trickle.
Pets are family; they are a big responsibility. When people are irresponsible there should be ways in which the pets are better protected. Hurray for San Francisco.
Yay, go for it SF!
Part of the problem is that more and more apartments don’t allow any type of pets. I love mine but when you can’t afford to even rent an over priced hole in the wall because you have pets, what do they expect you to do? The laws should actually make it easier for you to keep them not the other way around. Try finding a nice apartment for under $1,500 that allows animals, especially dogs. Doesn’t matter if you treat you pets better then humans, landlords don’t care.
All concerned are well advised to work toward a solution to the abandoned pet problem, it is rampant and disgusting. However, I’m not sure this ban will have the positive effect the sponsors are seeking. My fear is that in short order an black market will flourish in place of the pet stores. When pet owners don’t have anywhere to go for advice, supplies and other needs the animals in their care will suffer. I am not too familiar with the three stores in San Francisco but unless the owners are just bad people I’ll bet they would be up for a more creative solution than going out of business which will certainly happen if the ban is approved. There must be a way to include these stores in the solution short of closing them, a solution that will allow the stores to serve the dear pets of SF while addressing the terrible problem of pet abandonment. One metaphor that comes to mind is “the war on drugs”. Most of them are banned and we have a horrendous problem with addiction and incarceration in this country and an undeclared war on the Mexican border. Bans don’t work well, they are a knee-jerk reaction and a lazy way to claim some sort of victory. All well meaning persons want to protect our animal citizens but beware of unintended consequences.
The birds that end up in SF’s shelter are injured wild – about 50 a year. People love their birds and I would suggest you look at numbers and facts before supporting a ban. I can’t believe people can be so opinionated without having the complete story. Pretty soon, if this trend continues your grandkids will have plush toys as a bitter reminder of the pets we once had.
@Bill: No one wants to ban pets; the city wants to ban the sale of pets. And pretending that the pet stores are the only spot for pet owners to find information on pet care is just absurd.
@Carol: I am sure that the fact you sell birds has nothing to do with your concern.
Actually, I am a small aviary and my husband says I am an unofficial non-profit. I take pride in how I raise and fledge my babies in walk-in aviaries. I work with a few endangered species and am a director for Advocates for Bird Conservation, an organization that plants trees and puts up nestlogs in Indonesia for the Cornelius Eclectus and Citron Cockatoo. I work with the Greater Vasa parrot and am documenting their breeding behaviors – very different than any other bird.
I have about 150 hours of video of talks by conservationists, breeders, zoos and world renowned experts – back to the non-profit status thingy.
Anyway, judging by your response, you are against breeding birds, or against charging for the hard work I do and the follow up and after sale support? My babies bring joy into the lives of the people that BUY them from me. They spend hours at my home interacting with their baby as it grows up.
I raise so few babies that my income does not rely on their sale..it is more a hobby as I love my birds and the joy they bring to people.
I became active when a couple of years ago a bill would have put store owners in jail for 2 record keeping errors – I don’t think they are that harsh on pedophiles, are they? I was a cage distributor then and knew these people took excellent care of their birds and were hard working folks that didn’t need a noose around their neck because someone doesn’t think animals should be pets.
Watching the wranglings at that hearing opened my eyes to the untruths and free and loose fashion the animal rights fanatics operate. It was very disturbing to say the least. It is ludicrous for a person that has no bird keeping experience to set in law standards for their care.
I was introduced to bird watching this year and want to expand my photography and video skills in the wild. Something to look forward too.
I have to go prepare for video taping the hearing.
If you think about it, we both love birds.
Thanks for letting me post another side of the story. I AM VERY PROUD TO BE A BIRD BREEDER!
It’s amazing how no bird breeders seem to make any money.
@Carol: So the $30,000 + in birds for sale on your website right now isn’t important income to you? Because $30,000 is a lot of cash to most people.
And, yes, I am opposed to breeding birds for sale. It is wrong to keep breeding birds for sale when so many end up in shelters.
So, you think they pay for their food and help it takes to clean, etc. And, if you look at the numbers, in the SF Bay Area, there are approximately 40,000 pet birds. Rescues that publish their stats in the Bay Area amount to approximately .003% of that population. Oh, and the shelters – the SF shelter takes in about 50 birds a year – mostly injured wild birds.
If you take your thinking and replace birds with people, people shouldn’t have children either. Corey, I think you heard Chicken Little and drank the Kool-Aide. And that, my friends, is the scariest thing about this whole state of world. You have not done your homework. You’ve heard one side of the story and planted your feet firmly and are closed minded. The numbers don’t support this type of extreme measure. This type of thinking will have pets banned and extinct…Isn’t it Wayne Pacelle of the HSUS that says “one generation and out?”
Breeders have successfully kept and bred species that are extinct in the wild.
I’m done here. You are insulting and in need of a happy face as you sound hateful.
The world has lots of grey, Cory, it’s not all black and white.
Hey Carol. Corey is one of the most joyful people you could meet. I on the other hand am a miserable sod and I don’t like bird breeders either. And you’re a Director of the ABC – along with Luella Desborough: that REALLY makes me want to listen to your point of view – NOT. yawn…
So who wants to listen to you, yawn. Corey is probably just a miserable as you, it’s just that Corey changes it’s spots when your around,yawn, yawn. Get real and get a life. Uninformed people are the stupid people and weather you see it or not anybody who reads all this sure will. I did
@janet: Perhaps you should take a nap?
And yes, I would agree that uninformed people are the stupid people “weather” or not one sees it.
I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, it is an inappropriate intervention of local business by some municipal bureaucracy that is probably irrelevant and too expensive for this economy (likely more expensive than the cost of accommodating the abandoned birds). And–what Bill wrote. On the other hand, the pet industry can be quite dirty, and I think that this is directly related to the problem of making money off of living creatures that demand so much attention (e.g. compared to a house plant or an ant farm). Maybe the threat is enough to motivate revision of practices in the pet industry.
Maybe the local pet stores should have already developed a policy of reclaiming surrendered birds for resell to more qualified/prepared enthusiasts? Maybe the shelters should collabourate with the local pet stores? And maybe this threat will be a driving force for aviculturists to congregate carefully and develop an autonomous barter system, one that excludes those who have a “just business” approach to birds.
By the way, the Mickaboo crew seem like a bowl of flakes. I first heard of them trying to “re-home” their adbandoned Zebra Finches for something like ~$30. If it really costs them that much, then they are doing bird rescue wrong. Of course, the poeple of S.F. would rather buy from a breeder than adopt. C’mon, if Budgies in S.F. are $60(!), then Mickaboo should have no problem rehoming their overflow. So, I guess that the ban would boost “adoptions” for Mickaboo, in any case . . .