Pet lovers wanting to buy a furry companion in San Antonio, Texas will only be able to purchase rescue cats and dogs from January 1, after the city council voted to restrict sales as a means of tackling pet overpopulation.
Katie Jarl Coyle, southwest regional director for the Humane Society of the United States, said in the San Antonio Express News:
“This ordinance will help drive the pet market toward more humane sources and encourage pet stores to be part of the pet overpopulation solution,” he said.
There are only three pet stores in San Antonio limits that allow the sale of purebred dogs and cats out of a total of 51 pet-selling businesses, but there has also been a severe problem with strays.
The initial ruling was meant to take effect on July 2021, but Councilwoman Rebecca Viagran brought the date forward by six months after 17,000 cat and dog carcasses were removed from the streets between October of 2019 and September of 2020.
The goal is to reduce the numbers of abandonment and breeding during periods of lengthy lockdowns and economic uncertainty, as people are either unable to afford to take care of a pet or use them to breed and sell puppies to make extra cash.
However, the result is a lot more cats and dogs, with an increased chance of abandonment. Take into account Christmas, where people may give animals as presents to those who cannot afford to keep them and who may abandon them, and the decision appears a wise one.
The motion was put into action with just a few members of the council in opposition. One person who didn’t back the plan, Shirley Gonzales said: “I just don’t see how the ordinance really gets to the source of the problems that we have here in San Antonio.”
“We know we have overpopulation, there’s no doubt. We know that we have problems with loose dogs… We have a severe problem with pet ownership responsibility,” Gonzales added.
However, San Antonio residents will still be able to purchase purebred dogs and cats from private licensed breeders.
Under the changes, which were approved on Thursday, October 29, all dogs and cats sold by pet stores must be sterilized, microchipped, and immunized.