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01 August 2010


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I wish Richard had developed the issue of veterinary care and adoptions by people on very low income a bit more.

It seems to me that getting this sorted out is absolutely critical because if we refuse adoption to these groups they're going to get animals from friends who've let their cat/dog have a litter. That just encourages breeding by owners who might well otherwise have had their pets spayed (after all they're finding that loads of their friends want kittens or puppies so from their point of view there IS no pet over-production problem.

They then go on perfectly fine until the point where one of their animals needs a caesarian and they find it would cost two month's income.

Patti Kunz

Could people pay for a WebEx, or similar platform for the Conference to be delivered online? That would get the word out to more people. Is there a CD available or written scripts? I appreciate this offering. Would like more to bring the info to all.


Given how veterinary costs are rising, the industry-wide practice of requiring payment in full upfront, job loss, home loss, wage stagnation, increasingly tight credit, and a lingering, possible double-dip recession which may well get worse before it gets better, it seems to me this isn't only an issue for the poor but also the middle classes.

Christie Keith

Donna, I lived through this at a time I had a pit mix, and she was adopted from SF/SPCA. Wasn't the pit bull discrimination added later? Lita was a "certified St. Francis Terrier," which I thought was the program they later dismantled but was in place at first.

I moved out of San Francisco right after this and it was a long time ago, but that's my memory -- is it wrong?


> Created “Adoption Pact” that SPCA would take any healthy and many treatable dogs and cats that animal control couldn’t find homes for.

... with the exception of pit bulls.

This keeps getting missed when no kill advocates look to SF's history (and current policy).


Christie, I think this webpage from Friends of SFACC explains it the best (about 3/4s of the way down)


"However, because of a 1994 Adoption Pact between the two agencies, if ACC offers an adoptable dog or cat to The SF/SPCA, perhaps because of lack of kennel space at ACC or an overabundance of a particular breed, The SF/SPCA has obligated itself to take the animal. The only exception is pit bull dogs, whom The SF/SPCA does not take unless they have a documented history (known owners, no fight-training background, licensed, microchip registration, up-to-date-vaccinations, vet bills, receipts from dog trainers, etc.). In fact, other than pit bulls, The SF/SPCA may "pass" on only three of ACC's adoptable dogs and cats a month, but this rarely happens."

We've never known a time-period in SF when the agencies didn't discriminate against pit bulls or limit their adoptions. One of BR's co-founders was an employee at SFACC during the adoption pact period and it inspired her to help create BR as a way to address the dogs that were being forgotten in the push for no-kill.

SF has historically considered pit bulls to be "a problem" that must be dealt with, rather than dogs with human-created issues that need to be addressed. Hence, the current BSL that was and is fully embraced (and even promoted) by SF agencies. I don't recall ever reading any statements from the no-kill community decrying this BSL. It's been a sore spot as you can well imagine.


I should add that Jan McHugh-Smith ended the mandatory finger printing and mugshot requirement for pit bull adopters from SFSPCA. Up until the time she took the seat as director, this policy was actively enforced.

Christie Keith

Well, I don't know if you consider me a member of the no-kill community, but I decry it. I believe all dogs should be individually evaluated regardless of breed, and I'm against breed specific (or "type" specific) laws and policies.

I'll email Rich and see if he wants to comment.


Thanks. Contra Costa County has been inspired by SF's endorsement of SB861 and is in the middle of considering MSN now for their big county .. so the conversation is here.


Zip files of conference materials are available for download here:


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