Animal
advocates are up in arms over San Francisco’s new plan for keeping panhandlers
off the streets. The city wants to pay panhandlers who are staying in publicly funded
housing $75 per week to foster
“problem” dogs from San Francisco’s animal shelter
. But as a letter that PETA
sent to Mayor Edward M. Lee points out, “Handing over troubled animals to
troubled people will save neither, and it places both at risk of injury,
further trauma, and a bad end.”


Franco Folini|cc by2.0

Many
homeless individuals are battling substance-abuse or mental-health issues. If
they are unable to adequately meet their own needs, the last thing the city
should do is saddle them with the needs of another individual. And while the
organizers of the WOOF
program
(which stands for Wonderful Opportunities for Occupants and
Fidos) say that the
panhandlers will be screened to weed out anyone who is still living on the
streets or is severely mentally ill, they say nothing about conducting
background checks to ensure that participants don’t have histories of violence or abuse. Regardless, placing
dogs who are “rowdy, hyper or too shy to interact with humans” with
an untrained and struggling caretaker seems destined to have disastrous
consequences for both.

PETA
has offered to give San Francisco $10,000—the amount of the private grant that the
city received to start the program—if it would instead pay panhandlers to
perform any other service for the city, such as leafleting for spaying and neutering

Please
e-mail Mayor Edward M. Lee and ask him to place the city’s indigent population
in jobs that won’t risk hurting them or dogs.

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Article source: PETA Files

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