What’s Better than a free puppy?


A free puppy and $75 a week! At least, that’s the rationale of the city of San Francisco.

It’s almost as if Ed Lee’s staff saw the “Unattended children will be given espresso and a free puppy” sign and thought “why don’t we just give puppies to panhandlers and pay them to take care of them? GENIUS!” Ed Lee, by the way, had one of the best campaign ads in recent memory, as you may recall.

The Sacremento Bee writes:

In what could be the first program of its kind in the nation, the city beginning in August will offer panhandlers up to $75 a week to stop begging and foster puppies from the city animal shelter until the pups are ready for adoption.

Yes, what could go wrong? Seriously though, what a great way for the city that hates happy meals to help the homeless. Oh, what’s that you say? Homeless people don’t qualify?

Applicants for the WOOF program will be screened to weed out the homeless. Anecdotal evidence suggests that most panhandlers have housing, but beg to supplement their income or pass their time, the Chronicle reported.

Ah. So we’re going to offer “beagles for bailouts” to people who have housing but lack jobs or the skills necessary for full time work? Homeless be damned. And I thought San Fran was a caring, progressive town.

For now, the program appears to be funded by a $10,000 donation. But at $75 a week, that’s enough for 10 dogs at 13 weeks. When the money runs out — we’ll see if the tax dollars are kept out.

Some studies estimate that the price of having a dog is about $53 a month, meaning the panhandler would make $247 per month to keep a dog. But certainly circumstances will change and some will cost more or less to keep. And remember, not all panhandlers will have landlords that allow pets, some might require a $500 deposit.

Nice sentiment, but the more I look into it, the dumber it is. 


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