A California pet store asked its customers about gun control. Chaos ensued.

A Southern California pet shelter has added a unique adoption criteria: If you want to bring home a new pet, you must support certain gun control measures.

Thousand Oaks Shelter Hope Pet Shop owner Kim Sill described the new pet adoption requirement from her shelter to a newsletter released earlier this month. She says she has since received threats online and in calls to the store.

“We do not support those who believe the 2nd Amendment gives them the right to purchase assault weapons,” Sill wrote in the newsletter. “If your beliefs don’t match ours, we won’t adopt a pet for you.”

This new requirement was installed just days after a gunman killed 19 children and two staff at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texasand about three years after a gunman killed 12 people in a bar in Thousand Oaks. In his newsletter, Sill said the shooter in that shooting had already volunteered at his shelter.

“The shooter who killed 12 innocent humans at the Borderline Bar came to our store for community service hours,” she wrote. “We believe he had scouted many places and we were one of them. We changed our policy on volunteering after this incident, but now we are confident to go even further than that.

Threshold says Fox 11 the problem is personal to her as she lost her sister to gun violence. In the newsletter, she said that all potential pet owners would be “grilled” on their stance on guns and that, “If you adopt for us and believe in guns, please please bring our dogs and/or cats back, or we will arrange to have them picked up.”

“If you lie about being an NRA supporter, make no mistake, we will prosecute you for fraud,” she wrote. “If you think it’s our responsibility to protect ourselves in public places and arm ourselves with a gun, don’t come to our house to adopt a dog. We have a choice who we work with.”


Sill posted the newsletter on the shelter’s website Facebook page, which has nearly 7,000 subscribers. As you can imagine, the reaction of many Internet users has not been positive. As of Wednesday afternoon, the Facebook post with the link to the newsletter had over 1,200 comments.

“Absolutely pathetic stance. I’m all for having your own opinion and beliefs, but refusing to provide a home for an animal to prove your point is ridiculous,” one user wrote. I hope the IRS will revoke your 501 status if you don’t reverse your decision not to allow someone to adopt based on their beliefs.”

“Kim seems to be missing crayons from her box,” another user wrote. “I’d be damned if someone told me I couldn’t adopt because I owned a gun. You put politics above pets that need homes. Cheers for ignorance, I needed a laugh tonight.

According to Fox 11 report, Sill has received several threatening calls and thousands of emails since the newsletter was published. A lawyer quoted in this article said that Sill was not breaking any law by refusing to allow gun supporters to adopt pets.

Sill did not respond to a request for comment from SFGATE.

“Shelter Hope Pet Shop will in no way continue to operate if we are part of the problem, even remotely,” Sill wrote in the newsletter. “We support teachers, children and businesses that provide services to the public, but we are tired of all the senseless killing.”

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