San Francisco is Most Humane City, HSUS Says

West Coast cities ranked high regarding humane animal treatment, according to a study.

Posted: May 02, 2007, 5 a.m. EST

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(Stock photo)
San Francisco earned the Humane Society of the United States’ recognition as the “most humane city” in the United States. (Stock photo)
San Francisco is America’s most humane city, while Seattle is second and Portland is third, according to a new study by The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).
The study ranked the “humane index” of America’s 25 largest metropolitan areas according to criteria such as the number of vegetarian restaurants per capita and Congressional leadership on animal issues.

The survey is a first-ever attempt made by the HSUS to compare how communities across the country measure in terms of the treatment of animals, HSUS President and CEO Wayne Pacelle said.

“By measuring a wide range of humane and inhumane conduct, we hope to inspire individuals and entire communities to strive to do better to make the world a more merciful place for animals,” Pacelle said.

The study used a dozen factors selected to provide a basis for comparing the relative humaneness of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas, including topics related to pets, farm animals, wildlife, animals in entertainment and advocacy for animals.
West Coast cities generally performed better in the study than other areas of the country; in addition to San Francisco, Seattle and Portland, Ore., being ranked one through three, San Diego was fifth, while Los Angeles was sixth.

On the East Coast, Washington, D.C., Boston and Baltimore all ranked in the top ten metro areas.
Among the study’s findings: 

  • Every studied city ranked among the top five in at least one of the criteria, but also ranked in the bottom five on at least one.

  • There were two ties: Baltimore and Tampa, Fla., shared the 8th spot and Denver and Detroit tied for 17th.
  • Riverside, Calif., and Houston have the fewest fur retailers per capita. New York had three times the number fur retailers per capita than the average city surveyed.

  • San Diego was the capital of captive marine mammal and elephant displays — with twice as many such animals than second-ranked Miami. Atlanta, Detroit and Phoenix each have only five captive entertainers on display.

  • Voters in Philadelphia, New York and Seattle elect the lawmakers seen as the “most humane,” while representatives from Denver, Houston and Dallas had the least humane voting records.

The HSUS said the study will be repeated every two years. For the full, detailed results of the current study, click here.

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