An animal shelter in California will not allow anyone who does not support gun control to adopt their pets.
The Shelter Hope Pet Shop in Thousand Oaks, Calif., announced at the end of May that it had added the question, “Where do you stand on gun control?” to its standard adoption interview for potential pet owners.
“We believe that if we can make our voices heard on how we feel we can make an impact. We do not support those who believe that the 2nd amendment gives them the right to buy assault weapons,” Shelter Hope Pet Shop owner Kim Sill wrote on the organization’s website. “If your beliefs are not in line with ours, we will not adopt a pet to you.”
The shelter also requires owners to be at least 25, have a current driver’s license and submit to a physical inspection by the shelter if they don’t own their home.
Sill referenced the deadly mass shooting at a Thousand Oaks bar in 2018, writing that the shooter who carried out that attack had volunteered at Shelter Hope Pet Shop. Sill added that she had been told by officials that the gunman had considered targeting the shelter as a potential location to carry out the shooting.
“If you lie about being a [National Rifle Association] supporter, make no mistake, we will sue you for fraud,” Sill wrote.
The owner told NBC News that a number of the shelter’s donors are Republicans and have threatened that they will cut off financial support if she doesn’t remove the interview question about gun control.
“I say, fine, keep your money,” Sill told the network. “If I go out of business, as a result, I go out of business. But I have to do something. And this is the only thing I can do to make the point that mass killings by people armed with guns have to stop.”
National Rifle Association spokeswoman Amy Hunter responded to Sill’s comments Thursday, arguing that “having this asinine political litmus test comes at the expense of needy and homeless dogs and cats.”
Sill said she put the new policy in place following the shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, last month, which in conjunction with other recent mass shootings has reignited a nationwide debate about gun control.
“That did it for me,” the shelter owner said. “I had to do something, so I did this.”