SF to pay panhandlers to foster puppies, not beg

(CBS/AP) SAN FRANCISCO - San Francisco hopes tackle two problems at once - end the city's panhandling problem and help stray puppies find a temporary home.

Beginning in August, the city will offer panhandlers up to $75 a week to stop begging and foster problem puppies from city animal shelters until the pups are ready for adoption.

The pilot program is called Wonderful Opportunities for Occupants and Fidos, or Woof. It's believed to be the first of its kind in the country. Applicants will be screened to weed out the homeless and severely mentally ill.

Mayor Ed Lee's point person on homelessness, Bevan Dufty, said it's a way to get panhandlers an income in a way that helps the city and its animals.

"I'm tired of pushing people around," Dufty told the San Francisco Chronicle "you can make it difficult for people to panhandle, but ultimately they're just going to go do it somewhere else. Why not try to meet their needs for income in a way that helps the city?"