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City Laws Protecting People and Animals in Los Angeles
Over the years, the City of Los Angeles has sought to improve conditions 'for animals and people by creating and supporting laws that govern the care of animals and their interactions with humans. Many of these laws are found in the Los Angeles Municipal Code ("LAMC"), and some are found in State law. (Read the law for a full description, including exceptions.) Los Angeles Animal Services is responsible to enforce the laws. Here is a brief summary of the key laws affecting LA's animals and their owners:
The following are basic guidelines
for the care and treatment of animals, including laws as set forth in federal,
state, county and
City of Los Angeles Municipal Code sections.
If you have lost a pet,
go to all animal shelters in your area at least every two days to look
for your animal.
If you find a lost pet,
you must take it to an animal shelter in the area so that the owner can
locate and claim it.
CARE & ATTENTION
Any animal neglected, abandoned or kept without
food, water or proper care and attention will be removed by the Department
0f Animal Services and the owner cited.
FOOD & WATER
Pets must be provided with adequate food and water.
Dogs should be provided with a shelter covered on the sides, including a roof and floor raised off the ground adequately to prevent flooding by water during rain
Animal Abuse and Cruelty
Abusing or failing to properly care for
any animal is against the law and is punishable with fines and possible
jail time. This includes participation in dog and cock fighting. L.A.
Animal Services is constantly on the lookout for evidence of abuse,
and the Animal Cruelty Task Force works with the City Attorney and
District Attorney to investigate and prosecute abuse and cruelty cases.
You can call to report cruelty at 213-847-1417.
It is a misdemeanor to abandon any animal
in the State of California.
Animals Left in Cars
You may not leave an animal in any unattended
motor vehicle under conditions (such as heat, cold, lack of ventilation
or water) that endanger the health of the animal or may be· expected
to cause suffering or death.
Dog owners who tie up their animals for
long periods of time or deny them the proper level of water and shelter
face stiff financial penalties. State law specifically sets a limit:
dogs may not be tied, chained, or otherwise restrained to a stationary
object for more than 3 hours in a 24-hour period. Under State law,
violations could result in an infraction or misdemeanor punishable
by a fine up to $1,000 per dog and/or six months in jail.
You cannot allow your dog to bother your
neighbors with excessive barking. Failure to control barking that
unreasonably interferes with your neighbors could lead to the imposition
of strict conditions by LA Animal Services, or eventually you could
lose your your dog and lose the right to own a dog for three years.
If you breed your animal, whether on purpose
or by accident, you must obtain a breeding permit, which costs $100.
It is illegal to allow your
dog to assault, menace or threaten another person or other animal.
Failure to control your dog could result in losing your dog and the
right to own a dog for three years.
Dog owners are required to clean up after
their dogs when taking them out in public. Failure to do so could lead
to stiff fines. Bring a bag when you take your dog for a walk!
Keeping Animals Outdoors
L.A. Animal Services sets the minimum distance
that all animals (except horses) may be kept from houses, schools,
businesses, and other buildings. Dogs, cats, rabbits, and farm animals
must be kept 35 feet from the owner's house, and 75 feet from all other
buildings. Rules and distances for keeping horses are similar, but
are set in the Land Use section of the LAMC, Section 12.00.
If you take or allow your dog off your property
or place of residence, you must have him or her on a leash. Failure
to do so could result in a stiff fine. There are a number of dog parks
in the city where it is legal to let your dog off-leash, but no beaches
All dogs residing in the City must be licensed.
Horses must also have a license, which costs $14 per year. A license
for a spayed or neutered dog costs $15 per year, while a license for
an unaltered dog costs $100 per year. Contact L.A. Animal Services
for information for City free and subsidized spay and neutering services
Getting your dog micro-chipped makes identification
and return of a lost pet quick and easy if he or she ends up in the
possession of L.A. Animal Services. Also, as part of the new law
or neuter of dogs and cats, any dog or cat that is exempt from the
requirement and remains intact must be micro-chipped.
No Feeding Urban Wildlife
You may not feed "non-domesticated
mammalian predators" (for example, coyotes, foxes, possums,
raccoons and skunks) outdoors. Violating this law is a misdemeanor
and can subject you to fines.
There are strict laws restricting the selling
of animals within the City of Los Angeles. Outdoor and sidewalk sales
are generally prohibited and sales of dogs and cats require special
permits from L.A. Animal Services. Selling animals usually also requires
obtaining a business license from the City of Los Angeles.
Spay and Neuter
All dogs and cats residing in the City of
Los Angeles must be spayed or neutered unless they meet certain medical
criteria, are active show or service dogs. or are licensed for breeding
purposes. Stiff fines and penalties can be assessed for persistent
failure to comply. If you adopted your dog or cat from an animal shelter,
state law requires that it be spayed or neutered before you will be
allowed to take it home unless there is a valid medical reason for
delaying the surgery.
Any dog over four (4) months of age
is required to have a
Any dog kept, used or maintained on
any commercial or industrial premises to guard, protect, patrol
or defend any property or person is subject to special provisions,
DOGS IN TRUCKS
No animal may be transported on a
street or highway in the back of a truck or other vehicle unless
the animal is cross-tethered (restrained from two sides),
No person shall place any poisonous substance in a place accessible to animals or birds with the intent to kill or harm them. (PC596) (LAMC 53.41) .
ANIMALS AS FOOD
Pet animals or any traditional companion animals may not be used, sold or given away for the purpose of using it as food. (Misdemeanor) (PC 598b)
Anyone who possesses, keeps or trains
any dog with the intention of engaging in any exhibition of fIghting
with another dog or
ANIMAL FIGHTING OTHER THAN DOGS
Possessing training devices or causing any animals or birds (including fIghting cocks) to fIght or being a spectator at such an event is a misdemeanor (PC 597).
Fowl and other animals (other than
cats, dogs, canaries and birds of the Psittacine family) must be
kept at least 35 feet from any dwelling, restaurant or food establishment
Any crowing rooster, gamecock, turkey,
guinea hen, peacock, goose, duck or other fowl capable of loud
crowing or like noise, shall be kept at least 100 feet from
BURIAL OF ANIMALS
No dead animal or fowl may be buried
in the City of Los Angeles except in an established cemetery. (LAMC
for maintaining a dog on a chain, rope or leash vary according
to the size of the dog and other circumstances.
ANYONE WHO MALICIOUSLY AND INTENTIONALLY MAIMS, MUTILATES, TORTURES
OR WOUNDS A LIVING ANIMAL, OR MALICIOUSLY AND
are organized and fighting back and
we will not go away.
This is our city of
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