Animal Issues Movement

Guideline For The Care And Treatment Of Animals In The City Of Los Angeles

Following is a basic guideline for the care and treatment of animal, including laws as set forth in federal, state, county, and City of Los Angeles municipal code sections. This is not intended as legal advice. If you have specific questions regarding laws, contact your local animal control agency.

LOST PETS: If you lose your pet, go to ALL animal shelters in your area at least every two days to look for your animal. Take a photo of your pet to the shelter to post on the "Lost Pet" board.

FOUND PETS: If you find a lost pet, you must take it to the animal shelter in that area so that the owner may locate and claim it. You may not keep a found pet without complying with legal requirements for locating the owner. You must provide any found pet with humane care, including prompt veterinary care if it is injured or ill, or take it to a shelter immediately for such care.

LICENSING: An annual license fee of $100 is charged for any unaltered dog. ("Unaltered" means any dog that has not been permanently surgically or otherwise sterilized to render it incapable of reproducing.)

An annual license fee of $10 is charged for any altered (permanently sterilized/surgically spayed/neutered) dog.

BREEDING: Anyone intentionally breeding or permitting dogs or cats to breed (reproduce) is subject to certain laws governing this activity and must obtain an annual breeder's permit.

I.D./LICENSE TAGS: Your dog is required to wear its license tag on a collar or halter at all times. A personal I.D. tag, clearly displaying the owner's phone number is also advisable. BE SURE TO UPDATE LICENSE INFORMATION AND TAGS IF YOU MOVE OR PET IS ADOPTED TO ANOTHER LOCATION. (Keep a current photo of your pet for I.D. purposes.)

RABIES CONTROL: Any dog over four (4) months of age is required to have a current rabies vaccination. (MC 53.51)

LEASH LAW: Dogs must be kept on your own property unless under the control of a competent person and restrained on a leash (Mun. Code. Sec. 53.06.2)

SANITATION LAWS: Owners are responsible for immediately removing any feces deposited by a dog on public or private property (other than that of the dog owner.) (Mun. Code Sec. 53.49)

Animal excrement (dog droppings) should be picked up daily and deposited in a container to prevent attracting/harboring flies, and such container should be removed from the premises at least once every seven (7) days. (L.A. County Code Sec. 11.30.070 & ll.l6.030/ll.l6.050)

CARE/ATTENTION: Any animal neglected, abandoned, or kept without food, water or proper care and attention will be removed by the Dept. of Animal Regulation and the owner cited. (MC 53.10)

FOOD, WATER: Pets must be provided with adequate food and water. Water shall be available at all times and should be placed in an area where it will not become overheated in the summer nor frozen in the winter.

SHELTER: Dogs must be provided with a shelter covered on the sides, and including a roof and floor raised off the ground adequately to prevent flooding by water during rain.

ABANDONMENT: It is a misdemeanor to abandon any animal in the state of California. ANIMALS MAY NOT BE DUMPED (PERMANENTLY LEFT) IN ANY PUBLIC OR PRIVATE AREAS NOR ON THE STREETS OR HIGHWAY. (If you do not wish to keep your pet and cannot find a suitable, responsible home to adopt it, take it to your local animal shelter.) (MC 53.12) (PC 597s)

DANGEROUS DOGS: Owners of potentially dangerous dogs may be charged a fee in addition to the regular license. Potentially dangerous dogs must be kept in an adequately fenced/enclosed area and must be under the control of the owner at all times. A vicious dog (one which has imposed certain types of injuries on humans or animals) may be destroyed by the Animal Regulation Dept. (MC 53.33 - 53.34)

DOG FIGHTING: Anyone who possesses, keeps or trains any dog with the intention of engaging in any exhibition of fighting with another dog or anyone who causes any dog to fight with another dog is guilty of a felony. Anyone who is a spectator at such an exhibition of dog fighting is guilty of a misdemeanor. (PC 597)

ANIMAL FIGHTING: Possessing training devices or causing any animals or birds (including cocks) to fight or being (OTHER THAN DOGS) a spectator at such an event is a misdemeanor. (PC 597)

SELLING/GIVING: Animals may NOT be displayed, offered for sale, sold or given away on any street or sidewalk. AWAY ANIMALS (MC 53.42)

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), secured in a carrier or cage, or the space is enclosed or has side and tail racks at least 46 inches high so that the animal may not jump, fall or be thrown out. (Veh. 23117.a) (See Veh. 23117.b for exceptions)

POISONING: No person shall place any poisonous substance in a place accessible to animals or birds with the intent to kill or harm them. (PC 596) (MC 53.41)

ANIMALS AS FOOD: Pet animals, or any traditional companion animal, may not be used, sold or given away for the purpose of using it as food (misdemeanor.) (PC 598b)

FOWL (CHICKENS) & Animals, fowl & birds (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 and 100 feet from any school, hospital or similar institution (L.A. County Code Sec. 11.16.090.)

GUARD DOGS: 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, immunizations, licensing and regulations. Contact the Dept. of Animal Regulation for these laws. (Mun. Code Sec. 53.66.)

BURIAL OF ANIMALS: No dead animals or fowl may be buried in the City of L.A. except in an established cemetery. Notify the Dept. of Public Wks. (Sanitation Bureau) of the address or location of any dead animals. (MC 53.62)

CHAINING: Humane requirements for maintaining a dog on a chain, rope or leash vary according to size of dog and other circumstances. However, chaining is not a desirable means of confining any dog for long periods and should be avoided whenever possible. If it is necessary to restrain a dog in this manner at times, an overhead, sliding cable which can be attached to a halter on the dog is usually the safest and most humane method. (These are available at most pet supply stores and in many hardware depts.) . No dog should be chained in an open area where it may be attacked by other animals or approached by strangers.

If any dog is chained, the chain must be long enough to permit adequate movement and exercise and be affixed so that the dog cannot become entangled or injured. The chain must permit the animal's access to adequate shelter, food and water. (Contact local animal control for specific rules in any particular city or community. Some areas do not allow chaining.) (PC597t.)

Every person who maliciously and intentionally maims, mutilates, tortures or wounds a living animal, or maliciously and intentionally kills an animal is guilty of an offense punishable by imprisonment in the state prison or by a fine of not more than $20,000, or by both fine and imprisonment. (pc 597.)

Download this document in PDF format

About Issues News Seminars Links Search Home