On Friday, October 20, the Los Angeles City Council directed that an ordinance be drafted to suspend the issuance of breeding permits in the city as a way to address shelter overpopulation concerns. Public comments from key officials indicate that this could also curtail the ability to own intact animals in the city. Should this proposal be adopted, it would ban all breeding in the city and could prevent the ownership of intact animals.
It is essential for the City Council to hear from constituents as soon as possible. Residents should contact your Los Angeles City Councilmember immediately to express your strong opposition to this proposal. Let them know that this will not address shelter population issues and it will punish responsible owners in the city.
Scroll down for background, contact information, and talking points.
On Friday, October 20, the Los Angeles City Council voted to direct the City Attorney’s office and Department of Animal Services (DAS) to draft an ordinance within 15 days to suspend the issuance of new breeding permits until animal shelter occupancy rates fall below 75 percent for three consecutive months, as expected. However, an additional provision was adopted, too; if the above ordinance is not drafted within 30 days, DAS, at the discretion of the General Manager can indefinitely limit the issuance of breeding permits.
Throughout this process, there has been much confusion concerning intact animal permits and breeding permits. Under current law, city residents do NOT need an animal breeding permit to obtain an intact animal permit. In addition, current law provides that animals may remain intact so long as they meet certain qualifications, including the dog being registered with a national or international registry (with appropriate documentation), and the dog “must actively show or compete and shall have competed in at least one show or sporting competition hosted or staged by, or under the approval of, a national association, unless it is too young to compete.” While AKC still has concerns regarding current law, we appreciate these important distinctions that allow certain intact animals in the city.
However, numerous public statements from local officials have conflated the two types of permits. As such, AKC is very concerned that people are being required to purchase a breeding permit to obtain an intact animal permit.
AKC believes that if the proposed ordinance passes, (in addition to punishing responsible breeders) it could impact the ability of city residents to obtain an intact animal permit at all – meaning they could not lawfully own an intact animal.
Residents of Los Angeles are strongly urged to contact their Los Angeles City Councilmember to respectfully express strong opposition to this proposal. Keep your comments respectful and demonstrate that responsible breeders and owners of intact dogs are a value to the community. Some points to be sure to mention to your councilmember:
- Remind them that responsible breeders are not the reason for shelter population concerns. In fact, responsible licensed breeders are part of the solution – providing well-bred dogs to families and ensuring these dogs never end up in shelters.
- Ensure that the councilmembers understand the difference between an intact animal permit and a breeding permit and that under current law residents should not be forced to purchase a breeding permit simply to maintain an intact animal. Remind them that responsible owners of intact animals are not the reason for shelter population concerns.
- Ask your councilmember to consider adopting the same standards or similar standards for issuing an intact animal permit for issuing breeding permits, including allowing a permit for dogs registered with a national or international kennel club with appropriate documentation.
- In terms of addressing issues in Los Angeles’ animal shelter system, offer your councilmember the following steps which would have a much greater impact on shelter system than banning responsible breeding:
- Ensure good data collection to determine where issues are originating and allow for arising problems to be adequately addresses.
- Require all animals received in the shelter system to be checked for microchips so lost pets can be quickly reunited with their owners and don’t languish in shelter system taking up valuable space and resources.
- Make sure low-cost spay and neuter funds are available to all who need it and ensure that program availability is widely known through community outreach.
- Statistics provided by the city demonstrate that many of the dogs coming into the shelter system are owner surrender. It is highly unlikely this is all due to irresponsible breeders. Often, dogs are surrendered due to economical or other unforeseen circumstances, including housing. Consider offering tax credits or other programs to incentivize greater acceptance of pets in residential housing to address issue of pets ending up in shelter system only because of housing issues.
- Develop a plan to manage “dangerous dogs” taken in and kept in the shelter system. Public comments by key officials have indicated that this is a significant concern for the city shelters.
Visit Breeding Regulations and Restrictions in the AKC Legislative Action Center for more talking points and information.
Los Angeles City Council Contact Information:
Los Angeles residents are strongly encouraged to contact your councilmember (find your councilmember by clicking here and entering your address):
- District 1: Councilmember Eunisses Hernandez; firstname.lastname@example.org; 213 473-7001
- District 2: Councilmember Paul Krekorian; Krekorian@lacity.org; (213) 473-7002
- District 3: Councilmember Bob Blumenfield; email@example.com; (213) 473-7003
- District 4: Councilmember Nithya Raman; contactCD4@lacity.org; (213) 473-7004
- District 5: Councilmember Katy Yaroslavsky; firstname.lastname@example.org; 213 473-7005
- District 6: Councilmember Imelda Padilla; email@example.com; 213 473-7006
- District 7: Councilmember Monica Rodriguez; firstname.lastname@example.org; (213) 473-7007
- District 8: Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson; email@example.com; (213) 473-7008
- District 9: Councilmember Curren D. Price, Jr.; firstname.lastname@example.org; 213 473-7009
- District 10: Councilmember Heather Hutt; email@example.com; 213 473-7010
- District 11: Councilmember Traci Park; firstname.lastname@example.org; 213 473-7011
- District 12: Councilmember John Lee; Lee@lacity.org; (213) 473-7012
- District 13: Councilmember Hugo Soto-Martinez; email@example.com; (213) 473-7013
- District 14: Councilmember Kevin de León; firstname.lastname@example.org; 213-473-7014
- District 15: Councilmember Tim McOsker; email@example.com; 213 473-7015
AKC Government Relations will continue to monitor this proposal will provide updates. For questions or more information, contact AKC GR at firstname.lastname@example.org.