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December 15, 2023

On Wednesday, December 13, the Bakersfield City Council unanimously approved multiple changes to the animal control laws – including licensing and inspections of all breeders and owners of more than three dogs. You can read the adopted ordinances in detail here, but below are a few of the changes to local law:

  • Reduce the age of required dog licensing and vaccination from four to three months old.
  • Require that animals impounded more than once be spayed or neutered prior to redemption by their owner.
  • This ordinance would define a “kennel” as anyone who owns more than three dogs at least twelve weeks old. Kennels will be required to be licensed and inspected by Animal Control.
  • Require all dogs over six months to be sterilized unless a city resident purchases an intact animal permit.
  • Require anyone selling a litter of puppies to purchase a breeder’s permit.

The new ordinances will take effect in 30 days. Although we were not successful in changing the proposed ordinances, the AKC thanks the local area club members for their participation in the civic process, including speaking at city meetings and submitting valuable insightful comments.  AKC will continue to provide updates as necessary and encourages local residents to continue communicating with the council as the law is implemented.

AKC Government Relations continues to monitor proposals in California impacting dog owners and will provide updates.  For questions or more information on California state or local policy proposals, contact AKC GR at