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The City of Riverside’s Planning Commission held a workshop on March 9, 2017, to seek input on changes to the city’s animal control laws as part of new land use regulations.  At the workshop, the City’s Community Development Department presented the City's goals for retail pet sales and breeder regulations.  It recommended that the city adopt the Long Beach breeder ordinance as a model to achieve those objectives.

Representatives of the Dog Owners of the Golden State (DOGS) report that Community Development Department staff stated that the goal of the proposed regulations is to reduce shelter intakes and prevent inhumane breeding conditions.  These assertions and their presumed solutions were presented without any supporting evidence to indicate that: shelter intakes are increasing, and if so, the root cause; the promotion by retail pet outlets of inhumane breeding conditions by selling pets from licensed, regulated breeders; and changing a sales model to offering unregulated, “rescued” pets would improve breeding conditions from any source.  Staff claimed that many other municipalities have similar pet sale and/or breeder ordinances as justification for a similar ordinance in Riverside, failing to provide evidence of any success resulting from such programs.  

It was suggested that the Long Beach, California, breeder ordinance be used as a model.  Since 2006, when that ordinance was passed, Long Beach Animal Care Services has issued no breeder permits in the intervening decade.  In addition, the exorbitant application fees, which exceed $750.00, are non-refundable.  Features of a Riverside ordinance could likely include litter limits, primary enclosure/shelter regulations, and reporting and microchipping requirements. 

A Long Beach-style breeder ordinance could have an onerous impact on responsible dog breeding within the city.  

Interested dog owners and breeders are invited to attend a meeting for dog fanciers to be held on Thursday, April 13, 2017, at 6 p.m. at Denny's Restaurant, 2955 Van Buren Blvd., Riverside, CA 92503. For further information about the meeting and to RSVP, please contact or

The American Kennel Club (AKC) also encourages all Riverside and area residents to participate in upcoming formal meetings in Riverside that will likely lay the groundwork for an ordinance to be formally introduced.  The next “workshop” on the adoption of a Long Beach-style ordinance is tentatively scheduled for the Utility Services/Land Use/Energy Development Committee on at 1PM on May 8th.  The venue is in the Art Pick Council Chamber, City Hall, 3900 Main St., Riverside, CA 92522.

City Council Members serving on the Utility Services/Land Use/Energy Development Committee include: 

Chris MacArthur (Ward 5), Chairman
Phone: (951) 826-5991

Mike Soubirous (Ward 3), Vice Chair
Phone: (951) 826-5991
Mobile: (951) 515-1663

Mike Gardner (Ward 1) 
Phone: (951) 826-5991
Mobile: (951) 941-7084

For further information, please contact AKC Government Relations at; or the Dog Owners of the Golden State, which provided this update to AKC.  

DOGS is one of four AKC Government Relations-recognized federations in California.  Others include The Animal Council, the Sacramento Council of Dog Clubs, and the California Federation of Dog Clubs.  All may provide additional information or assistance on state and local issues in California.