- On February 12, 2008, the City Council of Los Angeles gave final approval to a new law that requires all cats and dogs in the City to be spayed or neutered after the age of four months, with some specific exemptions allowed. Violations are subject to three levels of increasing fines, starting at $100, to urge compliance. After the third violation, non-compliance is a misdemeanor.
- Exceptions are permitted if the animal:
- is a breed approved by and registered with a registry or association approved by the Animal Services Commission, and does or will actively show or compete.
- has earned or is in the process of earning a special title (i.e. agility, herding).
- is used as or in training to be a guide, signal, or service dog.
- is a dog trained, or in training, for use in law enforcement, military or rescue activities.
- has a letter from a licensed veterinarian certifying that the animal should be temporarily or permanently deferred due to age or health.
- has a valid breeding permit issued to the owner pursuant to existing City ordinance.
- Dogs and horses (any equine) are required to be licensed in the City of Los Angeles.
- Cats are not required to be licensed.
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. LA 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. Various State and local laws.
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. State Penal Code 597.7.
Dog owners who tie up their animals for long periods of time or deny them the proper level of water and shade face stiff financial penalties. State law specifically sets a limit: dogs may only be tied, chained, or otherwise restrained to a stationary object because of special conditions, such as construction, outdoor party, or to complete some other short-term task. 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. LAMC Section 53.70.
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 dog and lose the right to own a dog for one year. LAMC Section 53.63.
- If you breed your animal, whether on purpose or by accident, you must obtain a breeding permit, which costs $100. LAMC Section 53.15.
- It is illegal to allow your dog to assault, menace or threaten another person or animal. Failure to control your dog could result in losing your dog and your right to own a dog for three years. LAMC Section 53.33 and/or 53.34.
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. LAMC Section 53.49.
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 at present. LAMC Section 53.06.
As part of the new law requiring spay or neuter of dogs and cats, any dog or cat that is exempt from the requirement and remains intact must be micro-chipped. LAMC Section 53.15.2.
No Feeding Urban Wildlife:
- You may not feed "non-domesticated mammalian predators" (for example, coyotes, foxes,
possums, raccoons and skunks). Violating this law is a misdemeanor and can subject you to fines. LAMC Section 53.06.05, along with State law.
There are laws restricting the selling of animals within the City of Los Angeles on all streets, sidewalks, and other public places. Selling animals usually requires obtaining a Business Tax Registration Certificate (BTRC) from the City of Los Angeles. Pet shops and kennels must also obtain permits for public sales from LA Animal Services. LAMC Section 53.42, and other LAMC sections.