New rules and regulations are being proposed by the LA DACC. These would impose further burdensome restrictions on kennels, pet stores and animal facilities.
Our legislators are being advised by AR people, who do not have experience with animal care and their suggested changes are not in the best interests of animals or their owners. One thing is clear about these changes. They resemble almost all of the dog law changes sweeping the country. They are composed almost entirely of vague language that can be used selectively to persecute on a whim. Here are a FEW thoughts on some of the language of the proposed ordinance.
"Housing will be sound and in good repair". What is "good repair"? Fresh paint? Screens on windows? Does flooring matter?
"All animals shall be supplied with good and wholesome food and potable water that is free from debris and is readily accessible and available as often as the feeding habits of the respective animals require" OK who decides what is wholesome food? Raw or kibble? Human grade? Water might get an occasional pet hair in it, can't watch it every second.
"Animals shall be groomed and kept in a manner that is not injurious to their health" Such as? Are we talking mat-free, or show ring-ready grooming?? Will a flea mean your license gets revoked? Again, who decides?
"Animals shall not be neglected, teased, abused, mistreated, annoyed, tormented or in any manner made to suffer by any person or means" Any person? How about Cesar Milan? Gee, my dog gets annoyed when I ask him to do something he prefers not to do...is that illegal now, to tell your pet to sit, or stay, or behave??
"Tethering of animals is prohibited." Self explanatory, although intrusive nonetheless. Tethering is often a safe effective means of confinement. Can groomers use a grooming arm? Dunno. Can you tie a dog temporarily to attend to another one? Guess it depends on who is watching.
"...shall isolate sick animals sufficiently so as not to endanger the health of other animals." Isolate where? Another room? Another property?
"An animal shall be taken to a veterinarian for examination or treatment if the director finds it necessary to maintain the health of the animal..." Could this be for any ailment that is easily treated, like cuts/scrapes? How about teeth that need to be cleaned or brushed? I'd hate to think that you can be considered criminally negligent if your dog is overdue for a tooth scaling.
"All enclosures....shall be of sufficient size to provide adequate and proper accomodations....large enough....and have a SOLID floor surface, not metal strand or wire flooring" Guess animals will invariably have to muck about in their own excrement?
"The enclosure shall not be placed on top of another animal enclosure." So, no more rows of stacked cages at PetSmart??? These are always rescue animals too, so I guess they will have to bring half as many pets on those adoption days. Hmmm...no stacked crates, anywhere? Are dog shows next on the stacked crate hit list?
"Animals which are natural enemies, temperamentally unsuited, or otherwise incompatible, shall not be quartered together or so near each other as to cause injury, fear or torment." OK, how close is that? No cats next to dogs? No dogs nearby to rabbits? Who is going to decide which is compatible and how far apart they need to be kept?
"Any tack, equipment, device, substance or material that is, or COULD BE, injurious or cause unnecessary cruelty to any animal shall not be used." Such as what?? A broomstick or a hose could be injurious, but might be needed in the course of the day to clean up. What exactly are they talking about here? Again, up to the interpretation of the local AC imperial majesty?
"Working animals shall be given adequate rest periods." Like what, 10 minutes per hour? Will they need to punch out on the time clock? And what work are animals doing in Los Angeles anyway? Herding cattle? Do they need time out from their back yard guard duties? Who is going to monitor this stuff?? It BOGGLES the mind!
"Each dog and cat....shall be provided with minimum exercise period of at least one hour of exercise each day." Again, with the timer. You only have 24 hours in a day....how on earth would a pet shop comply with this? And, if your old dog has arthritis you've gotta drag them around and make sure they exercise?
"All other animals shall be given adequate exercise proper for the individual animal under the particular conditions." HUH? Exactly what is meant here? Who will decide how much exercise my bird or my snake needs and how he'll get it?
"Animals bearing evidence of malnutrition, ill health, unhealed injury.....shall not be displayed." OK what will we do with the rescues? Keep them in a back room until their scars disappear? Which in many cases is...NEVER!
"Any animal whose appearance is or may be offensive or contrary to public decency shall not be displayed." Again, what does this mean? We have to concern ourselves with appearance of a dog or cat being offensive? Maybe a hairless breed is offensive? Maybe someone else doesn't like to see cropped ears? What matters something as superficial as physical appearance?
And here's the final kicker...."may not posses....more than a combined total of fifty dogs or cats..."
Back to that AR dream of limiting possession based on numbers criteria. So, if you want to handle enough animals to actually stay in business, no way, that is now proposed to be outlawed. Boarding kennels will certainly need to raise prices or go out of business altogether. Of course, the number "50" is arbitrary, and will certainly be racheted down in the future.
There are new rules about posting your whereabouts on the door....or the number for the AC dept...when you are not on the premises of your business. A good way to "get" somebody and pull their license when they get turned in by some nut job with a chip on his shoulder.
There are also extensive record keeping requirements that are quite burdensome. Every pet must be microchipped and tracked from birth to death.
These proposed changes were based almost solely on beliefs held by AR people and those not experienced in caring for dogs. They are all " one size fits all" and do not take into consideration the different care requirements needed for each individual breed. Some of them, like the rules for "Retired Females" would have had exactly the OPPOSITE outcome of what they claimed they were trying to prevent. Thankfully that cruel requirement, where only three retired females could be kept at one time, has been resolved. They will stay under the umbrella of the kennel license.
If you care about your rights to keep animals, you simply must start making contact with your local government representatives and start educating them. The AR people are filling their heads with their beliefs. It's not just about educating puppy buyers etc, it is about educating the Government. What they should know and what they DO know are two wildly different things. You have to consider that when only one side of the story is told, that becomes the full story. Start talking to the people who represent you. Attend the hearings!
The proposed changes can be found at http://animalcare.lacounty.gov/cms1_142916.pdf
The current regulations (Title 10) can be found at: http://search.municode.com/html/16274/index.htm
Click here to see full PIJAC PetAlert
The Los Angeles Department or Animal Care and Control will hold two public meetings. If you are affected by this proposal you need to attend one or both of the meetings and submit written comments to the Department.
• Also contact your elected County officials
• The two meetings will be held on March 9 and 10:
o Child Support Services
Phillip Browning Room
5500 S. Eastern Avenue, 1st Floor
Commerce, CA 90040
March 9, 2010 -- 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
o City Council Chambers
38300 Sierra Highway
Palmdale, CA 93550
March 10, 2010 -- 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
• If you are unable to attend either of the meetings, you may send written comments/questions related to the proposed ordinance changes to:
• If you have animals in your facility and the proposed regulations are adopted without any changes, be prepared to go out of business or move to another county!!