new leash and barking laws
- L.A. City Council to consider putting bite on owners of barking dogs
Daily News Wire Services
Posted: 05/04/2010 09:13:53 AM PDT
Updated: 05/04/2010 09:19:24 AM PDT
The Los Angeles City Council will be asked today to consider developing a program that would enable the Department of Animal Services to slap pet owners with citations and fines for violating barking and leash regulations.
Animal Services Assistant General Manager Kathy Davis has called such a program "an excellent method for reinforcing the seriousness of complying with laws relating to humane treatment of animals and human-animal safety."
"It would provide our animal control officers with a vigorous tool to motivate changes in behavior, and afford the department with a mechanism by which the persons drawing on the resources of the department to respond to violations are the same persons underwriting the cost of the enforcement through the payment of administrative penalties," she said in a letter to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in August.
Animal control officers now give pet owners a "notice to comply" if their dogs, cats, rabbits and farm animals (except horses) are kept more than 35 feet from their house and if their pets are found wandering the streets without a leash.
Davis noted that the department issued 1,435 "notices to comply for distance" and 1,141 "notices to comply for leash law violations" in fiscal 2008-09.
"If those were first-time administrative citations at $100, that could have yielded $257,600 if all were valid and could be collected," she pointed out.
"From a more aggressive perspective, if all 19,351 Notices to Comply issued in 2008-2009 for
barking, cruelty, distance, leash law, and permits were translated to first-time Administrative Citations that were valid and collectible, revenue could be nearly $2 million annually," she added.
The city's municipal code states that pet owners cannot allow their dog to bother neighbors with barking. Failure to control barking could lead to the imposition of strict conditions and possibly the loss of the right to own a dog for a year.
The municipal code and state law also states that pets must be provided in all cases with enough food and water, along with attention and shelter. 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.
The Board of Animal Services Commissioners voted in August to ask Villaraigosa and the City Council to direct the city administrative officer and chief legislative officer agencies to develop an administrative citation program.