Los Angeles County Supervisors have voted unanimously in a first hearing to approve an ordinance they say is intended to control strays. If it becomes law, the regulation will require residents in unincorporated portions of the County to spay or neuter, as well as implant microchips into their dogs.
Certain dogs, including animals belonging to registered breeders intended to compete in shows, as well as dogs that help the disabled, will be exempted. According to the Daily Breeze, “Dog owners found to be in violation of the ordinance could be fined up to $250 for a first-time offense. Repeat violators would face fines up to $1,000 and possible imprisonment.”
The regulation is supported by several animal advocacy groups and individuals. “There are too many animals being born and being euthanized,” Madeline Bernstein of the Los Angeles Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, told the Daily Breeze.
Backers also claim the ordinance was a response to what they allege is an increase in aggressive dog behavior and attacks. Initially the statute only applied to Rottweilers and Staffordshire Bull Terriers (pit bulls), but these owners protested the discriminatory focus and the regulation now applies to all breeds. However, there is a possible legal battle looming.
According to the Los Angeles Times, “