LA County passes ordinance to better protect animals

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Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

A handler holds one of 58 homeless Chihuahuas and small mixed breed dogs from Los Angeles which are being flown to Edmonton, Canada for adoption as part of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles (spcaLA) 'Air Chihuahua program,' at an airport in Long Beach, California February 11, 2011.

Pet breeders in Los Angeles County will have to abide by new rules designed to protect animals’ health. The L.A. County Board of Supervisors passed amendments to an existing ordinance Tuesday.

The changes require breeders to wait until dogs are at least a year old before breeding them and to house no more than 50 unspayed or unneutered dogs over a year old in one location. Pet stores also will have to disclose where they animals they sell came from.

Parts of the ordinance apply to large-scale animal operations and individual pet owners. It mandates identifying microchips or tattoos for puppies by the time they’re four months old, so animal control officials may track health concerns.

When the ordinance takes effect in a month, it will be illegal for pet owners in L.A. County to tie their dogs to fenceposts or trees for long periods of time, or to use choke collars to tie dogs to a running line. The 15-page ordinance also details requirements for the cleanliness and maintenance of pet stores, kennels and breeding facilities.

The sponsor of this measure is Supervisor Mike Antonovich, an animal lover who usually presents a pet for adoption at every board meeting.

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