LA County Passes Ordinance To Better Protect Animals

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance Tuesday intended to better protect animals, especially those raised by breeders or housed in pet stores or kennels.

The ordinance was spearheaded by Supervisor Michael Antonovich, an animal lover who presents a dog or cat for adoption at virtually every board meeting he attends.

Under the new rules, breeders will be required to:

— wait until dogs are at least 12 months old before breeding them;

— keep puppies on premises until they are at least eight weeks old;

— separate pregnant females at least three days before they give birth;

— and provide nesting boxes for the moms and their pups.

All new pups will have to be microchipped or tattooed at four months, so that they can be identified by county officials tracking health concerns. Pet stores will have to disclose the source of their animals.

“We feel that there are a lot of additional protections in place” as a result of the ordinance, said Marcia Mayeda, the head of Animal Care and Control.

Most breeders will be limited to housing 50 unspayed or unneutered dogs more than a year old, but others may be allowed to keep more animals if they can demonstrate that they can properly care for them.

The full text of the ordinance, which also prohibits individual pet owners from tying dogs to a fence or a tree for long periods of time, or using a choke collar to tie a dog to a running line, can be found at http://animalcare.lacounty.gov.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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