The household dog limit in LA County has increased from three to four in an effort to get more dogs adopted from shelters and off the streets, but will it make a difference?
By Sadie Gribbon
In unincorporated Pasadena, Monrovia and Arcadia there is a limit of three dogs per household. Last year alone, 1,972 dogs were euthanized and 1,176 died or were dead on arrival in Los Angeles animal shelters. With a new motion to amend the current dog limit brought forward by Supervisor Barger and Supervisor Solis and approved by the LA Board of Supervisors, that number has a chance to decrease.
On July 11, the Board of Supervisors approved a motion that would expand the limit on dogs in a household from three to four, giving families in unincorporated Pasadena, Monrovia and Arcadia a chance to own more dogs in the hopes of people going to shelters for their new puppy.
“By increasing the number of dogs allowed per household from three to four, we are hoping to encourage responsible pet owners to consider adopting an additional dog from one of our county shelters,” said Supervisor Barger.
56 percent of dogs who enter animal shelters are euthanized and the month of July brings the highest rate of death by euthanasia year after year. Shelters become more impacted during this month due to runaway dogs from the Fourth of July firework season that are frightened by the intense sounds in the sky.
Los Angeles County has aggressively pushed for its current no-kill shelters which claim to be an aid to animals, but the shadow cast from the no-kill policy leads to more animals living and dying on the streets.
According to PETA, “when shelters give in to pressure to go ‘no-kill’ before they have overcome the breeding and selling of animals in their communities and before establishing sufficient spaying and neutering services, the results are often far worse for animals than a peaceful death through euthanasia.”
LA County has one of the toughest spay and neuter laws in the country, requiring most animals to be spayed or neutered by the time they are four months old. With a new ordinance in place to increase dog ownership per household, LA County is continuing the effort to keep dogs off the streets and adopted from local shelters, but there is no incentive for people to adopt rather than buy from breeders or breed their own dogs and a majority of Angelenos aren’t registering their pets in the first place.
There is no official number of unregistered dogs in LA County, but the spread of animal control departments in the county puts these pups in the range of 50-80 percent having no license. The fee to register a dog can be anywhere from $20-$80 depending on if the pet is spayed/neutered. The fee in Pasadena to license a dog is $20 altered, $60 unaltered; to license a dog in Monrovia, it costs $20 for altered, $60 unaltered; Arcadia licensing costs $15 altered, $30 unaltered.
Angelenos are not registering their dogs for multiple reasons; at the top of the list are the fees for licensing which also includes paying for proper shots, vaccinations and spaying or neutering. Since residents can only have so many animals, there are households that leave their dogs over the count unregistered, if they are even registering at all.
The effort to decrease capacities at animal shelters through adoption begins with allowing residents to legally have more dogs in their households, but will this truly make a difference when Angelenos aren’t licensing their dogs to begin with?