This comprises the City of West Hollywood, California's animal control ordinances. The animal control ordinances of Los Angeles County have been adopted by reference, prohibiting animal nuisances as well as the keeping of dangerous animals. The code also defines and outlines procedures for feral cats. Uniquely, West Hollywood has a ban on onychectomy (“declawing") of domestic cats unless done as a medically necessary procedure, as well as a ban on the sale of fur (with some exceptions). Further, subject to some exemptions, the city prohibits the retail sale of cats and dogs.
Chapter 9.48 Animal Control Regulations
9.48.010 Adoption of Animal Control Ordinance.
9.48.020 Violations – Penalty.
9.48.040 Amendments and Repeals to the Los Angeles County Code, Title 10, Animals.
9.48.050 Amendments – Dogs and Cats.
9.48.060 Transfer of Dog or Cat .
9.48.070 Feral Cats.
9.48.080 Animal Control Officers.
Chapter 9.49 Ban on Onychectomy (Declawing)
9.49.020 Onychectomy (Declawing) Prohibited.
Chapter 9.50 Retail Sale of Dogs and Cats
9.50.020 Retail Sale of Dogs and Cats.
Chapter 9.51 Sale of Fur Products
Sale of fur products.
Chapter 9.48 Animal Control Regulations
Title 10, Animals, of the Los Angeles County Code, as amended and in effect on February 5, 1993, is hereby adopted by reference as the “Animal Control Ordinance” of the City of West Hollywood.
A copy of the Animal Control Ordinance has been deposited in the office of the City Clerk and shall be at all times maintained by the Clerk for use and examination by the public.
(Ord. 93-383 § 1 (part), 1993: Ord. 92-344 § 1 (part), 1992: Ord. 91-288 § 1 (part), 1991: Ord. 87-152 § 1 (part), 1987: Ord. 86-125 § 1 (part), 1986: Ord. 85-21 (part), 1985: prior code § 3300)
a. Except as provided in subsections (b) and (c) of this section, any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter is guilty of an infraction which is punishable by a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars ($100.00) for a first violation, a fine not exceeding two hundred dollars ($200.00) for a second violation within one year and a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500.00) for each additional violation of this chapter within one year, unless another penalty is provided for in this chapter.
b. Violation of Los Angeles County Code Sections:
or any provision of Los Angeles County Code Division 2, except Chapter 10.84, of the Animal Control Ordinance is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) or by imprisonment in the County Jail for a period not exceeding six months, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
c. Violation of Los Angeles County Code Sections 10.32.010, 10.40.060, and Chapter 10.37 is subject to the provisions of Sections 1.08.030 through 1.08.070 of this code.
(Ord. 99-549 § 1, 1999: Ord. 97-507 §§ 7, 8, 1997: Ord. 93-383 § 1 (part), 1993: Ord. 92-344 § 1 (part), 1992: Ord. 91-288 § 1 (part), 1991: Ord. 87-152 § 1 (part), 1987: Ord. 86-125 § 1 (part), 1986: Ord. 85-21 (part), 1985: prior code § 3301)
Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 9.48.010, the Animal Control Ordinance is amended by amending Los Angeles County Code Section 10.40.060 of Division 1 to read:
10.40.060 Animal Nuisances Prohibited Where
A. No person having custody of any dog or animal shall permit, either willfully or through failure to exercise due care or control, any such dog or animal to commit any nuisance upon any common thoroughfare, sidewalk, passageway, bypath, play area, park or any place where people congregate or walk; or upon the floor of any common hall in any apartment house, hotel or other multiple dwelling; or upon any entranceway, stairway or wall immediately abutting on a public sidewalk; or upon the floor of any theater, shop, store, office building or other building used in common by the public; or upon the floor, stairway, entranceway, office, lobby or patio used in common by the public; or, without the consent of the owner or person in lawful occupation thereof, any lawn, yard, or any other private property whatever, which is either improved or occupied except that dogs may be curbed in that portion of the street adjacent to the curb, under the following conditions.
1. The person who so curbs such dog shall immediately remove all feces deposited by such dog by a sanitary method; and
2. Dispose of said feces in a sanitary manner by placing same in a sealed container and depositing in a trash receptacle.
B. Any person who has charge or control of a dog in a location other than on the property of such person or the property of the guardian of the dog, shall have in full view in his or her possession a suitable wrapper, bag or container (or articles of personal clothing) for the purpose of complying with the requirements of this section. Failure of such person to carry such wrapper, bag or container when in charge or control of a dog in a location other than on property of such person or the property of the guardian of the dog or animal shall constitute a violation of this section.
C. For the purpose of this section a “nuisance” committed by a dog or animal shall mean defecation by said animal.
D. The provisions of this section shall not apply to a blind person, visually handicapped person, deaf person or other physically disabled person accompanied by a guide dog, signal dog or service dogs.
E. A violation of this section is subject to the provisions of Sections 1.08.030 through 1.08.070 of the West Hollywood Municipal Code.
(Ord. 02-636 § 1, 2002: Ord. 97-507 § 9, 1997: Ord. 95-436 § 1, 1995: Ord. 88-209 § 2, 1988: Ord. 88-194 § 1, 1988: Ord. 88-185 § 1, 1988: Ord. 86-125 § 1 (part), 1986: Ord. 85-93 § 1, 1985: Ord. 85-21 (part), 1985: prior code § 3302)
a. Sections Repealed. Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 9.48.010 of this code, Los Angeles County Code Sections 10.48.030C, 10.48.030D, 10.48.030E, 10.48.030G, 10.48.030H, 10.48.030I, 10.48.030M, all of Chapter 10.52, Sections 10.56.020, 10.56.030, 10.56.040, 10.56.050, all of Chapter 10.60, Sections 10.64.050, 10.64.070, of Title 10, Division 2, Animal Health, and all of Chapter 10.76 and Section 10.90.010V, A.4 of Title 10, Division 3, “Miscellaneous Regulations,” are hereby repealed.
b. Amendments to Los Angeles County Code Chapter 10.37. Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 9.48.010, the Animal Control Ordinance is amended by adding and amending Los Angeles County Code Chapter 10.37 to read:
DANGEROUS DOGS AND OTHER ANIMALS
10.37.010 Unlawful to Keep a Dangerous Animal.
A. No person shall keep, harbor or own any dangerous dog or other animal within the city except in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. It shall be further unlawful for any person upon demand to refuse or fail to surrender a dog or other animal determined to be dangerous or pending such determination pursuant to this chapter to a city enforcement officer.
B. A dog or other animal is deemed to be dangerous when it shall have attacked, bitten or caused personal injury to any person or domestic animal without provocation, or when a propensity to attack, bite or cause personal injury to persons or domestic animals exists or ought reasonably to be known to the animal’s guardian or other person keeping or harboring such animal.
C. The following evidence shall be considered in the determination of whether a dog or other animal is dangerous and if so, what remedy should be imposed pursuant to the provisions of this chapter:
1. The animal’s history of violent or threatening behavior;
2. The nature and extent of injuries inflicted or property destroyed and the number of victims involved;
3. The location where the attack, bite or injury occurred;
4. The existence of any provocation for the attack;
5. The existence of evidence, including the animal’s behavior, that the animal has been trained for fighting or attack;
6. Whether unpredictable temperament animals;
7. Whether the animal exhibits characteristics of aggressive or unpredictable temperament or behavior in the presence of human beings or other animals;
7. Whether the animal can be effectively trained or re-trained to change its temperament or behavior;
8. Evidence concerning the manner in which the animal is kept, treated and maintained; and
9. Any other relevant evidence pertaining to the animal and its propensity for violence.
10.37.020 Enforcement Authority.
A. The provisions of this chapter may be enforced by officers of Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control, the Los Angeles County Sheriff or West Hollywood Code Compliance (“city enforcement official”).
B. City enforcement officials are authorized to enter and inspect private property, impound dangerous animals and take such other actions as may be necessary to enforce the provisions of this chapter, all in accordance with applicable legal requirements.
C. A dangerous dog or other animal which presents a clear and present danger to persons or other animals that cannot be safely taken up and impounded after all reasonably available means of doing so are exhausted, may then and only then be slain forthwith by any city enforcement officer.
D. Any authority or duty of the City Manager or the Director set forth in this chapter may be delegated or assigned
10.37.030 Commencement of Enforcement.
A. Enforcement of the provisions of this chapter may be commenced either upon receipt of a complaint or upon observation by city enforcement officials of behavior demonstrating that a dog or other animal is dangerous as defined in Section 10.37.010.
B. A complaint shall be filed within ten (10) days of an incident, and shall include the date, time, and location of the attack, the names and statements, if any, of any known witnesses and any other pertinent information in the possession of the complainant.
C. Upon receipt of a complaint or observation of an incident by city enforcement officials, the Director shall commence an investigation of the allegations. Pending the conclusion of that investigation, the Director may in his or her discretion and based on the nature and severity of the incident, order the animal confined to the premises of its owner/custodian or impounded.
D. If the Director orders the animal confined to the premises, the owner/custodian may elect to place the animal in a kennel or veterinary facility. In either event, the animal shall not be removed from its place of confinement without the prior written approval of the Director and shall be made available to the Director for observation and inspection. The animal shall be confined indoors or in the rear yard by a leash, fence or other device satisfactory to the Director that prevents the animal from escaping the owner/custodian’s property.
E. The Director may photograph, inspect and measure the animal as necessary to create a means of permanent identification to be retained in the city’s records.
A. The Director’s investigation shall at a minimum consist of:
1. Review and consideration of statements, information and other evidence presented by the guardian/custodian of the animal;
2. Review and consideration of the complaint, if any, and of statements, medical information and other evidence presented by the victim;
3. Review and consideration of statements from witnesses to the incident, including city enforcement officers; and
4. Review and consideration of evidence pertaining to the factors listed in Section 10.37.010.C.
B. Upon conclusion of the investigation, the Director shall either:
1. Find in writing that the complaint or observation is unsubstantiated, and take no further action, in which event the animal shall be released from confinement or impound; or
2. Comply with the provisions of Section 10.37.050; or
3. Comply with the provisions of Section 10.37.060.
10.37.050 Imposition of Remedy – Alternative I.
A. Upon conclusion of the investigation, the Director may find that the complaint or observation is substantiated and that the dog or other animal is dangerous within the meaning of Section 10.37.010, but that mitigating circumstances exist to allow the animal to be retained by its guardian/custodian rather than be removed from the city or humanely destroyed. Such a finding shall be prepared in writing and mailed by first class mail to the guardian/custodian.
B. In the event of such a finding, the Director shall impose and the guardian/custodian of the animal shall comply with any or all of the following conditions:
1. Annual registration of the animal with the Director as a dangerous animal as long as the animal is alive and residing within the city.
2. Guardian/custodian shall obtain a policy of liability insurance or a bond in an amount not less than one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) to provide coverage for damages or injuries caused by the animal, evidence of such insurance to be filed with the Director.
3. Animal must at all times wear a dangerous dog tag and a bright fluorescent yellow collar visible at fifty (50) feet in normal daylight, both provided by the city at the guardian/custodian’s expense.
4. Guardian/custodian must notify in writing the United States Post Office (local branch) and all utility companies providing service to the residence of the animal’s status as a dangerous dog.
5. When off the guardian/custodian’s premises, the animal must be kept at all times on a leash not exceeding six (6) feet in length by an adult capable of restraining and controlling the animal, and under that person’s immediate control. At no time may the animal be left unattended in a public place.
6. The Director may, in his or her discretion, order that the animal wear a muzzle at all times, or when off the guardian/custodian’s premises.
7. The animal must be spayed or neuter.
8. The guardian/custodian shall post one or more signs on the premises at a location or locations approved by the Director easily visible to all visitors stating that a dangerous dog resides on the premises.
9. The guardian/custodian shall notify the Director immediately in the event the animal is at large, or has committed an attack on any person or animal, has been sold or otherwise disposed of, or has died.
10. Such other reasonable conditions as the Director deems necessary to protect the public safety and welfare.
C. The guardian/custodian of the animal may appeal the Director’s finding and imposition of conditions to the City Manager. The appeal shall be filed with the Director within ten (10) days of mailing of the Director’s findings, and shall set forth the basis for the appeal. The Director shall set a time and place for a hearing before the City Manager at which evidence may be introduced by all interested parties. At least ten (10) days’ written notice of the hearing shall be provided to the guardian/custodian of the subject animal.
D. During the pendency of the appeal, the animal shall be impounded or confined as that term is defined in Section 10.37.030.D.
E. Within ten (10) days of concluding the hearing, the City Manager shall affirm or reverse the decision of the Director. The City Manager shall reverse the Directors decision upon finding that the complaint or observation was unsubstantiated, in which event the animal may be retained without conditions by the guardian/custodian. The City Manager shall uphold the Director’s decision if evidence in the record supports the decision, though the Manager may modify the decision or the conditions imposed by the Director. The Manager’s decision shall be final.
10.37.060 Imposition of Remedy – Alternative II.
A. Upon conclusion of the investigation, the Director may find that the complaint or observation is substantiated and that the dog or other animal is dangerous within the meaning of Section 10.37.010, and that mitigating circumstances do not exist to allow the animal to be retained by its guardian/custodian or that the guardian/custodian is unwilling or unable to properly train, handle or maintain the animal. In such event, the Director shall revoke the animal’s license and order that the animal be removed from the city or humanely destroyed. Such a finding shall be prepared in writing.
B. The guardian/custodian of the animal may appeal the Director’s finding and order to the City Manager. The appeal shall be filed with the Director within ten (10) days of mailing of the Director’s findings, and shall set forth the basis for the appeal. The Director shall set a time and place for a hearing before the City Manager at which evidence may be introduced by all interested parties. At least ten (10) days’ written notice of the hearing shall be provided to the guardian/custodian of the subject animal.
C. During the pendency of the appeal, the animal shall be impounded or confined as that term is defined in Section 10.37.030.D.
D. Within ten (10) days of concluding the hearing, the Manager shall affirm or reverse the decision of the Director. The City Manager shall reverse the Directors decision upon finding that the complaint or observation was unsubstantiated, in which event the animal may be retained without conditions by the guardian/custodian, or if mitigation exists that would allow for the guardian/custodian to retain the animal subject to imposition of conditions pursuant to Section 10.37.050.B. The City Manager shall uphold the Director’s decision if evidence in the record supports the decision. The Manager’s decision shall be final.
E. Upon a final determination that the animal shall be removed from the city or humanely destroyed, the guardian/custodian shall undertake such action within the time period ordered by the Director, or the City Manager on appeal.
10.37.070 Failure to Comply.
A. In the event that the guardian/custodian of a dangerous dog or other animal who has been ordered to comply with any or all of the conditions contained in Section 10.37.050.B. fails or refuses to do so, the Director shall schedule and conduct a hearing on the sole question of whether the conditions have been violated. The animal shall be impounded or confined pending the conduct of the hearing. The Director shall set a time and place for a hearing at which evidence may be introduced by all interested parties. At least ten (10) days’ written notice of the hearing shall be provided to the guardian/custodian of the subject animal. If, based on the evidence presented, the Director determines that the guardian/custodian has failed or refused to comply with the conditions, the Director shall order the animal removed from the city or humanely destroyed.
B. If a dog or other animal deemed dangerous and ordered subject to conditions pursuant to Section 10.37.050.B thereafter attacks a person or domestic animal causing injury, the Director shall proceed under Section 10.37.060.
C. In the event that the guardian/custodian of a dangerous dog or other animal who has been ordered to humanely destroy or remove the animal from the city fails or refuses to do so, the Director may proceed to impound the animal and have it humanely destroyed.
D. The remedies provided for in this section are in addition to any other remedies provided for in this Code, including but not limited to the provisions of Section 3301.
10.37.080 Relief from Conditions.
A. The guardian/custodian or a dog or other animal subject to conditions pursuant to Section 10.37.050.B, or ordered removed from the city pursuant to Section 10.37.060, may not sooner than twelve (12) months following such order, apply to the Director for relief from such conditions. The application shall contain an explanation of the circumstances justifying relief, including evidence that the animal has been trained or retrained and a certificate from a dog trainer certifying that the animal is no longer dangerous.
B. Upon receipt of an application for relief, the Director shall conduct such investigation as he or she deems appropriate, which shall at a minimum consist of observation of the animal. Based on the evidence presented, the Director may: 1) with respect to an animal ordered removed from the city, allow the dog to return, with or without imposition of conditions, or 2) with respect to an animal subject to conditions pursuant to Section 10.37.050.B., relieve the guardian/custodian of some or all of the conditions.
10.37.090 Wild Animals Prohibited.
No person shall harbor or keep any wild animal within the city except for the purpose of exhibition and then only with the written consent of the Director and in accordance with any conditions which the Director deems necessary. If any wild animal found running at large cannot be safely taken up and impounded after all reasonably available means of doing so are exhausted, and if such animal presents a clear and present danger to persons or other animals, then and only then may such animal be slain forthwith by any city enforcement officer.
10.37.100 Fees .
The City Council may by resolution establish a processing fee for the applications and appeals, and a fee for the purchase of dangerous dog tags and fluorescent collars provided for in this chapter.
c. Amendment to Los Angeles County Code Section 10.36.330. Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 9.48.010, the Animal Control Ordinance is amended by amending Los Angeles County Code Section 10.36.330 to read:
10.36.330 Animals Released – Conditions and Charges.
a. Not less than five days after taking and impounding of any dog or cat, unless such dog or cat has been redeemed by the guardian, the Director may sell such dog or cat to any person upon payment of a fee, as set forth in Section 10.90.010, except any such dog or cat shall not be sold or delivered to any research institution or to any person for research purposes or for resale to any research institution. The purchaser of any such dog or cat from the Director shall sign a declaration under penalty of perjury that the animal will not be used for research purposes or sold or released to any research institution.
b. Not less than five days after the taking up and impounding of any dog or cat, the Director may sell such dog or cat to any person who will pay the reasonable value of such dog or cat pursuant to the provisions of subsection A of this section, but in no case less than the fees as provided in Section 10.90.010, or the Director may dispose of such dog or cat. In the case of the sale of dog, the purchaser also shall procure and pay for the required license for such dog for the current year.
(Ord. 02-636 §§ 2-22, 2002: Ord. 99-549 §2, 1999: Ord. 92-344 §1 (part), 1992: Ord. 91-288 §1 (part), 1991: Ord. 87-158 §1, 1987: Ord. 86-125 §1 (part), 1986: Ord. 85-93 §1, 1985: Ord. 85-85 § 1, 1985: prior code § 3303)
Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 9.48.010, the Animal Control Ordinance is further amended by amending Los Angeles County Code Sections 10.08.090, 10.20.045, 10.20.130 and 10.90.010.VI.A.4 and adding Section 10.90.010.VI.B.5 to read as follows:
10.08.090 Cat Kennel.
“Cat kennel” means any lot, building, structure, enclosure or premises where cats are boarded, kept for sale, or kept for hire.
10.20.045 Dog and Cat Breeding – Permit Required – Fees.
A. Any person, except for a person possessing a valid kennel license, who causes the breeding of a dog or cat, shall obtain a breeding permit from the Director and shall pay the fee for such permit in the amount set forth in Section 10.90.010. Breeding permits shall be valid for a term of one year from the date of issuance.
B. Each permit shall authorize the whelping of no more than one (1) litter per female dog or cat in any twelve (12) month period and no more than one (1) litter per domestic household in any twelve (12) month period, or the offering of a male dog or cat for stud once in any twelve (12) month period.
C. Breeding permits must be obtained in person at the animal control authority (or specially designated satellite offices) where the Director shall keep a register wherein shall be entered the name and address of each person to whom any breeding permit is issued, the date of issuance thereof, the date or approximate date the person obtained the dog or cat, the age or approximate age of the dog or cat, and, if a first-time breeding permit, the number of past litters produced.
D. The person applying for the breeding permit shall demonstrate a basic understanding of humane breeding practices, administered in the form of a test, designed and administered by the City of West Hollywood Animal Welfare Task Force. Should the applicant fail to pass the humane practices breeding test, he or she shall be denied the breeding permit and may not reapply for such a permit for a minimum period of 30 days.
E. Should the applicant provide any false information or fail to provide any required information, the breeding permit shall be denied.
10.20.130 Recordkeeping and Procurement of Tags and Receipts.
The Director shall procure the number of license receipts needed each year, and shall keep a register wherein shall be entered the name and address of each person to whom any dog or cat license is issued, the number of such license, the date of issuance thereof, the age or approximate age of the dog or cat, the date of last rabies vaccination or the date of the vaccination exemption from a licensed veterinarian for the dog or cat, the date of sterilization or the date of sterilization exemption, if applicable, from a licensed veterinarian for the dog or cat, and a description of the dog or cat for which the license is issued.
10.90.010 Fee Schedule.
VI. Individual Animal Licenses.
A. Dog license and tag fees:
4. Senior citizen, physically or mentally disabled, low-income household (80 percent or less of the median household income for Los Angeles County) – Spayed/neutered dog 5.00
B. Cat license fees:
5. Senior citizen, physically or mentally disabled, low-income household (80 percent or less of the median household income for Los Angeles County) – Spayed/neutered cat 2.50
(Ord. 93-383 § 1 (part), 1993: prior code § 3304)
Any person who sells or transfers or offers to sell or otherwise transfer a dog or cat within the city shall obtain the name and address of the transferee and forward such information to the County within thirty days of the transfer, along with a copy of the appropriate animal license and/or permit transferred with the dog or cat.
* Editor’s Note: Former prior code § 3305, pertaining to an amendment to the Los Angeles County Animal Control Ordinance, and containing portions of Ordinance Nos. 222 and 288 was repealed by Ordinance No. 344.
(Ord. 93-383 § 1 (part), 1993: prior code § 3305)
1. “Feral cat” means a cat that is born in or has reverted to the wild, and is not domesticated or tamed.
2. “Feral cat colony” means two or more feral cats residing or being kept, cared for or harbored together at a single location, including but not limited to a building, lot, or yard.
3. “Feral cat custodian” means any person or entity that maintains a feral cat colony on property under his/her/its possession or control.
b. Filing of Complaints. Any person may file a complaint with the City Manager or his/her designee pertaining to a specific feral cat colony. The complaint shall be in writing and shall set forth sufficient facts to describe the location of the colony, the identity of the custodian of the colony and the problems being caused by the colony. Upon receipt of such a complaint, the City Manager or his/her designee shall cause an investigation to be made of the allegations in the complaint and if the complaint is found not to be frivolous, the Manager shall thereafter schedule a public hearing to accept evidence and consider what, if any, action should be taken.
Notice of the public hearing shall be mailed to all owners and tenants of property within a radius of five hundred feet of the subject property. The burden of proof shall be on the complainant to demonstrate by substantial evidence that the feral cat colony in question constitutes a nuisance within the meaning of Section 1.32.010 of this code. After consideration of the evidence the City Manager may, in his or her discretion, take one of the following actions:
1. Dismiss the complaint as unsupported by the evidence; or
2. Uphold the complaint in part or in whole, and either:
(i) order that the subject feral cats be removed forthwith from the city, in which event the custodian shall remove the cats from the city forthwith. If the custodian fails to do so, the city may elect to abate the nuisance in accordance with the procedures set forth in Section 1.32.010 of this code, by causing the feral cats being harbored on the property to be trapped, and using its best efforts to relocate the cats to a location where they will be provided with appropriate care; or
(ii) order that the feral cat colony be maintained in compliance with specified conditions designed to eradicate the conditions as to which substantial evidence was produced from the investigation and/or the hearing. In the latter event, the Manager shall allow the colony to remain in place only as long as he/she finds that the subject property is suitable with reference to its size and location for maintaining, harboring or keeping a feral cat colony; the feral cat colony can be maintained on the property without creating a condition detrimental to the public health, safety or welfare; and the feral cat colony custodian possesses the necessary qualifications to maintain a feral cat colony in compliance with all applicable ordinances, conditions and laws.
The decision of the City Manager or his/her designee shall be final.
c. Subsequent Complaints. If a feral cat colony subject to a complaint hearing is permitted to remain in place, no further complaint will be accepted with regard to that colony, other than a complaint alleging violation of conditions, if any, imposed on the feral cat custodian, for a period of twelve months following the final decision.
d. Violation. Violation by a property owner of an order of the city to abate a feral cat nuisance pursuant to this section and/or violation of any condition imposed on a feral cat custodian pursuant to this section may be punished in accordance with subsection (e) of Section 1.08.030 of this code.
(Ord. 97-498 § 1, 1997: Ord. 93-383 § 1 (part), 1993: prior code § 3306)
The City Manager may designate Animal Control Officers to enforce this chapter, subsection (i) of Section 9.08.050, and any other animal-related violations of the Municipal Code. Such officers are authorized to issue administrative citations for violations, pursuant to the provisions of Sections 1.08.030 through 1.08.070 of this code.
(Ord. 97-507 § 10, 1997: prior code § 3308)
Chapter 9.49 Ban on Onychectomy (Declawing)
a. There is a widespread misunderstanding in the community regarding a commonly performed surgical procedure known as onychectomy, or “declawing.” Contrary to most people’s understanding, declawing consists of amputating not just the claws but the whole phalanx (up to the joint), including bones, ligaments, and tendons.
b. Declawing is not a simple cosmetic procedure akin to a manicure or a pedicure. On the contrary, to remove a claw, the bone, nerve, joint capsule, collateral ligaments, and the extensor and flexor tendons must all be amputated. Thus, declawing is not a “simple,” single surgery but ten separate, painful amputations of the third phalanx up to the last joint of each toe. In human terms, this is akin to cutting off the last joint of each finger.
c. Declawing robs an animal of an integral means of movement and defense. Because they cannot defend themselves adequately against attacks by other animals, declawed animals that are allowed outdoors are at increased risk of injury or death. Likewise, animals subjected to flexor tendonectomy, a procedure in which the animal’s toes are cut so that the claws cannot be extended, are also robbed of an integral means of defense.
d. Research has demonstrated that the rate of complication with onychectomy is relatively high compared to other procedures considered “routine.” Complications can include excruciating pain, damage to the radial nerve, hemorrhage, bone chips that prevent healing, painful re-growth of deformed claw inside of the paw which is not visible to the eye, necrosis, lameness, and chronic back and joint pain as shoulder, leg and back muscles weaken.
e. Although there is a widespread belief that declawing makes cats more “house-friendly” and, therefore, less likely to be abandoned and subsequently euthanized, a survey conducted by Forgotten Felines and Friends of Caddo Parish in Louisiana found that approximately seventy percent of cats surrendered to the city shelter were declawed.
f. There are a number of alternatives to onychectomy (declawing) and flexor tendonectomy that involve no physical harm to the animal. Harmless alternatives include training the pet to use a scratchpost, use of deterrent pheromone sprays, covering furniture, restricting the pet’s access to certain areas of the home, use of plastic nail covers, and more.
g. Considering the wide array of alternatives, the City Council finds that the mere convenience of the onychectomy (declawing) and/or flexor tendonectomy procedures to the pet’s guardian does not justify the unnecessary pain, anguish and permanent disability caused the animal.
h. The City of West Hollywood enacts this ordinance pursuant to the authority vested in the city by Article XI, Section 7 of the California Constitution allowing a city to make and enforce within its limits all local, police, sanitary, and other ordinances and regulations not in conflict with general laws.
i. The State Legislature has not endeavored to regulate, or delegate to any specified agency the authority to regulate, the types of veterinary procedures that may be performed within the State of California. Until the Legislature chooses to regulate these procedures, local governments are free to limit the types of procedures that may be performed within their jurisdiction for the protection of the public health, safety and general welfare.
(Ord. 03-656 § 1 (part), 2003)
No person, licensed medical professional or otherwise, shall perform or cause to be performed an onychectomy (declawing) or flexor tendonectomy procedure by any means on any animal within the city, except when necessary for a therapeutic purpose. “Therapeutic purpose” means the necessity to address the medical condition of the animal, such as an existing or recurring illness, infection, disease, injury or abnormal condition in the claw that compromises the animal’s health. “Therapeutic purpose” does not include cosmetic or aesthetic reasons or reasons of convenience in keeping or handling the animal. In the event that an onychectomy or flexor tendonectomy procedure is performed on any animal within the city in violation of this section, each of the following persons shall be guilty of a violation of this section: (1) the person or persons performing the procedure, (2) all persons assisting in the physical performance of the procedure, and (3) the animal guardian that ordered the procedure.
(Ord. 03-656 § 1 (part), 2003)
Chapter 9.50 Retail Sale of Dogs and Cats
a. Existing state and federal laws regulate dog and cat breeders, as well as pet stores that sell dogs and cats. These include the Lockyer-Polanco-Farr Pet Protection Act (California Health and Safety Code Section 122125 et seq.); the Polanco-Lockyer Pet Breeder Warranty Act (California Health and Safety Code Section 122045 et seq.); the Pet Store Animal Care Act (California Health and Safety Code Section 122350 et seq.); and the Animal Welfare Act (“AWA”) (7 U.S.C. Section 2131 et seq.).
b. The Lockyer-Polanco-Farr Pet Protection Act requires pet dealers (i.e., retail sellers of more than fifty dogs or cats in the previous year; not including animal shelters and humane societies) to have a permit, maintain certain health and safety standards for their animals, sell only healthy animals, and provide written spay-neuter, health, animal history and other information and disclosures to pet buyers. If after fifteen days from purchase a dog or cat becomes ill due to an illness that existed at the time of sale, or if within one year after purchase a dog or cat has a congenital or hereditary condition that adversely affects the health of the dog or cat, an owner is offered a refund, another puppy or kitten, or reimbursement of veterinary bills up to one hundred and fifty percent of the purchase price of the puppy or kitten.
c. The Pet Store Animal Care Act requires every pet store that sells live companion animals and fish to formulate a documented program consisting of routine care, preventative care, emergency care, disease control and prevention, veterinary treatment, and euthanasia.
d. The Polanco-Lockyer Pet Breeder Warranty Act offers protection similar to that of the Lockyer-Polanco-Farr Pet Protection Act, except that it applies only to dog breeders who sold or gave away either three litters or twenty dogs in the previous year.
e. The Animal Welfare Act requires, among other things, the licensing of certain breeders of dogs and cats. These breeders are required to maintain minimum health, safety and welfare standards for animals in their care. The AWA is enforced by the United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”).
f. According to The Humane Society of the United States, American consumers purchase dogs and cats from pet stores that the consumers believe to be healthy and genetically sound, but in reality, the animals often face an array of health problems including communicable diseases or genetic disorders that present immediately after sale or that do not surface until several years later, all of which lead to costly veterinary bills and distress to consumers.
g. A review of state and USDA inspection reports from more than one hundred breeders who sold animals to the nation’s largest retail pet store chain revealed that more than sixty percent of the inspections found serious violations of basic animal care standards, including sick or dead animals in their cages, lack of proper veterinary care, inadequate shelter from weather conditions, and dirty, unkempt cages that were too small.
h. A 2005 undercover investigation of California pet stores revealed that nearly half of the pet shops visited displayed animals that showed visible signs of illness, injury, or neglect, and nearly half of the stores also sold animals showing clear symptoms of psychological distress.
i. According to The Humane Society of the United States, hundreds of thousands of dogs and cats in the United States have been housed and bred at substandard breeding facilities known as “puppy mills” or “kitten factories,” that mass-produce animals for sale to the public; and many of these animals are sold at retail in pet stores. Because of the lack of proper animal husbandry practices at these facilities, animals born and raised there are more likely to have genetic disorders and lack adequate socialization, while breeding animals utilized there are subject to inhumane housing conditions and are indiscriminately disposed of when they reach the end of their profitable breeding cycle.
j. According to USDA inspection reports, some additional documented problems found at puppy mills include: (1) sanitation problems leading to infectious disease; (2) large numbers of animals overcrowded in cages; (3) lack of proper veterinary care for severe illnesses and injuries; (4) lack of protection from harsh weather conditions; and (5) lack of adequate food and water.
k. While “puppy mill” puppies and “kitten factory” kittens were being sold in pet stores across the Los Angeles area during the past year, more than thirty-five thousand dogs and sixty-seven thousand cats were euthanized in Los Angeles city and county shelters.
l. The homeless pet problem notwithstanding, there are many reputable dog and cat breeders who refuse to sell through pet stores and who work carefully to screen families and ensure good, lifelong matches.
m. Responsible dog and cat breeders do not sell their animals to pet stores. The United Kennel Club (UKC), the second oldest all-breed registry of purebred dog pedigrees in the United States and the second largest in the world, asks all of its member breeders to agree to a code of ethics which includes a pledge not to sell their puppies to pet stores. Similar pledges are included in codes of ethics for many breed clubs for individual breeds.
n. Within the past year, there has been significant community activity within the City of West Hollywood and across the Los Angeles metropolitan area to convince local pet store operators to convert from puppy sales to a humane business model offering adoptable homeless dogs and cats to their customers.
o. Across the country, thousands of independent pet stores as well as large chains operate profitably with a business model focused on the sale of pet services and supplies and not on the sale of dogs and cats. Many of these stores collaborate with local animal sheltering and rescue organizations to offer space and support for showcasing adoptable homeless pets on their premises.
p. While the City Council recognizes that not all dogs and cats retailed in pet stores are products of inhumane breeding conditions and would not classify every commercial breeder selling dogs or cats to pet stores as a “puppy mill” or “kitten factory,” it is the City Council’s belief that puppy mills and kitten factories continue to exist in part because of public demand and the sale of dogs and cats in pet stores.
q. The City Council finds that the current state of retail sale of dogs and cats in pet stores in the City of West Hollywood is inconsistent with the city’s goal to be a community that cares about animal welfare.
r. The City Council believes that eliminating the retail sale of dogs and cats in pet stores in the city will promote community awareness of animal welfare and, in turn, will foster a more humane environment in the city.
s. The City Council believes that elimination of the retail sale of dogs and cats in pet stores in the city will also encourage pet consumers to adopt dogs and cats from shelters, thereby saving animals’ lives and reducing the cost to the public of sheltering animals. (Ord. 10-836 § 1, 2010)
a. Definitions. For purposes of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply:
1. “Animal shelter” means a municipal or related public animal shelter or duly incorporated nonprofit organization devoted to the rescue, care and adoption of stray, abandoned or surrendered animals, and which does not breed animals.
2. “Cat” means an animal of the Felidae family of the order Carnivora.
3. “Certificate of source” means a document declaring the source of the dog or cat sold or transferred by the pet store. The certificate shall include the name and address of the source of the dog or cat.
4. “Dog” means an animal of the Canidae family of the order Carnivora.
5. “Existing pet store” means any pet store or pet store operator that displayed, sold, delivered, offered for sale, offered for adoption, bartered, auctioned, gave away, or otherwise transferred cats or dogs in the City of West Hollywood on the effective date of this chapter, and complied with all applicable provisions of the West Hollywood Municipal Code.
6. “Pet store” means a retail establishment open to the public and engaging in the business of offering for sale and/or selling animals at retail.
7. “Pet store operator” means a person who owns or operates a pet store, or both.
8. “Retail sale” includes display, offer for sale, offer for adoption, barter, auction, give away, or other transfer any cat or dog.
b. Prohibition. No pet store shall display, sell, deliver, offer for sale, barter, auction, give away, or otherwise transfer or dispose of dogs or cats in the City of West Hollywood on or after the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter.\
c. Existing Pet Stores. An existing pet store may continue to display, offer for sale, offer for adoption, barter, auction, give away, or otherwise transfer cats and dogs until September 17, 2010.
d. Exemptions. This chapter does not apply to:
1. A person or establishment that sells, delivers, offers for sale, barters, auctions, gives away, or otherwise transfers or disposes of only animals that were bred and reared on the premises of the person or establishment;
2. A publicly operated animal control facility or animal shelter;
3. A private, charitable, nonprofit humane society or animal rescue organization; or
4. A publicly operated animal control agency, nonprofit humane society, or nonprofit animal rescue organization that operates out of or in connection with a pet store.
e. Adoption of Shelter and Rescue Animals. Nothing in this chapter shall prevent a pet store or its owner, operator or employees from providing space and appropriate care for animals owned by a publicly operated animal control agency, nonprofit humane society, or nonprofit animal rescue agency and maintained at the pet store for the purpose of adopting those animals to the public. (Ord. 10-836 § 1, 2010)
Chapter 9.51 Sale of Fur Products
a. Existing federal and state laws regulate the sale of dog and cat fur products. This includes the Dog and Cat Protection Act of 2000 (19 U.S.C. Section 1308) and California Penal Code Section 598a.
b. The Federal Dog and Cat Protection Act of 2000 makes it unlawful to import into, or export from, the United States any dog or cat fur product; or to engage in interstate commerce, sell, offer to sell, trade, advertise, transport, or distribute in interstate commerce, any dog or cat fur product. Any person who violates this Act may be assessed a civil penalty up to ten thousand dollars ($10,000.00) per violation.
c. The Federal Fur Products Labeling Act (15 U.S.C. Sections 69, et seq.) makes it unlawful to introduce, or manufacture for introduction, into commerce, sale, advertising or offering for sale in commerce, or the transportation or distribution in commerce, of any fur product which is misbranded or falsely or deceptively advertised or invoiced.
d. California Penal Code Section 598a makes it a misdemeanor to possess, import into the state, sell, buy give away or accept any pelt of a dog or cat with the sole intent of selling or giving away the pelt of the dog or cat. Also, Title 14, Part 1 of the California Penal Code criminalizes a variety of other offenses against animals, including willfully administering poison to any animal (California Penal Code Section 596), cruelty to animals (California Penal Code Section 597), failure to care for animals (California Penal Code Section 597f) and abandonment of animals (California Penal Code Section 597s).
e. The State Legislature has also considered other animal protection measures, including prohibiting the sale of products that result from the force feeding of a bird for the purpose of enlarging the bird’s liver beyond normal size (Senate Bill 1520); and prohibiting the possession, sale, trade or distribution of shark fin (Assembly Bill 376).*
f. Neither the federal government, nor the state legislature, has endeavored to regulate the sale of fur products, excluding the sale of dog or cat fur products. Until the federal government or the state legislature decides to regulate the sale of fur products from other types of animals, local governments are free to limit the types of procedures that may be performed within their jurisdiction for the protection of the public health, safety and general welfare.
g. The City Council finds that animals that are slaughtered for their fur, whether they are raised on a fur farm or trapped in the wild, endure tremendous suffering. Animals raised on fur farms typically spend their entire lives in cramped and filthy cages. Fur farmers typically use the cheapest killing methods available, including suffocation, electrocution, gas and poison.
h. According to the World Society for the Protection of Animals, it is estimated that fur farms produce eight-five percent of fur in the world. Every year, an estimated sixty million mink and six and one-half million foxes are killed on fur farms alone. If rabbits are included, the number of animals killed every year solely for their fur may far exceed one billion.
i. According to the Humane Society of the United States, the fur industry kills more than fifty million animals a year. On fur factory farms around the world, millions of raccoon dogs, rabbits, foxes, mink, chinchillas, and other animals spend their lives in wire cages, only to be killed by anal electrocution, by neck-breaking, or in gas chambers. Raccoon dogs have been documented to be skinned alive, and this type of fur is widely sold in the United States, commonly advertised falsely or labeled as either a different type of animal fur or faux fur. Fur products are commonly not labeled at all.
j. Considering the wide array of alternatives for fashion and apparel, the City Council finds that the demand for fur products does not justify the unnecessary killing and cruel treatment of animals.
k. The City Council believes that eliminating the sale of fur products will promote community awareness of animal welfare and, in turn, will foster a consciousness about the way we live in the world and create a more humane environment in the city.
l. The City Council finds that the current state of the sale of fur products in the City of West Hollywood is inconsistent with the city’s goal to be a community that cares about animal welfare and the city’s reputation as a Cruelty Free Zone for animals.
m. The City Council believes that eliminating the sale of fur products will promote community awareness of animal welfare and, in turn, will foster a more humane environment in the city.
n. The City Council enacts this ordinance pursuant to the authority vested in the city by Article XI, Section 7 of the California Constitution allowing a city to make and enforce within its limits all local, police, sanitary, and other ordinances and regulations not in conflict with general laws.
* These bills have signed into law by the Governor; however they do not become operative until July 1, 2012 and January 1, 2012, respectively.
(Ord. 11-877 § 1, 2011)
a. Definitions. For purposes of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply:
1. “Fur” means any animal skin or part thereof with hair, fleece, or fur fibers attached thereto, either in its raw or processed state, but shall not include such skins as are to be converted into leather or which in processing shall have the hair, fleece, or fur fiber completely removed.
2. “Fur product” means any article of wearing apparel made in whole or in part of fur; excluding dog or cat fur product to which Section 308 of the Tariff Act of 1930 applies.
3. “Non-profit organization” means any corporation that is organized under26 U. S. C. Section 501(c)(3) that is created for charitable, religious, philanthropic, educational or similar purposes.
4. “Taxidermy” means the practice of preparing and preserving the skin of an animal that is deceased and stuffing and mounting it in lifelike form.
5. “Used fur” means fur in any form which has been worn or used by an ultimate consumer.
6. “Wearing apparel,” as used in the definition of a fur product in subsection 3, means any articles of clothing or covering for any part of the body.
b. Prohibition. It shall be unlawful to sell, import, export, trade, or distribute any fur product by any means anywhere within the City of West Hollywood on or after September 21, 2013.
c. Exemption. This section shall not apply to the sale, importation, exportation, trade or distribution of:
1. Fur products by a non-profit organization; or
2. The pelt or skin of an animal that is preserved through taxidermy or for the purpose of taxidermy; or
3. Used fur products by a private party (excluding a retail transaction), nonprofit organization or second-hand store, including a pawn shop.
(Ord. 11-877 § 1, 2011)