LEGAL GUIDE
Written by attorney Rodney Mesriani | Sep 10, 2012

5 Dog Ownership Laws in Los Angeles County that Dog Lovers Should Know

It is not unusual to see a Los Angeles home with a dog in it. The truth is, many Los Angeles citizens cherish and give importance to canines. In fact, there are at least one million dog-owning households in Los Angeles County. According to a survey conducted by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), more than 1,131,000 households in the county have dogs as pets.

The high rate of dog ownership in Los Angeles does not only prove that many citizens of the county are dog lovers; it also suggests that dog bite accidents are somewhat common.

Just like any other counties in the United States, Los Angeles is not dog bite-free. Every year, hundreds of the county’s residents are attacked or bitten by canines. This is why the county government implemented several laws that aim to control, if not eradicate, dog bite accidents.

The following are some of the Los Angeles county laws pertaining to dog ownership:

County Code on Dangerous Dogs – Dogs that are proven to be a menace to public safety may be impounded and/or removed from the custody of their owners. The Los Angeles County’s Department of Animal Care and Control (DACC) may fine owners of dangerous dogs, and may file a petition with the Municipal Court to examine whether or not a dog is considered dangerous.

County Code on Inhumane Treatment– Under County Code Section 10.12.160 and the State Penal Code Section 597, Los Angeles residents are strictly prohibited from abusing, maltreating, torturing, and subjecting any animal, including dogs, to needless suffering. The said laws also state that animals should not be deprived with proper food, water, and shelter. People who will be found guilty in violating these laws may face felony charges.

Vehicle Code on Dogs in Open Vehicles– Pursuant to California Vehicle Code Section 23117, it is unlawful for anyone to transport any dog in or on the back or bed of an open truck while driving on county road, street, highway, lane, or even alley. Motorists who violate this VC may be fined for up to $250 per offense and may be cited.

Leash Law– Under County Code Title 10, Section 10.32.010, dogs are not allowed to roam around at large whether day or night. This is regardless whether or not the dog is licensed.

Yearly Licensing– California state law and Los Angeles county ordinances require dog owners to purchase license for their pets every year. Licenses are required to be securely fastened to dog’s collar. Dogs aged four months and above are required to be licensed regardless if they do not leave their owner’s house or yard.

Los Angeles residents who get attacked or bitten by another person’s dog are advised to seek legal assistance from a personal injury attorneys for them to effectively claim for damages, which can help them recover from their injuries.

Additional resources provided by the author

American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) California Vehicle Code Section 23117 County Code Title 10, Section 10.32.010

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