Rabies Control Manual
Los Angeles County Animal Care & Control
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Laws, Services & Programs

Pet Laws

Licensing (10.20.190)

Dogs four months of age and older must be currently licensed. Licenses are available through the LA County Department of Animal Care & Control and are valid for a one-year period from July 1 through June 30. Licenses not renewed by June 30 of each year are subject to a $20 penalty. Dogs are required to be vaccinated against rabies for the entire licensing period. Vaccinations are provided at low cost rabies clinics held locally every year in July or from a veterinarian. Reduced license fees are offered when the dog has been spayed or neutered. A Certificate of Sterility and rabies vaccination certificate must be presented when purchasing a license. For information on low cost spaying and neutering, contract your private veterinarian.

The Leash Law (10.32.010)

Prohibits dogs from running at large on any public street, park or other public areas or upon private property other than that of the dog owner. A dog must be restrained by a substantial leash not exceeding six feet and be in the control of a competent person when off property.

Cat Registration

Cat licensing is made available through the L.A. County Department of Animal Care & Control for $10 for unaltered cats and only $5 for spayed or neutered cats. Registration includes tag which is connected to the County's 24-Hour Lost Pet Hotline. Although cat registration is strictly voluntary, every cat deserves the protection a tag provides.

Dogs in Open Vehicles (Vehicle Code Sec. 23117)

It is illegal to transport any dog in or on the back or bed of any open trucks or other open vehicle while traveling on any county road, street, highway, land or alley. Exception: Dogs may be transported if each animal is cross-tethered securely or the side of the open vehicles are built up to a height of 46 inches (3110ff).

Nuisances (10.40.060)

Animal defecation on public property or upon private property other than the owner's property is prohibited.

Barking (10.40.065)

Animal noises which disturb the peace, quiet and comfort of any residential neighborhood prohibited. Complaints may be registered with animal control.

Most Frequently Asked Questions...

What should I do if I see an injured animal?

Call your local animal control agency immediately or the Police, who will call the animal control agency. For your safety and to prevent further injury to the animal, do not attempt to move it.

What should I do if someone is bitten by a dog?

Immediately after caring for the wound, contact the County Health Department Rabies Control Section (877-747-2243).  If the biting dog is a stray and the owner is not known, your local animal control agency should also be called.

What should do if I see a wild animal on my property?

If a wild animal comes onto your property or if you see one that is injured, contact your local animal control agency immediately. Do not approach the animal.

What should I do If I find a lost pet?

If the dog or cat has a license or an ID tag, you can call the phone number listed on the tag to make contact with the owner. If you cannot contact the owner or if the animal is not wearing a tag, the law requires that you turn in the animal to the animal control agency that serves the area where you found the animal, so that the owner will have a better chance of finding his or her lost pet. many well-meaning people keep lost pets at their homes, not realizing the animal's owner is looking for the stray pet at the animal shelter.

When and how should I look for my lost pet?

If your pet is wearing a current license of ID tag, animal control will make every effort to notify you and reunite you with your pet. Be sure to visit your local animal shelter to look for your lost pet.  Be sure to check all areas of the shelter and ask about any injured animals that may have been taken to a veterinarian or that were picked up dead off the street. Be sure to leave information about your lost pet on the shelter's lost/found bulletin board...bring a current photo, if you have one.

Public Health has made reasonable efforts to provide accurate translation. However, no computerized translation is perfect and is not intended to replace traditional translation methods. If questions arise concerning the accuracy of the information, please refer to the English edition of the website, which is the official version.
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