Los Angeles Bans New Breeding Permits Due to Shelter Overcrowding · The Wildest

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Los Angeles Bans New Breeding Permits Due to Shelter Overcrowding

Local lawmakers think breeding has gotten out of control.

by Sio Hornbuckle
April 10, 2024
Woman petting dog in shelter through the bars.
encierro / Shutterstock

Shelters across the country have been facing overcrowding issues for years now, and the problem shows no sign of slowing. In 2023, over 6.5 million pets entered animal shelters and rescues in the United States, according to Shelters Animals Count , a national database that tracks nearly 7,000 animal organizations. “Shelters across the country are full, and are now entering their fourth year of having too many animals and not enough adoptions — especially for dogs,” SAC reported in their annual data analysis. 

In California, leaders are addressing the crisis with new legislation which bars new people from gaining breeding permits, reducing the number of animals being bred until shelters are less crowded.

The legislation 

In Los Angeles, a breeding permit can be purchased for $235. Animals can then be bred an unlimited number of times. In 2022, LA issued 2,152 breeding permits; in September of 2023, LA had issued 1,200 permits and were on track to issue a total of 1,800 by the end of the year, the Daily News

Last Wednesday, members of the Neighborhoods and Community Enrichment Committee, part of the Los Angeles City Council, voted to support a temporary moratorium on breeding permits, sending it to the larger council for final consideration. Yesterday, the LA City Council officially passed the moratorium with a vote of 13 to 0.

The ban on new permits will last until shelters fall under 75 percent of capacity. “There’s no reason to have breeding here. We need to adopt the animals we already have,” Larry Gross, a Commissioner to the Los Angeles Board of Animal services, told ABC7.

Activists are hopeful that curbing breeding will reduce the number of pets in shelters by encouraging adopting over shopping, as well slowing new births. In recent months, the city has greatly increased efforts to help pets in need, and the number of volunteers with the Los Angeles Department of Animal Services has nearly doubled. 

Some opponents of the bill, such as the American Kennel Club (AKC), think that the bill is misguided. In a statement, the AKC said that, “responsible owners of intact animals are not the reason for shelter population concerns.”

Staycee Dains, the Los Angeles Department of Animal Services general manager, disagrees. “Organizations that are very pro-breeding are not organizations that do anything to help animals in animal shelters,” Dains told the committee. “They’re simply creating animals for us to kill later on. And that is not appropriate.”

Sio Hornbuckle

Sio Hornbuckle is a writer living in New York City with their cat, Toni Collette.

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