Q: We have recently gotten a very cute puppy. Are we required to neuter her at some point?
-B.H., Los Angeles
A: Los Angeles has what is considered to be a very tough spay/neuter law. Once your puppy is at least 4 months of age, he or she must be neutered. There are limited exceptions: (a) a dog that if spayed or neutered faces a high likelihood of suffering serious bodily harm or death related to age or infirmity; (b) law enforcement dogs; (c) service or assistance dogs for disabled persons; and (d) competition dogs.
With respect to dogs in other counties, one suggestion is check online. In the web browser type “Does ______ county require my dog to be neutered?” Also, to err on the side of caution, ask the same question about the city or town in which you reside.
Q: Is dog breeding legal in California?
-E.G., Santa Clara
A: In October 2018, then-Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law which went into effect January 1, 2019 known as the Pet Rescue and Adoption Act. Under the Act pet shops in California are only allowed to sell animals from an animal shelter or rescue group.
As to dog breeders, a permit or license may be required from your local government. If so there likely are certain criteria which must be complied with (such as sanitary conditions, adequate nutrition, and sufficient space).
Notably a bill was introduced earlier this year in the California Assembly which will require all local jurisdictions in California to issue a breeder permit to anyone who owns an intact dog “for the purposes of breeding.” The proposed permit comes with a number of requirements. There is opposition to the bill, however, so presently the outcome is not predictable.
Ron Sokol is a Manhattan Beach attorney with more than 35 years of experience. His column, which appears in print on Wednesdays, presents a summary of the law and should not be construed as legal advice. Email questions and comments to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: Orange County Register