Los Angeles puts temporary ban on dog breeding permits as shelters face overwhelming crowding

“Adopt, don’t shop” is a common refrain among animal lovers. There are so many animals waiting for homes in shelters that it is an ethical decision to adopt rather than going to a breeder.

But one city is taking that motto to a new level, imposing a temporary ban on dog breeding until they can get their overcrowded shelters under control.

On Monday, the the Los Angeles City Council passed a moratorium on dog breeding permits, in response to severely overpopulated shelters.

According to KCAL News, the ordinance was unanimously approved after a 13-0 vote.

Many shelters across the US have faced critical overcrowding, and Los Angeles is no exception: according to their website, Los Angeles Animal Services is currently at 210% capacity, with a population of 1,545 dogs.

They wrote that, on average, they have one more dog that enters the shelter than leaves it. “An average of 47 dogs enter the shelters each day, and 46 leave,” their site reads. “If just 3 additional dogs left the shelters each day, LAAS would get down to within its built capacity in under 9 months.”

“They’re overwhelmed with animals and the conditions are completely unacceptable,” said Councilwoman Eunisses Hernandez, chair of the city council’s Neighborhoods and Community Enrichment Committee, according to KCAL. “This is both an inflow and outflow problem.”

“It is unacceptable for the city to continue issuing breeding permits, while thousands of animals are suffering from overcrowded conditions in our shelters,” saying that the moratorium was “just to get us to a place where our shelters are manageable.”

Overcrowded conditions at the South Central Los angeles Animal Shelter (Photo by Anacleto Rapping/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

The moratorium will be lifted when shelters are at or below 75% for three consecutive months, and could be reinstated if they go above that threshold.

“Hopefully, it will help alleviate some of the burnout among our shelter staff and some of the suffering experienced by animals in our community,” Councilwoman Traci Park told FOX 11. “We need to take a hard look at all of our policies that may be contributing to the circumstances and ensure that Animals Services has the funding and resources that it needs to care for the animals in their custody.”

The decision was met with praise from animal rights groups.

“Los Angeles legislators have taken their first decisive action to curb the city’s ballooning homeless-animal overpopulation crisis by hitting it at the source: the breeders who’ve been churning out even more animals in a city already bursting with abandoned dogs and cats,” PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange said in a statement.

“PETA is celebrating that L.A. is now one step closer to getting its arms around this emergency, and we’re calling on Mayor Karen Bass and Los Angeles Animal Services to do their parts, which means enforcing the existing spay/neuter law and requiring shelters to offer refuge to everyone in need.”


Overcrowded shelters are a serious crisis in many cities, and we’re glad to see Los Angeles taking action to alleviate overcrowding. We hope more people adopt from these shelters rather than buying from breeders.

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