Los Angeles proposes a pause to the issuing of animal breeding licences

LA Animal Services.
LA Animal Services. Image: City of Los Angeles.
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NEWS AND COMMENT: I’m told that Los Angeles City Council is considering a moratorium on the issuing of breeding licences. That means a pause to the issuing of permits to breed which I presume mainly means dog and cat breeders in the city of Los Angeles. The reason why the council wants to stop the breeding of these animals is because their shelters have too many abandoned animals.


Los Angeles City Council member Eunisses Hernandez announced on Monday, September 18 that she had introduced a motion seeking to put a moratorium on the issuing of these licences. She believes that there is an overpopulation problem in the six animal shelters in the city.

Dysfunctional LA shelters

In addition to the efforts to stop creating more unwanted animals, it is said that the City Council must tackle dysfunctional aspects of the Los Angeles Animal Services.

One of America’s greatest animal advocates, Nathan Winograd, says that dogs at the Los Angeles shelters spend weeks or months inside the kennels without a walk. They become stressed as a consequence and when that happens, they behave in an unacceptable way to their caretakers at the shelter which, sadly, gives them the excuse to kill the dogs because they have become unadoptable or they are perceived as being unadoptable even though they are healthy and good-tempered outside the kennels.

A Los Angeles Times investigation uncovered rabbits with gouged eyes, guinea pigs without food and hamsters in faeces-soaked and urine-soaked cages.

Whistleblowing problems

And they appear to have a problem with whistleblowers as is so typical of many organisations in many countries. When a whistleblowing volunteer exposed an employee to management because the employee admitted to striking dogs, the volunteer who exposed him was punished not the abuser. This clearly indicates poor management if not chronically bad management and the kind of management that will never improve the organisation.

In my view, the only way to deal with this kind management is to change it because these kinds of practices are often deeply entrenched.

1,100 breeding licenses in 2023 so far

To return to the breeding problems in Los Angeles, I think you would agree that to grant 1,100 breeding permits so far in 2023 is highly excessive. That is the number which the Los Angeles Animal Services have issued which I find extraordinary. And it is believed by Hernandez (and I hope other councillors) that it is unacceptable and indeed ridiculous for the city to continue to keep issuing permits to create more animals under the circumstances.

Few barriers to obtaining a permit

There are few barriers to citizens to apply for a breeding permit and obtain it. And clearly, if all these people are breeding dogs and cats it is bound to impact the animal shelters putting further strain on the system. Hernando’s says that there is an animal shelter crisis in the city and she wisely added that, “This is a problem, because when our shelters are overcapacity, we have no business issuing breeding permits. It is anti-ethical to what we are trying to do. We should only consider issuing a breeding permit when our shelters are at or below 50% capacity. Anything else is pouring gasoline on a fire.”

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