LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Board of Animal Services Commission Tuesday approved a proposal to increase the limit of dogs per household from three to four in an effort to reduce overcrowding in the city's six shelters.


What You Need To Know

  • In a 3-0 vote, commissioners moved to pass along the recommendation to Mayor Karen Bass' office and the Los Angeles City Council for further consideration

  • In 2017, the county of Los Angeles increased their household limit of pet dogs from three to four

  • Staycee Dains, general manager of the Department of Animal Services, said it is important to have some continuity between the city and county's jurisdictions

  • The city of Los Angeles' Department of Animal Services has struggled with overcrowding at their shelters

In a 3-0 vote, commissioners moved to pass along the recommendation to Mayor Karen Bass' office and the Los Angeles City Council for further consideration. If approved by city leaders, the City Attorney's Office would be tasked with drafting an ordinance in order to update that policy.

Commissioner James Jensvold was absent during the vote.

"It is just so critically important that animals have as much opportunity to safely and humanely be housed, whether its in our shelters or in the community," Staycee Dains, general manager of the Department of Animal Services, told commissioners prior to the vote.

In 2017, the county of Los Angeles increased their household limit of pet dogs from three to four. Dains said it is important to have some continuity between the city and county's jurisdictions, and work closely together.

Dains noted that one of the main reasons people have to give up their pets is that they don't have housing or can't afford housing. Another issue is that landlords often don't allow renters to keep the number of animals they have.

"This helps in at least making a legislative measures to say there can actually be an additional animal in the house," Dains said. "I think this would encourage more adoption and more foster, which we sorely need in the city."

The city of Los Angeles' Department of Animal Services has struggled with overcrowding at their shelters. According to the department's website, as of Tuesday, the current shelter population stands at 1,540 dogs with a capacity of 737 dogs.

In a move to address overcrowding and reduce dog intakes, the city approved a temporary moratorium on dog breeding permits in April.

According to city documents, the moratorium will be lifted once shelters are at or below 75% capacity for three consecutive months, and could be automatically reinstated if shelter capacity rises above 75%.

City officials emphasized the moratorium is only temporary until the shelters can get control of the situation. It will affect dogs specifically — not cats or rabbits — because the shelters are reporting an influx of purebred dogs being dropped off.