New Year Brings New Rules to Protect Animals

People are already calling to report violations of a new law regulating where animals can be sold, even though it doesn’t take officially take effect until January 1.

“We get calls all of the time to report puppies and other animals being sold on street corners and in parking lots, but we’ve seen the calls increase now that people are learning about the new law,” said Dawn Danielson, the Director of the County Department of Animal Services.

The law she’s referring to is Senate Bill 917, which makes it a crime to sell animals in parking lots, streets and other public right-of-ways. Danielson said it’s a problem common in our region, particularly with puppies, which may be smuggled across the border or bred locally in substandard conditions.  She said the animals are often under eight weeks of age, which is another law violation, and have not been vaccinated or received proper care.

Danielson recommends that people looking for a new pet pay a visit to their local shelter, where plenty of animals are waiting for forever families. Click here for a list of shelters and other pet care information.

In addition to SB 917, another new regulation to protect animals goes into effect on January 1 – a County ordinance that limits the number of roosters that can be kept on a person’s property in the unincorporated area. The law was designed to discourage cockfighting in San Diego County.

The ordinance, number 10166, limits the number of roosters to one for properties less than half an acre and up to 20 for properties larger than five acres.

Since 2000, County Department of Animal Services investigations have resulted in more than 100 arrests, confiscation of paraphernalia used in cockfighting, and the euthanasia of thousands of roosters used for cockfighting.