LOS ANGELES (CBS) â€•Â The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to crack down on dog and horse owners who failed to get a license for their animals.
City Council President Eric Garcetti suggested identifying dog owners by using a Department of Water and Power meter database. The database lists households that are believed to have dogs for meter readers’ safety when approaching a home.
“The DWP’s database can be a vital tool in furthering compliance with the city’s dog licensing regulations,” Garcetti said.
The city requires that all dogs — and horses â€“ be licensed by the Department of Animal Services. It costs $15 to get a license for a spayed or neutered dog. Each license comes with a distinct number that would help reunite a lost dog with its owner, city officials said.
Animal Services Assistant General Manager Linda Barth said only one- third of all pet dogs in Los Angeles — about 120,000 — are licensed.
If all pets were licensed, Barth estimated it would add $4-million dollars to the city’s funds.
Councilman Tom LaBonge expressed reservations about the proposal, suggesting that city workers should go to dog parks and ask owners there whether their pets were licensed.
LaBonge said knocking on people’s doors to force them to get a license for their pets is “too aggressive.”
Barth assured him the plan is for DWP to reveal only the addresses — not the names — of suspected dog owners. Animal Services will then check the information against its dog licensing database and send letters to residents who are not in compliance with the law.