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Citations issued for unlicensed pets

Posted: March 25, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: March 25, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Animal care and control officers canvassing unincorporated areas in the Santa Clarita Valley issued hundreds of citations after checking thousands of homes for unlicensed pets last month.

Eight officers canvassed the unincorporated areas of Canyon Country and Saugus in February, said Carlos Pineda, a lieutenant for the department’s license canvassing operations. The officers checked 3,078 homes and found 335 dogs without licenses.

In addition to the unlicensed dogs, 171 dogs had licenses that were not current and needed to be renewed, Pineda said.

The fees for having an unregistered animal in the Santa Clarita Valley area are twice the amount of the animal’s license fee, Pineda said. For example, the owner of a neutered dog would be charged $20 for a license, but a delinquent license would cost $40.

Owners with delinquent licenses can pay their fees in the field and receive a receipt and metal tag for their pet right away, Pineda said.

Most of the animals checked by animal care and control officers were registered, with 1,168 animals with current registrations, Pineda said.

“We can say that this was a very successful project,” Pineda said.

In Los Angeles County, cats also have to be registered, Pineda said. Officers found 141 registered cats during their sweeps.

If an owner isn’t home, officers leave documentation that they were there, and will visit again the next day.

The sweeps were not only intended to check for licenses, but also designed to educate pet owners about some requirements, including rabies vaccinations, Pineda said.

Licenses are important, because if an animal becomes loose or lost, officers can reunite the pets with their families, Pineda said.

“There’s no bigger joy for an animal control officer than to reunite a lost animal with its owner,” Pineda said.

The next areas to be checked by animal care and control officers are the Stevenson Ranch and Castaic areas, where sweeps began Wednesday, Pineda said. The checks are expected to continue for about two to three weeks.



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