New, Improved Animal Regulations Hit Kern County

Regulations Target Backyard Breeders, Irresponsible Pet Owners

Backyard breeders beware, there are some new regulations aimed to make sure consumers and animals are protected.

"I think realistically people who got a puppy and wanted to breed it eventually are going to maybe think twice," said dog breeder and County Animal Control Commissioner Janice Anderson.

That's because starting Feb. 12, County Animal Control will be enforcing some much stiffer regulations to crackdown on backyard breeding and irresponsible pet owners.

According to the new ordinance, only one litter will be allowed per household per year versus the current ordinance of one litter per dog per year. If more than one litter is bred the owner must get a commercial animal facility permit because it will be considered a business.

If advertising the sale of puppies or kittens, the license number of the breeding dog or cat must be printed in the ad.

"Well, the purpose of that is, number one, we know people who license their animals are more responsible. It also allows person buying the animal to know maybe this guy is legitimate," said County Animal Control Official Guy Shaw.

A printed license number can give buyers a chance to do a background check on the owner and animal and have the seller investigated is the puppies or kittens are in poor health.

"The whole point of breeding is to promote and preserve the best qualities of any breed and that's what we need to get back to," said Anderson.

Also the seller must submit the name, address, and phone number of buyers to animal control within five days of sale.

In 2009 County Animal Control took in more than 32,000 animals--up 11 percent from 2008. Shaw hopes the regulations will result in less strays, more space in their shelter and less euthanasia.

He said, "We are going to be watching and enforcing we are going to be going through papers taking phone numbers down so people need to be aware."

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