All cats and dogs age 6 months and older must be spayed or neutered, unless their guardians possess an unaltered-animal permit or a health exemption from a licensed veterinarian.
ORDINANCE NO. 09-03
Sec. 5.05.010 Mandatory spaying, neutering of dogs and cats.
(a) No person may own, keep, or harbor a dog or cat in violation of this section.
(b) An owner or custodian of an unaltered dog six months or older must have the animal spayed or neutered, or provide a certificate of sterility, or obtain an unaltered dog license in accordance with Section 5.05.020. An owner or custodian of an unaltered cat six months or older must have the animal spayed or neutered, or provide a certificate of sterility, or show compliance with Section 5.05.050.3.
(c) The owner or custodian of a cat or dog that is unable to be spayed or neutered without a high likelihood of suffering serious bodily harm or death due to age, infirmity or particular health risks, must obtain written confirmation of that fact from a California licensed veterinarian. The writing must state if the dog or cat may be neutered at some future time. Possession of such document or ability to obtain within fourteen days of either issuance of a citation or impoundment, stating that the animal is unable to be altered at the time of citation or impoundment, shall be sufficient proof of compliance with the requirements of this Chapter.
Sec. 5.05.020 Unaltered dog license; requirements.
An owner or custodian of an unaltered dog over the age of six months must obtain an annual unaltered dog license for the dog. Subject to Section 5.05.030 below, the Animal Services Manager shall issue the license if he or she has determined that all of the following conditions are met:
(a) The dog is one of the following: a competition dog as defined in Section 5.02.010; a dog used by a law enforcement agency for law enforcement purposes; a qualified service or assistance dog as defined in Section 5.02.010; or a dog which is unable to be spayed or neutered as set forth in Section 5.05.010.
(b) The owner or custodian has submitted the required applicationtogether with all required license fees.
Sec. 5.05.030 Denial or revocation of unaltered dog license. Grounds and reapplication.
(a) The Animal Services Manager may deny or revoke an unaltered dog license for one or more of the following reasons:
(1) The applicant or licensee is not in compliance with all of the requirements of Section 5.05.020;
(2) The City has received at least two complaints within a twelve month period, verified by the Animal Services Manager, that the applicant or licensee has allowed a dog to run loose or escape, or has otherwise been found to be neglectful of his or her dog or other animals;
(3) The applicant or licensee has been previously cited, ticketed, sued, fined, and/or prosecuted for violating a state law, county code or other municipal provision relating to the care and control of animals;
(4) The unaltered dog has been adjudicated by a court or an agency of appropriate jurisdiction to be a potentially dangerous or vicious, or to be a nuisance within the meaning of the Laguna Woods Municipal Code or under state law;
(5) Any other unaltered dog license held by the applicant has been revoked;
(b) Notice of denial. The Animal Services Manager shall mail to the owner or custodian a written notice of its decision to deny a license for an unaltered dog which includes the reason(s) for the denial. The denial shall be effective on the date of the notice of intent to deny is postmarked.
(c) Notice of intent to revoke. The Animal Services Manager shall mail to the owner or custodian a written notice of its intent to revoke a license for an unaltered dog which includes the reason(s) for the revocation. The notice shall include a date on which the Animal Services Manager will hold a hearing. At the hearing, the owner or custodian may present any relevant evidence in opposition to the revocation. The hearing will be informal and the rules of evidence will not be strictly observed. Following the hearing, the Animal Services Manager shall mail the owner or custodian with a written decision. The Animal Services Manager’s decision shall be effective on the date the written decision is postmarked.
(d) Re-application for unaltered dog license:
(1) When an unaltered dog license is denied, the applicant may reapply for license upon a showing that the requirements of Section 5.05.020 have been met.
(2) When an unaltered dog license is revoked, the owner or custodian of the dog may apply for a new license no sooner than 30 days following the date of the revocation upon a showing that the requirements of Section 5.05.020 have been met and that the owner has taken appropriate measures to address and remedy the factors that supported the revocation.
(e) Fees. Return and reapplication.
(1) If an unaltered dog license is denied, one half of the fee shall be returned to the applicant. The applicant shall pay the full fee upon reapplication.
(2) No part of an unaltered dog license fee is refundable when a license is revoked and the applicant shall pay the full fee upon reapplication.
5.05.040 Appeal of denial or revocation of unaltered dog license.
(a) Request for hearing.
(1) The owner or custodian may request a hearing to appeal any denial or revocation of unaltered dog license. The request must be made in writing within 14 days after the notice of intent to deny or revoke is postmarked. Failure to submit a timely written hearing request shall be deemed a waiver of the right to appeal the license denial or revocation.
(2) Hearing officer. The hearing shall be conducted by the City Manager or his/her designee.
(3) Notice and conduct of hearing. The City shall mail a written notice of the date, time, and place for the hearing not less than ten days before the hearing date. The hearing date shall be no more than thirty days after the City’s receipt of the request for a hearing. Failure of the owner or custodian or his or her agent to appear at the hearing will result in forfeiture of the right to a hearing. The hearing will be informal and the rules of evidence will not be strictly observed. The City shall mail a written decision to the owner or custodian within ten days after the hearing. The decision of the hearing officer shall be the final administrative decision.
(b) Change in location of dog. If the dog is moved after the City has issued a letter of intent to deny or revoke, but has not yet denied or revoked the license, the owner or custodian must provide the City with information as to the dog’s whereabouts, including the current owner or custodian’s name, address, and telephone number.
5.05.050 Unaltered cat requirements.
An owner or custodian of an unaltered cat over the age of six months must have the animal spayed or neutered, or provide a certificate of sterility, or show that the cat is a competition cat as defined in Section 5.02.010 or a cat which is unable to be spayed or neutered as set forth in Section 5.05.010.