- Dogs and cats must be spayed or neutered, with some exemptions.
- Owners may not allow their animals to have litters without a breeding permit.
4421 Spay/neuter requirements.
The intent of the spay/neuter provisions of the ordinance is to create a culture and common practice of spaying and neutering dogs and cats. Education and voluntary compliance isthe preferred method of achieving spaying and neutering, with enforcement measures as a last resort.
The intent of the ordinance is not to require spay/neuter to take place at 4 months, but to take advantage of the ability to provide 60-day notification at 4 months.
4421-3 Prohibition against unaltered dog or cat.
Every person who owns a dog or cat over the age of four months that is kept in the unincorporated areas of the County of Ventura is required to have such dog or cat spayed or neutered unless an exception applies under Section 4421-4. Nothing in this Section shall make veterinarians mandatory reporters of animals that have not been spayed or neutered.
4421-4 Prohibition against unaltered dog or cat; exceptions.
No person shall own a dog or cat over the age of four months that is kept in the unincorporated areas of the County of Ventura that has not been spayed or neutered, unless valid written documentation is provided to show proof that the animal is exempt from the requirement to be spayed or neutered by reason of one of the following:
(a) The dog or cat is a breed approved by and is registered with the American Kennel Club or a similar foreign registry recognized by the Division, as indicated on the Division website, whose program and practices are consistent with the humane treatment of animals, and the dog or cat is actively used to exhibit or compete and has competed in at least one legitimate exhibition or sporting competition hosted by, or under the approval of, the American Kennel Club or a similar foreign registry, within the last two years, or is being trained or groomed to exhibit or compete and is too young to have yet competed.
(b) The dog has earned, or if under three years old, is actively being trained and in the process of earning, an agility, carting, herding, protection, rally, hunting, working, or other title from a registry or association approved by the Division.
(c) The dog is being, or has been, appropriately trained and is actively used in a manner that meets the definition of a guide, signal or service dog as set forth in Penal Code section 365.5, subdivisions (d), (e) and (f), or the dog is enrolled in a guide dog program administered by a person licensed under Business and Professions Code section 7200 et seq.
(d) The dog is being, or has been, appropriately trained and is actively used by law enforcement agencies, the military, or search and rescue organizations, for law enforcement, military, or search and rescue activities.
(e) The owner of the dog or cat provides a letter to the Division from a licensed veterinarian certifying that the animal’s health would be best served by spaying or neutering after a specified date; or that due to age, poor health, or illness of the animal, it is detrimental to the health of the animal to spay or neuter the animal; or that arrangements have been made to spay or neuter the dog or cat within 60 days after the compliance deadline and the dog or cat is spayed or neutered within that 60-day period. This letter shall include the veterinarian’s license number and the date by which the animal may be safely spayed or neutered. The letter shall be updated periodically as necessary in the event the condition of the animal changes.
(f) The owner of the dog or cat is an American Kennel Club “Breeder of Merit.”
(g) The dog or cat has a valid breeding permit issued to the owner by the Division.
It shall be the owner’s responsibility to comply with the spay/neuter provisions of this Article, including paying the applicable license fee.
A dog that has not been spayed or neutered shall be implanted with an animal identification device, at the owner’s expense, identifying the owner of the animal.
4424 Notice of violation and penalties re spay/neuter requirements.
Any person owning a cat or dog in violation of Section 4421 shall be given a notice of violation. The notice of violation shall quote pertinent provisions of Section 4421 and provide information regarding low-cost spay/neuter services offered in Ventura County. If the person fails to comply with Section 4421 within 60 days of receipt of the notice of violation, an Animal Control Officer, as defined in Section 4493-2, may issue an administrative citation assessing a civil penalty to that person in accordance with, and the person shall be subject to the administrative enforcement provisions set forth in, Article 8. The daily civil penalties for failure to comply with spay/neuter requirements shall be up to $25 per day, or such other sum approved by resolution of the Board of Supervisors, and the daily civil penalties shall commence 61 days after the owner’s receipt of the notice of violation. Every person who fails to comply with Section 4421 with 60 days receipt of such notice of violation shall also be guilty of an infraction.
4425 Breeding permit.
(a) No person shall cause or allow any dog or cat owned, harbored, or kept within the unincorporated areas of the County to breed without first obtaining a breeding permit, as described below. The term breeding permit means a written authorization, issued annually by the Director, giving the animal’s lawful holder permission to breed a dog or cat.
(b) Each breeder’s permit shall be valid for one year from the date of issuance and may be renewed annually before its expiration date. Each applicant for such a permit shall pay an annual fee of $100.00, or the then established annual fee approved by the Board of Supervisors of the County of Ventura. A separate permit must be obtained for each dog or cat which is allowed to breed. No person is eligible for a breeding permit unless that person can present documentary evidence to the Division from a veterinarian that the parent dogs have received all recommended vaccinations and have had proper veterinary care.
(c) The Division shall administer an animal breeding permit program consistent with the following criteria:
(1) Under no circumstances shall a breeding permit be issued to a person who has been convicted of animal cruelty or neglect.
(2) The owner of the unaltered female dog or cat shall not allow the whelping of more than one litter in any household within the permit year, unless prior written permission has been obtained from the Director for good cause shown (including, but not limited to, where breeding is required to protect the health of the animal or where the permittee was forced to euthanize a litter of dogs or cats through no fault of the permittee).
(3) Issuance of a breeding permit shall be conditioned upon the animal owner’s consent to such inspections, as may be required, by the Division to verify that a breeding permit is not used to whelp more than one litter in any household.
(4) No offspring may be sold, adopted, bartered, or otherwise transferred, whether for compensation or otherwise, until it has reached the age of at least eight weeks, and has been immunized against common diseases according to current veterinary practice in Ventura County; and the sale or adoption of the dog or cat shall include a statement signed by the seller or person providing the offspring for adoption attesting to the signatory’s knowledge of the animal’s health and the animal’s immunization history.
(5) Any holder of a breeding permit in the unincorporated areas of the County who advertises to the public the availability of any dog or cat for sale, adoption, or transfer, whether for compensation or otherwise, must prominently display the permit number in any such advertisement. Further, the breeding permit holder must provide the permit number to any person who purchases, adopts or receives any animal from the permit holder and include the permit number on any receipt of sale or transfer document.
(6) Any holder of a breeding permit in the unincorporated areas of the County who sells or otherwise transfers a dog, whether for compensation or otherwise, shall submit to the Division the name, address, and telephone number of the animal’s new owner within five days from the sale or other transfer, on a form approved by the Division.
(7) Any holder of a breeding permit or commercial establishment in the unincorporated areas of the County which sells or otherwise transfers a dog, whether for compensation or otherwise, shall provide to the new animal owner County of Ventura applications for a license and permit.
(d) The following animals are exempt from breeding permit requirements:
(1) Dogs documented as having been appropriately trained and actively used by law enforcement agencies, the military or search and rescue organizations for law enforcement, military or search and rescue activities.
(2) Dogs documented as guide, signal, or service dogs pursuant to California Penal Code section 365.5, subdivisions (d), (e) and (f).
(3) Dogs and cats certified by a licensed veterinarian as not being suitable subjects for spaying and neutering due to health reasons;
(4) Dogs and cats under the care of governmental animal control agencies; animal rescue organizations which have demonstrated to the Division that they have implemented an ongoing spay/neuter plan, as well as an adoption plan; or humane societies or societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals, if such societies are incorporated under the provisions of the California Corporations Code and the Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation Law.
(5) Dogs documented as enrolled in a guide dog breeding program administered by a person licensed under Business and Professions Code section 7200 et seq.
(6) Dogs and cats owned by any person who is able to present documentary evidence that the person is an American Kennel Club “Breeder of Merit.”
4426 Notice of violation and penalties re breeding permit requirements.
Any person in violation of the breeding permit provisions of Section 4425, shall be given a notice of violation. The notice of violation shall quote pertinent provisions of Section 4425. The person may correct the violation(s) by providing conclusive proof to the Division that the dog(s) or cat(s) have been spayed or neutered, or by obtaining the necessary permit(s) within 60 days from receipt of the notice of violation. If the person fails to correct the violation(s) within 60 days of receipt of a notice of violation, an Animal Control Officer, as defined in Section 4493-2, may issue an administrative citation assessing a civil penalty to that person in accordance with, and the person shall be subject to the administrative enforcement provisions set forth in, Article 8. The civil penalties for failure to comply with the breeding permit provisions of Section 4425 shall be up to $500 per dog or cat, or such other sum approved by resolution of the Board of Supervisors. Every person who fails to comply with Section 4425 as set forth herein within 60 days of receipt of such notice of violation shall also be guilty of an infraction.
4427 Revocation of breeding permit.
The Division may revoke any breeding permit issued upon finding that the permit holder has violated its terms and conditions. Such a finding shall be made only after a noticed hearing conducted by the Poundmaster, or the Poundmaster’s designee, acting as hearing officer, and in accordance with the provisions of Sections 4467-4 through 4467-7. If the hearing officer finds that a violation has occurred, the hearing officer will issue written findings and an order, revoking the applicable breeding permit(s). The permit holder shall have the right to petition in the Ventura County Superior Court for review of the hearing officer’s decision as set forth in California Code of Civil Procedure sections 1094.5 and 1094.6. Such petition must be filed within ninety (90) days of the date notice of the decision is served upon the permit holder.