Services & Fees

Spay & Neuter

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It Saves Animals’ Lives, and It’s the Law

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Spaying or Neutering is the Law

Los Angeles County Code §10.20.350 requires all residents of unincorporated areas in Los Angeles County to have their dogs and cats older than four months of age spayed or neutered.  A number of cities that have also adopted this ordinance (referenced below).

The exemptions to the requirement are:

  1. Dogs and cats that are unable to be spayed or neutered without a high likelihood of suffering serious bodily harm or death due to age or infirmity.  Written confirmation from a licensed veterinarian is required to qualify for this exception.
  2. Dogs used by law enforcement agencies for law enforcement purposes.
  3. Service or assistance dogs that assist disabled persons.
  4. Competition dogs and cats.

Spay and Neuter Exemption Form

Definition of Competition dog:

A dog used to show, compete, or breed, and is a breed registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC), United Kennel Club (UKC), American Dog Breeders Association (ADBA), or other valid registry approved by the Director, and meets one of the following requirements:

Within the last 365 days, the dog has competed in at least one dog show or sporting competition approved by a national registry or the Director; or

The dog has earned a conformation, obedience, agility, carting, herding, protection, rally, sporting, working, or other title from a purebred dog registry referenced above or other registry or dog sport association approved by the Director; or

The owner or custodian of the dog or cat is a member of a purebred dog breed club, approved by the Director, which enforces a code of ethics that includes restrictions from on breeding dogs with genetic defects or life threatening health problems.

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Definition of Competition cat:

A cat used to show, compete, or breed, and is a breed registered with the Cat Fanciers Association (“CFA”) or other valid registry approved by the Director, and meets one of the following requirements:

The owner or custodian of the cat is a member of a purebred cat breed club approved by the Director, which enforces a code of ethics that includes restrictions on breeding cats with genetic defects or life threatening health problems.

The dog has earned a conformation, obedience, agility, carting, herding, protection, rally, sporting, working, or other title from a purebred dog registry referenced above or other registry or dog sport association approved by the Director; or

The owner or custodian of the dog or cat is a member of a purebred dog breed club, approved by the Director, which enforces a code of ethics that includes restrictions from on breeding dogs with genetic defects or life threatening health problems.

If you believe your dog or cat meets one of these exemptions, please complete and return an Exemption Application (see below).

Definition of Competition cat:

A cat used to show, compete, or breed, and is a breed registered with the Cat Fanciers Association (“CFA”) or other valid registry approved by the Director, and meets one of the following requirements:

The owner or custodian of the cat is a member of a purebred cat breed club approved by the Director, which enforces a code of ethics that includes restrictions on breeding cats with genetic defects or life threatening health problems.

The dog has earned a conformation, obedience, agility, carting, herding, protection, rally, sporting, working, or other title from a purebred dog registry referenced above or other registry or dog sport association approved by the Director; or

The owner or custodian of the dog or cat is a member of a purebred dog breed club, approved by the Director, which enforces a code of ethics that includes restrictions from on breeding dogs with genetic defects or life threatening health problems.

If you believe your dog or cat meets one of these exemptions, please complete and return an Exemption Application (see below).

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Low-Cost Assistance

The Department offers a low-cost voucher program for disabled military veterans, senior citizens, and low‑income residents who have a State-issued Golden State Advantage Card used for public assistance.

The Department also partners with providers to conduct low-cost spay and neuter mobile clinics for dogs and cats at our County animal care centers and other locations.

Fines and Penalties

Failing to comply with the spay/neuter ordinance is an infraction punishable by a fine of up to $250. If the owner fails to correct the cause of the violation within 30 days after being notified of the violation, it is deemed a second violation. A second violation is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in County jail for a period of up to six months or by a fine of up to $1,000, or by both such fine and imprisonment. Each subsequent violation is an additional misdemeanor.

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