(Added by Ord. No. 159,914, Eff. 7/5/85.)
Purpose of Section – In order to safeguard the health and safety of the General Public from the danger of guard dogs used by industrial or commercial establishments and to insure the humane treatment of such guard dogs, it is the purpose of the City of Los Angeles in enacting this ordinance to make appropriate provisions for the regulation of guard dogs.
(1) “Guard Dog” means any dog kept, used or maintained on any commercial or industrial premises or any dog kept, used or maintained on any industrial or commercial premises to guard, protect, patrol or defend any property or person other than a sentry dog licensed under Section 53.64 of this Code.
(2) “Premises” means any industrial or commercial property, building, structure, business, firm, facility, or enterprise.
B. Required Signs and Information. No person shall keep, use or maintain any guard dog on any premises governed by this section unless the premises are posted to warn of a guard dog on the premises. The warning shall consist of a sign placed at each entrance and exit to the premises and in a position to be legible from the sidewalk or ground level adjacent to the sign. If the premises are not enclosed by a wall or fence, a sign shall be placed at every entrance and exit to each structure on the premises. Each sign shall measure at least 10" × 14" and shall contain block lettering on a white background stating “Warning Guard Dog on Duty”. The sign shall have a universal depiction of a silhouette of a dog with its mouth open and its teeth bared. In addition, the sign shall set forth the name, address and phone number of the person or persons to be notified during any hour of the day or night who will proceed immediately to the location to permit entry to the premises by any authorized representative of the Department. This section shall not apply to signs required by Section 53.33(b) governing sentry dogs. (Amended by Ord. No. 175,453, Eff. 10/26/03.)
(1) No person shall keep, use or maintain any guard dog on any premises unless each dog has been vaccinated against rabies as required by Section 53.51 of this code and each dog has a current and valid certificate of rabies vaccination issued by a licensed veterinarian, nor shall any person keep, use or maintain any guard dog unless each dog has been immunized against distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis and parvovirus and each dog has a current and valid certificate of such immunization issued by a licensed veterinarian.
(2) The current and valid certificate of rabies immunization and immunization against the common diseases required by Section C.(1) must be issued by a licensed veterinarian and shall be kept on the premises and shown upon the request or demand of any authorized representative of the Department.
D. Veterinary Examination. No person shall keep, use or maintain any guard dog on any premises unless each guard dog has a complete physical examination including blood, fecal, and urine analysis by a licensed veterinarian who shall certify each dog to be free of any infections or disease process. Such examination and certification for the health of each guard dog shall be renewed each calendar year. Every dog currently used as a guard dog shall be examined and certified for health prior to January 1, 1986.
(1) Any guard dog found not to be free of infections or disease process by the veterinarian shall be removed from the premises immediately.
(2) A copy of the veterinarian’s annual certification of health shall be kept on the premises and shown upon the request or demand of any authorized representative of the Department.
(3) A copy of the veterinarian’s annual certification of health shall be filed with the Department within 15 days of its issuance.
(4) If an authorized representative of the Department has reasonable cause to believe that a guard dog is injured, sick, diseased, unwell, or malnourished or constitutes a danger to the public health and safety, said representative may order the guard dog to be removed from the premises until a new certification of health is issued by a licensed veterinarian. The Department representative shall be notified prior to returning the dog to the premises.
E. Tags. Notwithstanding Section 53.21, no person shall keep, use or maintain any guard dog on any premises unless each guard dog has its license tag securely affixed to its collar, harness or other device.
F. Confinement Requirements. It shall be unlawful for any person to tether, fasten, chain, tie, restrain, or cause a guard dog to be fastened, chained, tied, or restrained, to houses, trees, fences, garages or other stationary objects, by means of a rope, chain, strap, or other physical restraint method, for the purpose of confinement on real property. “Confinement,” for purposes of this section, shall mean the dog’s physical restraint to real property for more time than it is necessary for the dog owner to complete a task that requires that the dog be temporarily physically restrained to real property. When confined to real property, the dog must be tethered by a non-choke type collar or a body harness to a tether at least three times the body length of the dog, which allows the dog access to food, water, and shelter as described above, and be free from entanglement. This section shall not affect a person’s ability to use appropriate electronic means of confinement. (Amended by Ord. No. 175,453, Eff. 10/26/03.)
G. Shelter Requirements. No person shall keep, use, or maintain a guard dog on any premises unless the dog is provided full access to an enclosed building, dog house, or similar shelter at all times. The shelter shall:
(1) Have a top, bottom, and at least three sides.
(2) Have a floor raised off the ground, free of cracks, depressions and rough areas where insects, rodents or eggs from internal parasites may lodge. An effective program for the control of insects, ectoparasites, and other pests shall be established and maintained.
(3) Be cleaned and maintained in a manner designed to ensure the best possible sanitary conditions. Excreta shall be removed from the shelter as often as necessary, at least daily, to prevent contamination of the dog and to reduce disease hazards and odors. When a hosing or flushing method is used for cleaning, any dog contained in the enclosure shall be protected during the cleaning process. Rugs, blankets, or other bedding material shall be kept clean and dry.
(4) Be of adequate size to allow the dog to stand up and turn about freely, stand easily, sit and lie in a comfortable normal position.
(5) Have a floor constructed so as to protect the dog’s feet and legs from injury.
(6) Allow a dog kept outdoors to remain dry during rain.
(7) Have sufficient clean bedding material or other means of protection from the weather when the ambient temperature falls below that temperature to which the dog is acclimated.
(8) Provide sufficient shade to allow a dog kept outdoors to protect itself from the direct rays of the sun, when sunlight is likely to cause overheating or discomfort. Starting on the first day of June and ending on the last day of October, a shaded, heat-resistant area must be provided during daylight hours.
(9) Contain a suitable means for the prompt elimination of excess liquid.
(10) Be structurally sound and maintained in good repair to protect the dog from injury.
(11) Have all open windows and doors covered by flaps starting in the month of November and continuing until the end of May. The door flap shall allow the dog easy access in and out of the shelter, and at the same time allow the dog to retain body heat.
(12) Be constructed and maintained so that the dog contained therein has convenient access to clean food and water.
(Amended by Ord. No. 175,453, Eff. 10/26/03.)
H. Water Requirements. No person shall keep, use, or maintain any guard dog on any premises unless the dog has access to clean and fresh water at all times. Clean potable water shall be available to the dog unless restricted for veterinary care, and:
(1) If the water is kept in a container, this container shall be of the type designed to prevent tipping and spilling of the water contained therein. If necessary to accomplish this purpose, the container shall be secured to a solid structure or secured in the ground. Watering containers shall be kept clean and shall be sanitized at least once every two weeks; must be kept out of the sun and must be emptied and refilled with fresh water at least once each calendar day; or
(2) If the water is provided by an automatic or demand device, the water supply connected to the device must function 24 hours a day.
(Amended by Ord. No. 175,453, Eff. 10/26/03.)
I. Feeding Requirements. No person shall keep, use, or maintain any guard dog on any premises unless the dog is provided sufficient food daily to maintain proper body weight and good general health. In addition, the following requirements shall apply:
(1) The dog shall be provided with food which is free from contamination, is wholesome, palatable, and of sufficient quantity and nutritive value to meet the normal daily requirements for the condition and size of the animal.
(2) Food receptacles shall be accessible to the dog and shall be located so as to minimize food's contamination by excreta and/or insects. Feeding pans shall be durable and kept clean. The food receptacles shall be sanitized at least once every two weeks. Disposable food receptacles may be used but must be discarded after each feeding. Self feeders may be used for the feeding of dry food, and they shall be sanitized regularly to prevent molding, deterioration or caking of food. Spoiled or contaminated food shall be disposed of in a sanitary manner.
(Amended by Ord. No. 175,453, Eff. 10/26/03.)
J. Licensing. No person shall own, keep, use, or maintain a guard dog unless the person has obtained a guard dog license and tag from the Department. The fee for each guard dog license and tag shall be $150.00 per year for an unaltered guard dog and $50.00 per year for an altered guard dog. Each license issued pursuant to this section shall expire one year from the date of its issuance and on the same day of each year. The license fee shall be paid annually to the Department and shall be due and payable on or before the expiration of the previous license. The payment of the annual guard dog license fee shall be in lieu of the dog license tax imposed by Section 53.15 and the dog license fee imposed by Section 53.15.3 of this article. (Amended by Ord. No. 175,453, Eff. 10/26/03.)
K. Electronic Animal Identification Device. No person shall own, maintain, keep, use, or maintain a guard dog unless the person had an Electronic Animal Identification Device approved by the Department surgically implanted in the dog. (Added by Ord. No. 175,453, Eff. 10/26/03.)