Changes to Tulare County Animal Services Ordinances

Tulare County Animal Services strives to improve the safety and quality of life for the animals and residents of Tulare County. Therefore, to clarify and enhance the ordinances, revisions were approved by the Board of Supervisors at their April 30th meeting. Community members in the unincorporated areas of Tulare County are affected by the changes.

“This has been a three-year process in collaboration with the Animal Services Advisory Committee and the Ordinance and Standards Review Ad Hoc Committee, with review of industry best practices and extensive research and review from the County Counsel's office, culminating in meetings with community stakeholders and the public,” says Animal Services Division Manager Patrick Hamblin. “Changes to the ordinances continue to bring Tulare County Animal Services online with other forward-thinking counties and the State of California."

The Animal Services Advisory Committee has been integral to the proposed changes. Public meetings held last fall, and public comment through our website resulted in additional revisions to the ordinances.

Key changes include:

  • Addition of commercial kennel and rescue organization minimum standards
  • Expands definitions with a change to define adult dogs as being nine (9) months or older
  • Requires all dogs to be implanted with a microchip and the information provided to Animal Services, to have a greater ability to reunite pets with owners and decrease impounded animals
  • All dogs to be spayed or neutered by six (6) months of age
    • Exceptions include police dogs, licensed unaltered dogs, dogs to whom this would be detrimental (with written veterinarian allowance), and those whose owners apply for an unaltered license
  • Implementing a maximum number of dogs for kennel permit holders
  • Limiting the number of breeder permits issued to commercial breeders and kennel operations
    • Individuals would have an allowance of one permit per household
  • To promote responsible pet ownership through the kennel and breeder process, a violations process has been proposed for kennel operators and for individuals without a kennel permit
  • Live animals may not be sold, bartered, gifted, or transferred at swap meets within county jurisdictions

The ordinance revisions expand definitions to create clarity, acknowledge the county’s pet overpopulation issue, and maintain the commitment to the mission, vision, and values for both the Animal Care and Adoptions facility operations and the Animal Control function.