WeHo May Welcome Bleats, Cackles and Oinks to a City of Woofs (and Some Meows)

A pygmy goat

Chickens, pygmy goats, pygmy pigs. West Hollywood is considering revisions to its animal ordinance that would authorize residents to own animals other than dogs and cats and change some existing requirements for them.

The proposed changes are prompted by changes in Los Angeles County’s Animal Ordinance (which will permit pygmy pigs). The City of West Hollywood contracts with the L.A. County Department of Animal Care and Control and is required to accept the county ordinance.

little pig, city of west hollywood, animal control
A pygmy pig

In a report that will go before the City Council on Monday, WeHo’s Department of Public Works recommends going a step farther, noting that some residents already keep pygmy goats even though they aren’t permitted in WeHo because they are considered livestock. “However, the reality of the situation is that pygmy goats, like pygmy pigs, have become a fashionable alternative to keeping dogs,” the report says. “There is little difference in the care required for a goat as compared with that of a dog. As such, staff recommends allowing the keeping of pygmy goats in the city provided that they are kept on leash and wear identifying tags at all times. The breeding of pygmy goats will remain prohibited in residential neighborhoods.”

The rationale for allowing chickens is an increased interest in urban farming. “Many people want to take a more active role in where their food comes from,” the report says. “As such, many people are turning to gardening, to grow some of their own fruits and vegetables, and to raising chickens to provide eggs.”

The City Council will be asked to authorize up to four chickens per residence in WeHo, so long as they don’t create noise or odor that bothers the neighbors. Roosters won’t be allowed.

Proposed changes that also would have an impact on dogs and cats are as follows:

– Ending the requirement for an administrative hearing if a dog owner agrees to conditions imposed by the Public Works Department in situations where someone has been attacked by a dog.

– Requiring that all dogs and cats over four months old be spayed or neutered unless the owner gets a special license to keep them as they are. That license would be available only to “competition” animals, service and law enforcement dogs or an animal that can’t be spayed or neutered for health reasons. Service animals do not include those that offer only emotional support.

– Requiring that all dogs and cats over four years old have microchips installed in their skin.

– Adding pygmy pigs and pygmy goats to the list of animals that must be on leash in public areas or in the common area of a private property such as an apartment building.

– Requiring anyone walking a dog, pygmy pig, or pygmy goat to have a waste wrapper available and plainly visible. People who are physically handicapped will not be required to clean up after pets.

– Adding birds to the list of animals that are not to be fed by leaving or dropping food on public property.

– Increasing the licensing fee for dogs that aren’t spayed or neutered from $20 to $60. “By raising the licensing fee for dogs, the city will demonstrate its commitment to keeping the population of animals in animal shelters to a minimum,” the report says.

– Increasing the licensing fee for spayed and neutered dogs from $10 to $15, which is below the average rate in Los Angeles County.

– Adopting L.A. County’s fee of $7.50 for a license for a spayed or neutered dog owned by a disabled military veteran, who now is subject to the regular $20 fee.

– Participating in L.A. County’s Spay/Neuter Trust Fund, which allows the county’s animal care and control department to offer low cost spay/neuter programs for the residents who cannot afford the cost of surgery.

– Not requiring businesses that solely perform “animal grooming” to obtain a county “animal facility” license. West Hollywood provides its own licensing for “animal groomers.”

The City Council will consider the proposed changes in the animal regulation at its meeting on Monday at 6:30 p.m. at the City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd., south of Santa Monica. Parking is available in the five-story structure behind the Council Chambers, with the ticket validated in the lobby.

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Don Myers
Don Myers
5 years ago

So now the narcissistic jerks who bring their “comfort Chihuahuas” into the Pavillions store (while violating the Americans With Disabilities Act) can now take their pigs, goats and “comfort chickens” in there too?

Vigilant
Vigilant
5 years ago

NO FUR BEARING ANIMALS IN WEHO! Learn to get along with humans, learn how to meditate to cure your stress and not victimize defenseless animals. That would be the proper amendment to John D’Amico’s ordinance.

David Walker
David Walker
5 years ago

Brian Holt – I agree with your contention that pigs goats and chickens need room. Chickens wouldn’t be allowed in many places in WeHo. Pigs and goats however would need just as much space as a dog. There are plenty of people in the city that have no yard but have dogs.

David Walker
David Walker
5 years ago

The proposed law clearly says chickens have to be kept quite a distance away fromother residences and not create any odor or noise issues. Sounds to me like there aren’t that many places in WeHo that could keep chickens. Apartments and condos would never qualify.

Brian Holt
Brian Holt
5 years ago

Ok. I’m as big an animal lover as the next member of Peta. No really, I am a member. And in no way as either a lover of animals or a property owner do I see it reasonable for either the animal or a person residing in an apt or condo to have chickens, goats or pigs of any kind. There must be an available yard for them to roam. An area big enough to build a large enough chicken coop, etc. Am I missing something here? I’m not seeing where this is stipulated. Animals first. They are not objects.… Read more »

Barbara Hamaker
Barbara Hamaker
5 years ago

I LOVE it!! Those photos are beyond adorable. My cats will love the chickens, and I’m going to look for proper piglet and “goat-let” harneses. The red boots are a nice touch. Mud can be such a problem in the living room.

carleton cronin
5 years ago

It has been reputed – perhaps by a rival – that the evil Caligula, Roman emperor, kept a per fly. If so, that would have been a short, fleeting commitment but possibly repeatable every other day.

Jim Nasium
Jim Nasium
5 years ago

The city staff report for this item proposes replacing the tots playground in the new West Hollywood Park with a chicken run.

I think it’s a better idea to put the chicken run where the basketball courts currently are. This way, the dogs in the dog park and chickens in the chicken run can interact.

The tots playground would be best replaced by a pigmy “farm” amenity for these adorable pets and their companions.

Care Not
Care Not
5 years ago

Speaking as an animal lover in many respects, residents of WeHo appear to be focused on animal hostages for purely selfish benefits rather than respectful behavior from an animal’s POV. Another example of how self indulgent the residents of the city truly are and how the city management furthers indulges the behavior.despite the outward “appearances” of caring and good will. Although Nir Zilberman expresses a propensity for emotional comments and diatribes, I believe he really has a point. It’s enough to unhinge clear minded people.

Jim C.
Jim C.
5 years ago

They are adorable and utilitarian. There must be some sort of cleanliness standard, especially with chickens, but most of us gay men are quite fastidious about cleanliness anyway, so I don’t think that is going to be a problem. Remember – just like dogs bark, roosters crow. Cock-a-doodle-doo.They are great alarm clocks, however they always rise with the sun, and I can’t stomach to possibility of doing anything to their vocal chords to quiet them down. It’s a shame you can’t set their crowing time. LOL

Alison
Alison
5 years ago

This City is getting ridiculous.

Dan Morin
Dan Morin
5 years ago

I can’t wait to see them all in the aisles of our supermarkets, in the gym, at bars and restaurants, places of worship, etc., etc., etc. Oh, and please do bring them all to each and every City Council meeting.

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