City to consider raising limit to six pets per household as part of its ‘Compassion Saves’ approach

Homes in Long Beach could soon have more pets.

The Long Beach City Council next month will consider amending an ordinance to increase the limit from four to six pets per household in an effort to alleviate shelters and reduce euthanasia rates, according to a city memo released last week.

The move is part of the city’s “Compassion Saves” approach to house more dogs and cats. Under the new ordinance, households would have up to six cats or dogs, or a combination of both. Other cities have higher limits. In Sacramento, the limit is 10 dogs or cats, while the City of Los Angeles And Orange County have a limit of six.

The ordinance would also regulate the number of dogs and cats brought from outside of Long Beach for adoption purposes to encourage adopting them from within the city.

City staff will also work with spcaLA on a memorandum of understanding to ensure operational functionality is increased with the aim to maximize the effectiveness of the Compassion Saves approach.

Long Beach Animal Care Service staffers will also work with spcaLA on a memorandum of understanding for best practices to “maximize the effectiveness of the Compassion Saves approach.” SpcaLA is considered the shelter’s landlord and it has a lease agreement with the city until 2053.

The city has worked to reduce its shelter population and euthanasia rates in recent years, and officials say the effort is paying off. Overall, euthanasia rates have dropped by more than 80% over the past decade.

The city has approved additional resources for a full-time adoption/volunteer coordinator and a full-time veterinarian, as well as $100,000 of one-time funding to help generate more private donations.

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Kelly Puente is a general assignment and special projects reporter at the Long Beach Post. Her prolific reporting has taken her all over Southern California—even to the small Catalina Island town of Two Harbors. She is a Tiki mug collector and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in public policy and administration at Cal State Long Beach. Reach her at [email protected].