DRAFT ANIMAL SPAY/NEUTER ORDINANCE -
COMPANION ANIMAL POPULATION CONTROL/TOWARD A NO-KILL CITY
(NEW CHAPTER 10.30 OF THE BERKELEY MUNICIPAL CODE, TO REPLACE EXISTING
CODE SECTION 10.40.205)
10.30.01 Spaying/Neutering of Companion Animals; Unaltered Animal Certificates
1. All dogs within the City of Berkeley shall be licensed as
required by Sections 10.04.020 et. seq. of the Berkeley Municipal Code. Cats are not
required to be licensed.
2. All impounded animals which are not reclaimed by their owners and
have been held for the required holding period may be adopted by private citizens or held
for adoption by an animal rescue group or a humane organization or agency. No unaltered
dog or cat shall be adopted out of the Berkeley Animal Shelter, or from an animal rescue
group, or a humane organization, or an agency, and all animals held for adoption by these
groups shall be spayed/neutered by the age of three months and a weight of at least two
pounds, except as provided in Section 4 herein. For all unaltered animals that are being
adopted from the Shelter by private citizens, a deposit in an amount adequate to cover the
estimated cost of the animal's alteration will be placed with the Shelter at the time of
adoption, and the Director of the Shelter will arrange for the adopted animal's
3. No person shall own, harbor or keep within the City of Berkeley, a
dog or cat over the age of six months which has not been spayed or neutered, unless such
person holds an Unaltered Animal Certificate for the animal.
Unaltered Animal Certificate means a written authorization, issued
annually by the City of Berkeley, giving permission to maintain an unaltered dog or cat.
The fee for the Certificate shall be established by resolution of the Berkeley City
Council. For dogs, this fee shall be higher than that for a Dog License and shall be set
at an amount high enough to encourage the owner to spay or neuter the dog. The cost of the
Certificate for a cat shall be set at an amount high enough to encourage the owner to spay
or neuter the cat.
4. If a veterinarian licensed to practice veterinary medicine in the
State of California certifies that a dog or cat is too old, sick or injured to be spayed
or neutered, or that it would otherwise be detrimental to the health of the dog or cat to
be spayed or neutered, the owner of such dog or cat shall furnish such certification
annually to (position designated by the City), but shall not be required to pay the
fee imposed by Section 3 hereunder.
5. (Position designated by the City) shall administer a yearly
certification program for unaltered animals over the age of six months. No Unaltered
Animal Certificates shall be issued unless the Director of the Animal Shelter determines
that the following conditions have been met:
A. The animal has not been given the designation "vicious" or
"dangerous" pursuant to BMC 10.04.170.
B. The dog owner has not been convicted of either of the following
offenses within the preceding two years:
1. Berkeley Municipal Code section 10.04.090 (Running at Large)
2. Berkeley Municipal Code sections 10.04.100, 10.04.110, and 10.04.120
(Impounding a Dog for Non-Confinement).
C. The animal owner complies with all applicable Berkeley ordinances
and state laws concerning the care and housing of animals.
D. The owner furnishes (position designated by City) with a
signed statement agreeing to keep records available for inspection by the Director of the
Berkeley Animal Shelter for a minimum of two years documenting how many offspring were
produced, the name and address of the person(s) who adopted or purchased each offspring,
and the date of adoption or purchase.
E. The dog for whom the Unaltered Animal Certificate is sought is
currently licensed as required by section 10.04. 030 et. seq. of the Berkeley Municipal
6. Any owner offering to the public the availability of any unaltered
dog or cat which is six months or older for adoption, sale, barter or other transfer must
prominently display its Unaltered Animal Certificate number. The Certificate number shall
also be provided to any person adopting or purchasing any unaltered dog or cat bred in the
City of Berkeley. If the animal being so offered is less than six months old, then the
Certificates of the animal's parents must be displayed.
7. Commercial establishments selling locally bred unaltered dogs or
cats shall prominently display copies of each animal's Unaltered Animal Certificate.
8. Upon request by the Director of Animal Services or any animal
control officer or humane officer or peace officer, the owner of an unaltered dog or cat
shall furnish for inspection said animal's Unaltered Animal Certificate or provide proof
thereof within thirty days.
9. Any owner who is denied an Unaltered Animal Certificate or whose
Certificate is revoked by the Director of the Berkeley Animal Shelter for failure to
comply with the requirements of this Section 10.30.01 may appeal such denial or revocation
to the City Manager.
10.30.02 Penalty for Violation
1. Any person violating or causing or permitting the violation of
section 10.30.01 shall be deemed guilty of an infraction, and shall be punished by a fine
in the following amounts: $100 for the first offense, $250 for the second offense, $500
for the third offense, and $1000 for the fourth and any subsequent offense. These
progressive fines shall apply to successive violations with respect to the same animal and
not to a series of violations with respect to different animals owned by the same owner.
In the instance of the levying of a fine, the animal owner has a choice of paying the
relevant fine or altering the animal in question within 30 days.
10.30.03 Use of Revenue from Unaltered Animal Certificates
All revenue from the issuance of Unaltered Animal Certificates pursuant
to Section10.30.01 shall be applied as follows:
1. To provide a free or low cost program for the spaying and neutering
of companion animals owned by low-income residents of the City, in cooperation with local
2. To provide for public education about the humane treatment of
animals and animal population control.
3. To defray the costs of administration and enforcement of this
10.30.04 Enforcement Responsibility
The Director of Berkeley Animal Services shall be responsible for the
enforcement and administration of this chapter.
10.30.05 Sale or Adoption of Dogs and Cats
1. No animal shelter, humane society, animal rescue or humane
organization or agency shall place an unaltered animal for adoption.
2. Any person who provides or offers any animal to the public, whether
or not for compensation, shall provide to the prospective owner, free of charge,
information relating to: (a) the vaccination status of the animal, and (b) City laws
pertaining to animal control and spay/neuter programs. This information shall be prepared
and made available free of charge by the Director of Animal Services.
3. No person or organization, other than a recognized animal rescue
group or humane organization, shall offer any dog or cat to the public on public property.
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