Officials in Moorpark have decided that they can better enforce animal laws by taking matters into their own hands.
On a 4-0 vote, the City Council agreed to phase out help from the county's animal control staff, which critics described as overburdened and inadequate.
Beginning Oct. 1, the city plans to have two mosquito control officers expand their duties to enforce the city's leash law, pick up stray animals, respond to complaints, make sure dog owners clean up after their pets, and clear dead animals from city roads.
The county will retain some responsibilities, including providing shelter for strays. And analysts warned that if city workers pick up more strays than county workers, it could actually cost Moorpark more money.
Cities must reimburse the county-run shelter for animals picked up within their boundaries but never reclaimed by their owners, at an average cost of $144 each.
On average, only 27% of dogs impounded in Moorpark are reclaimed by their owners.