L.A. County animal control deferring non-urgent calls due to coronavirus

Danny Ubario with L.A.  County Animal Care and Control
Danny Ubario, with L.A. County Animal Care and Control, holds an American alligator in 2017. Los Angeles County officials announced Saturday they would stop responding to non-urgent calls until further notice in light of the coronavirus outbreak.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

It will not be business as usual for Los Angeles County’s Animal Care and Control in light of the coronavirus outbreak, officials announced Saturday.

While animal control officers will still respond to calls related to public safety, welfare calls related to dangerous, sick, or dead animals or cruelty investigations, other less urgent calls “will be deferred until further notice,” the department said in a statement.

“Like much of the world, the ... department is adapting to the challenges caused by the recent outbreak of Covid-19,” the department said.

The public is asked to renew pet licenses via mail or online, and new licenses will not be sold at animal care centers for the time being. Pet owners will be given a 30-day grace period for submitting a license late, officials said.


The agency asks that anyone wishing to surrender a pet to delay that for the time being and to temporarily foster lost or found pets, if possible. People wanting to surrender stray, healthy cats are asked to release them back to where they trapped them.

On Saturday, Los Angeles County officials announced there were 54 confirmed coronavirus cases, an uptick of 13 from its previous tally.

Two cases are suspected to be related to travel and four had close contact with another confirmed case, officials said. Two of the cases have an unidentified source of exposure, meaning they could be more evidence of community spread, officials said.

There are now at least 288 confirmed coronavirus patients in California, state officials said.