A black English Labrador sitting in a cage she thought was too small tore at Lily Arutunian’s heart. She said she was compelled to do something.
What Arutunian did was start a petition to get an ordinance passed in Glendale to regulate the caging of animals.
More than 1,100 people have signed the petition since it was started June 27.
“Glendale is a safe place for its residents. It should be a safe place for its animals,” Arutunian, 33, said in a phone interview Wednesday.
Los Angeles County has a law about caging animals, but it only applies in unincorporated areas, said Jack Hagerman, vice president of communications for the Pasadena Humane Society that serves Glendale, which is an incorporated city without its own law in place to address the issue.
“As an animal-control agency, we are obligated to enforce the laws of the city,” Hagerman said Thursday. “There are no laws on the books about animals in cages [in Glendale].”
On caging, Section 53.70 of the Los Angeles County regulations state that no owner can keep an animal in a cage unless it is “at least five times the length of the dog and its width is at least three times the length of the dog, and its height allows the dog to stand erect with the dog’s head up.”
Pasadena Humane Society officials visited the Labrador owner’s home, and the kennel was in compliance with state law, Hagerman said.
Arutunian went to Glendale City Council Tuesday to express her dismay about the absence of a law in Glendale regarding improper caging.
“Our city has a moral obligation to protect our most vulnerable populations, whether it be children, the elderly or, in this case, animals,” Arutunian’s told the council.
The dog owner’s identity is being withheld due to social media threats of theft and trespassing on his property.
Despite being frustrated with any animal mistreatment, Arutunian condemns anyone taking their outrage out on dog owners.
“I’m totally against that because it is not a long-term change,” Arutunian said. “You’re breaking the law and jeopardizing the dog’s safety and the owner’s safety. Yours too, potentially.”
Kelly Nardoni agreed with Arutunian’s request for an ordinance. The two connected on social media after Arutunian’s campaign began.
Nardoni, 41, lives in Arcadia but has family connections to Glendale and is an avid animal lover.
“I really wanted to understand how to help rectify the situation,” Nardoni said.
“We still want local ordinances passed that are up to date,” Arutunian said.
The two have drafted a proposal for an ordinance. The language borrows heavily from the Los Angeles County’s law.
Nardoni said she is in it for the long haul.
“I started this with Lily, and I want to see it finished,” she said.