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November 6, 2009

The County Department of Animal Services will begin offering a Responsible Pet Owner Class in lieu of fines or as part of probation for minor animal offenses. The program was approved recently by the County Board of Supervisors.

Minor animal offenses could include not obeying leash laws, not licensing your dog, having your dog chained outside or leaving your animal locked inside a vehicle.

“This is another tool the County can use to educate pet owners on the responsibilities of owning a pet,” said Board Vice Chairwoman Pam Slater-Price, District 3. “We are proud to be able offer this course at the discretion of prosecutors because to our knowledge, we are the only county in the state to offer this program.”

 Watch video about the program

Each class is three hours long and takes place at the County’s animal shelter on 5480 Gaines St., San Diego. Courses cover basic leash laws and how to properly confine a dog on your property, to reasons why you shouldn’t leave your dog chained in your yard and the importance of having a rabies vaccination for your dog. The course also covers criminal and administrative action that can be taken if people continue to violate the law.

Courses are offered once a month, alternating between a Wednesday evening and the first Saturday of every month.  For more information, call the County Department of Animal Services at (619) 767-2675.  

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