Livingston to crack down on stray-pet owners

Livingston police this week announced another crackdown on the owners of dog that area allowed to roam.

In August, city officials implemented the new Animal Control Administrative Citation process in an effort to reduce the number of stray animals and to promote responsible pet ownership, Chief Ruben Chavez said in a news release.

“The practice of owners allowing their dogs to run freely in the mornings or afternoons, which are the most common times, can no longer be tolerated,” Chavez said. “They pose a danger to children and other animals and the owners will be held responsible for contributing to unsafe practices in our community.”

Chavez said the problem exists everywhere in Merced County.

The Livingston campaign is a response to increased complaints in 2013 regarding animals running loose in the city, according to the chief.

Officers will focus primarily on the owners of dogs “running at large” and unlicensed. Police will also ensure the owners of such dogs have up to date vaccination records.

A first-time citation for letting a dog run loose carries a $50 fine; a second offense costs $100; and a third is $200, police said.

Officers initiated the first round of the campaign in August with letters to residents outlining the new law. Police issued nearly 200 tickets in August and more than $2,000 in fines to pet owners, Chavez said.