Rabbits would join dogs and cats as pets that must be microchipped in Los Angeles under an ordinance backed by a City Council committee Tuesday.
If the ordinance is approved by the full council, the cost of adopting a rabbit from a city shelter would increase from $56 to $71, to include a $15 microchipping fee. Microchipping a rabbit after adoption would cost $25.
The microchipping would help reunite stray rabbits with their owners, while helping the Animal Services Department identify animal hoarders, people who abandon pets and people who keep their pets in poor conditions, city officials said.
Animal Services Department General Manager Brenda Barnette told the council’s Personnel and Animal Welfare Committee that microchipping rabbits would be most useful as a tool to target hoarders.
“I believe the growth of the population of rabbits … in Los Angeles is going to continue, so it’s something we need to be aware of,” she said.
Last year, 918 rabbits were adopted in Los Angeles, according to city records.
— City News Service