Speaking out for the ones who can’t speak for themselves
A devout animal lover, Councilmember Tony Cárdenas has been a visionary leader on the City Council, committed to enacting compassionate legislation on behalf of L.A.’s dogs, cats, pets and pachyderms and helping to lead the city to become the largest “no-kill” city in America.
Along with the LAPD and the city’s Animal Services Department, Councilman Cárdenas created the city’s first Animal Cruelty Task Force in 2005. In its first full year of operation, the Task Force made 51 arrests for animal cruelty, including 15 felony arrests.
In the U.S. it’s estimated that 5 million cats and dogs are euthanized every year – that is one about every six and a half seconds. As an animal rights advocate, Councilman Cárdenas knows that the best way to deal with animal euthanasia is by controlling pet overpopulation. This is why he spearheaded the city’s First Spay/Neuter Ordinance, requiring the majority of companion animals in Los Angeles to be sterilized. Because of this action, Los Angeles now has the most aggressive spay and neuter ordinance of any city in the United States and is well on its way to becoming the largest “no-kill” city in the country.
Councilman Cardenas also led the fight to free Billy the Elephant from the L.A. Zoo after cases of abuse were revealed. While Councilman Cardenas was not able to secure Billy’s release, his effort brought national – and international – awareness to the plight of elephants in captivity.
In 2011, Councilman Cardenas again helped shepherd groundbreaking animal legislation, seconding a motion to ban the sale of commercial animal mill-bred dogs, cats, chickens and rabbits within the city of Los Angeles. This legislation is set to be finalized by the end of this year.
In addition, the Councilman has also been a vocal supporter of animal-friendly state legislation, including recently advocating for the creation of a pet lover’s license plate by encouraging residents to pre-order their specialty plates. He’s also sponsored and organized pet fairs continuously in his district, where free spay and neuter services have been provided to the community.