L.A. County Grants Girl’s Request for Unicorn License

A California girl has overcome one hurdle in her search for a magical creature: permission from Los Angeles County animal control officials to look after a unicorn in her backyard.

In a handwritten letter dated Nov. 14, the girl, identified only as Madeline, wrote to Los Angeles County and asked it to allow her to look after a unicorn at home, should she succeed in corralling one.

“I would like your approval if I can have a unicorn in my backyard if I can find one,” Madeline wrote. “Please send me a letter in response.”

On Nov. 30, Marcia Mayeda, the director of the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control, wrote back. Ms. Mayeda said she had approved a unicorn license for Madeline and listed the county’s five conditions for unicorn licensing.

Unicorn owners must feed their unicorn watermelon, “one of its favorite treats,” once a week, she said, and polish the unicorn’s horn “at least once a month with a soft cloth.”

In addition to the dietary and grooming requirements, the unicorn must have “regular access to sunlight, moonbeams and rainbows.”

“Any sparkles or glitter used on the unicorn must be nontoxic and biodegradable to ensure the unicorn’s good health,” she said.

Beyond the sparkles and moonbeams, the unicorn must also be cared for in compliance with Title 10 of the Los Angeles County Code, which governs animal control and health, she said.

The Animal Care and Control Department also issued Madeline a heart-shaped unicorn license tag and gave her a stuffed unicorn to look after while she searches for a unicorn of her own, noting that the creatures “are indeed very rare to find.”

The department shared the letter, the license and the stuffed unicorn on Instagram and Facebook on Tuesday. The department, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment, redacted Madeline’s last name and did not provide information about her age in the posts.

“It is always rewarding to hear from young people who thoughtfully consider the requirements of providing a loving home to animals,” the department wrote in the social media posts. “We commend Madeline’s sense of responsible pet ownership to seek permission in advance to keep a unicorn in Los Angeles County.”



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