In early November, the Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control received a request they’d never run into before. Written by a six-year-old girl named Madeline, the handwritten note said, “Dear LA County, I would like your approval if I can have a unicorn in my backyard if I can find one. Please send me a letter in response.”
The DACC responded by granting her a license, posting the note and license on its Instagram page.
“This brought us so much JOY so we thought we should share with everyone.
Madeline wrote us a letter requesting permission to have a unicorn in her backyard if she could find one. It is always rewarding to hear from young people who thoughtfully consider the requirements of providing a loving home to animals.
We commend Madeline’s sense of responsible pet ownership to seek permission in advance to keep a unicorn in Los Angeles County. As a result, we issued her a preapproved unicorn license. Also, in the meantime, because they are indeed very rare to find, we will be providing her the unicorn pictured below as she continues her search.
Thank you Madeline for reaching out to our department.
Why, yes – we DO license unicorns.”
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NBC 4 out in LA got the scoop on the details of her permit. Madeline received a letter in response saying her request to have a unicorn was approved.
Saturday morning on Madeline’s seventh birthday Department Director Marcia Mayeda presented her with a preapproved unicorn license along with a stuffed unicorn animal with a permanent unicorn license tag.
Mayeda took the time to review some unicorn-keeping requirements with Madeline and was assured that those conditions would be met.
The licensing letter requirements included five conditions.
The unicorn must be cared for in compliance with all animal caretaking regulations set forth in Los Angeles county Code Title 10.
The unicorn is given regular access to sunlight, moonbeams and rainbows.
The unicorn is fed one of its favorite treats — watermelon — at least once each week.
The unicorn’s horn must be maintained to be in good health. This requires polishing at least once a month with a soft cloth.
Any sparkles or glitter used on the unicorn must be nontoxic and biodegradable to ensure the unicorn’s good health.
“It is always rewarding to hear from young people who thoughtfully consider the requirements of providing a loving home to animals,” DACC Director Marcia Mayeda said, according to NPR. “I commend your sense of responsible pet ownership to seek permission in advance to keep a unicorn in Los Angeles County.”
Before November, Mayeda told The Washington Post, “she had never received a request for a unicorn license in her 21 years at the department — or for any other mythical beast, for that matter. When Madeline’s letter arrived, ‘everybody was just so touched and charmed and just thrilled with it,’ Mayeda said.
But, she added, if she gets a request for a dragon license, ‘I’m referring them to the fire chief’
Mayeda said that she and her colleagues regularly see the horrible things people do to animals — torture and neglect that sometimes proves fatal. They see the horrible things animals do to people — brutal maulings that are also occasionally deadly. And they often have to make tough decisions to euthanize animals when they’re deemed too sick or too dangerous.
‘It can be very emotionally draining to deal with that sort of life-and-death stuff all the time,’ Mayeda said.”
Madeline’s letter brightened the office for weeks. Hopefully, it does the same for you.