LOS ANGELES – A girl named Madeline, with a vivid imagination and remarkable awareness of how bureaucracy can dash dreams, got her wish when she asked Los Angeles animal control authorities for a license to own a unicorn — if she’s able to find one.
The first-of-its-kind permit came with strings attached, however: The mythical creature must be provided ample exposure to sunlight, moonbeams and rainbows and have its horn polished at least once a month with a soft cloth.
Director Marcia Mayeda of the county Department of Animal Care and Control sent the girl a heart-shaped, rose-colored metal tag with “Permanent Unicorn License” emblazoned on it, along with a white fuzzy unicorn doll with pink ears, purple hooves and a silver horn.
The department's response came after the girl wrote it a brief letter last month: “Dear LA County, I would like your approval if I can have a unicorn in my backyard if I can find one.”
Mayeda commended the girl for her “sense of responsible pet ownership to seek permission in advance" and for thoughtfully considering “the requirements of providing a loving home to animals.”
The agency posted images of the correspondence, the license, the medallion and the stuffed toy on its social media accounts, with the girl's last name obscured.
Its five conditions for unicorn ownership also require that any sparkles or glitter sprinkled on the animal be nontoxic and biodegradable, and that it be fed watermelon at least once a week.