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Virginia

West's Annotated Code of Virginia. Title 3.2. Agriculture, Animal Care, and Food. Subtitle V. Domestic Animals. Chapter 65. Comprehensive Animal Care. Articles 1 - 12. Title 18.2. Crimes and Offenses Generally. Chapter 8. Crimes Involving Morals and Decency. Article 3. Sexual Offenses, Prostitution, Etc. (bestiality provision).

Statute Details
Printable Version
Citation: Va. Code Ann. 3.2-6500 - 6590; Va. Code Ann. 18.2-361

Citation: VA ST 3.2-6500 - 6590; VA ST 18.2-361


Last Checked by Web Center Staff: 11/2013

Summary:  

These Virginia statutes set forth Title 3.2, the Comprehensive Animal Care laws, which include the state's anti-cruelty and animal fighting provisions. For the purposes of § 3.2-6570, the operative animal cruelty law, animal means any nonhuman vertebrate species including fish except those fish captured and killed or disposed of in a reasonable and customary manner. Any person who: (i) overrides, overdrives, overloads, tortures, ill-treats, abandons, willfully inflicts inhumane injury or pain not connected with bona fide scientific or medical experimentation, or cruelly or unnecessarily beats, maims, mutilates, or kills any animal, whether belonging to himself or another; (ii) deprives any animal of necessary food, drink, shelter or emergency veterinary treatment; (iii) sores any equine for any purpose or administers drugs or medications to alter or mask such soring for the purpose of sale, show, or exhibition of any kind, unless such administration of drugs or medications is within the context of a veterinary client-patient relationship and solely for therapeutic purposes; (iv) willfully sets on foot, instigates, engages in, or in any way furthers any act of cruelty to any animal; (v) carries or causes to be carried by any vehicle, vessel or otherwise any animal in a cruel, brutal, or inhumane manner, so as to produce torture or unnecessary suffering; or (vi) causes any of the above things, or being the owner of such animal permits such acts to be done by another is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. The law also has a felony component, where torture occurs, certain misdemeanor acts are done "willfully," or a person maliciously deprives any companion animal of necessary food, drink, shelter or emergency veterinary treatment. This section shall not prohibit authorized wildlife management activities or hunting, fishing or trapping or farming activities. Any person convicted of violating this section may be prohibited by the court from possession or ownership of companion animals. The section also has a section (3.2-6503) that requires proper care of companion animals by their owners, which includes adequate water, feed, shelter, space, exercise, care, treatment, and transportation, and veterinary care when needed to prevent suffering or disease transmission. The provisions of this section shall also apply to every pound, animal shelter, or other releasing agency, and every foster care provider, dealer, pet shop, exhibitor, kennel, groomer, and boarding establishment. The section includes veterinary immunity from liability laws both for emergency care and reporting of suspected cruelty. The section also sets forth the commercial dog breeding laws, rabies control laws, sterilization laws, humane investigation laws, and laws on hybrid canines.



Statute in Full:

Link to Humane Society Enforcement

Title 3.2. Agriculture, Animal Care, and Food.

Article 1. General Provisions

§ 3.2-6500. Definitions

§ 3.2-6501. Regulations and guidelines

§ 3.2-6502. State Veterinarian's power to inspect premises where animals are kept; investigations and search warrants

Article 2. Animal Welfare

§ 3.2-6503. Care of companion animals by owner; penalty

§ 3.2-6503.1. Care of agricultural animals by owner; penalty

§ 3.2-6504. Abandonment of animal; penalty

§ 3.2-6505. Disposal of animals by means of decompression chamber and use of gas chamber for companion animals prohibited

§ 3.2-6506. Exceptions regarding veterinarians

§ 3.2-6507. Injured or sick animal; action by veterinarian

Article 2.1. Commercial Dog Breeding Operations

 § 3.2-6507.1. Business license required

 § 3.2-6507.2. Commercial dog breeding; requirements

 § 3.2-6507.3. Right of entry

 § 3.2-6507.4. Concurrent operation of releasing agency prohibited

 § 3.2-6507.5. Penalty

 § 3.2-6507.6. Duty of attorneys for the Commonwealth

Article 3. Transportation and Sale of Animals

 § 3.2-6508. Transporting animals; requirements; penalty

 § 3.2-6509. Misrepresentation of animal's condition; penalties

 § 3.2-6510. Sale of unweaned or certain immature animals prohibited, vaccinations required for dogs and cats; penalty

 § 3.2-6511. Failure of dealer or pet shop to provide adequate care; penalty

 § 3.2-6511.1. Pet shops; procurement from unlicensed commercial dog breeders; penalty

 § 3.2-6512. Sale without pet dealer's animal history certificate violation of Consumer Protection Act; contents of certificate

 § 3.2-6513. Inclusion of false or misleading statements in certificate violation of Consumer Protection Act

 § 3.2-6514. Consumer remedies for receipt of diseased animal upon certification by veterinarian

 § 3.2-6515. Written notice of consumer remedies required to be supplied by pet dealers

 § 3.2-6516. Failure of pet dealer to effect registration after promise; violation of Consumer Protection Act; remedies; veterinary certification; finding of intestinal parasites; illness subsequent to sale

 § 3.2-6517. Remedies cumulative

Article 4. Boarding Establishments and Groomers

 § 3.2-6518. Boarding establishments and groomers; veterinary care requirements; consumer notification; penalty

 § 3.2-6519. Written notice of consumer remedies required to be supplied by boarding establishments; penalty

 § 3.2-6520. Procedure for animals left unclaimed with veterinarian or boarding establishment after public notice; lien; sale

Article 5. Rabies Control and Licensing of Dogs and Cats

Link to Article 5. Rabies Control and Licensing of Dogs and Cats 

Article 6. Authority of Local Governing Bodies

Link to Article 6. Authority of Local Governing Bodies

Article 7. Animal Control Officers and Humane Investigators/Article 8. Search, Seizure, Impounding and Enforcement

Link to Article 7. Animal Control Officers and Humane Investigators and Article 8. Search, Seizure, Impounding, and Enforcement.

Article 9. Cruelty to Animals

§ 3.2-6570. Cruelty to animals; penalty

§ 3.2-6570.1. Sale of animals after cruelty or neglect conviction; penalty

§ 3.2-6571. Animal fighting; penalty

§ 3.2-6572. Reserved

§ 3.2-6573. Shooting birds for amusement, and renting premises for such purposes; penalty

Article 10. Mandatory Sterilization of Dogs and Cats Adopted from Releasing Agencies

Link to Article 10. Mandatory Sterilization of Dogs and Cats Adopted from Releasing Agencies

Article 11. Hybrid Canines

Link to Article 11. Hybrid Canines.

Article 12. Miscellaneous Provisions

 § 3.2-6585. Dogs and cats deemed personal property; rights relating thereto

 § 3.2-6586. Dog injuring or killing other companion animals

 § 3.2-6587. Unlawful acts; penalties

 § 3.2-6588. Intentional interference with a guide or leader dog; penalty

 § 3.2-6589. Selling garments containing dog or cat fur prohibited; penalty

 § 3.2-6590. Jurisdiction of general district courts; right of appeal

 
Title 18.2. Crimes and Offenses Generally. Chapter 8. Crimes Involving Morals and Decency. Article 3. Sexual Offenses, Prostitution, Etc.

§ 18.2-361. Crimes against nature; penalty

 


 

Article 1. General Provisions

§ 3.2-6500. Definitions

As used in this chapter unless the context requires a different meaning:

“Abandon” means to desert, forsake, or absolutely give up an animal without having secured another owner or custodian for the animal or by failing to provide the elements of basic care as set forth in § 3.2-6503 for a period of five consecutive days.

“Adequate care” or “care” means the responsible practice of good animal husbandry, handling, production, management, confinement, feeding, watering, protection, shelter, transportation, treatment, and, when necessary, euthanasia, appropriate for the age, species, condition, size and type of the animal and the provision of veterinary care when needed to prevent suffering or impairment of health.

“Adequate exercise” or “exercise” means the opportunity for the animal to move sufficiently to maintain normal muscle tone and mass for the age, species, size, and condition of the animal.

“Adequate feed” means access to and the provision of food that is of sufficient quantity and nutritive value to maintain each animal in good health; is accessible to each animal; is prepared so as to permit ease of consumption for the age, species, condition, size and type of each animal; is provided in a clean and sanitary manner; is placed so as to minimize contamination by excrement and pests; and is provided at suitable intervals for the species, age, and condition of the animal, but at least once daily, except as prescribed by a veterinarian or as dictated by naturally occurring states of hibernation or fasting normal for the species.

“Adequate shelter” means provision of and access to shelter that is suitable for the species, age, condition, size, and type of each animal; provides adequate space for each animal; is safe and protects each animal from injury, rain, sleet, snow, hail, direct sunlight, the adverse effects of heat or cold, physical suffering, and impairment of health; is properly lighted; is properly cleaned; enables each animal to be clean and dry, except when detrimental to the species; and, for dogs and cats, provides a solid surface, resting platform, pad, floormat, or similar device that is large enough for the animal to lie on in a normal manner and can be maintained in a sanitary manner. Under this chapter, shelters whose wire, grid, or slat floors: (i) permit the animals' feet to pass through the openings; (ii) sag under the animals' weight; or (iii) otherwise do not protect the animals' feet or toes from injury are not adequate shelter.

“Adequate space” means sufficient space to allow each animal to: (i) easily stand, sit, lie, turn about, and make all other normal body movements in a comfortable, normal position for the animal; and (ii) interact safely with other animals in the enclosure. When an animal is tethered, “adequate space” means a tether that permits the above actions and is appropriate to the age and size of the animal; is attached to the animal by a properly applied collar, halter, or harness configured so as to protect the animal from injury and prevent the animal or tether from becoming entangled with other objects or animals, or from extending over an object or edge that could result in the strangulation or injury of the animal; and is at least three times the length of the animal, as measured from the tip of its nose to the base of its tail, except when the animal is being walked on a leash or is attached by a tether to a lead line. When freedom of movement would endanger the animal, temporarily and appropriately restricting movement of the animal according to professionally accepted standards for the species is considered provision of adequate space.

“Adequate water” means provision of and access to clean, fresh, potable water of a drinkable temperature that is provided in a suitable manner, in sufficient volume, and at suitable intervals appropriate for the weather and temperature, to maintain normal hydration for the age, species, condition, size and type of each animal, except as prescribed by a veterinarian or as dictated by naturally occurring states of hibernation or fasting normal for the species; and is provided in clean, durable receptacles that are accessible to each animal and are placed so as to minimize contamination of the water by excrement and pests or an alternative source of hydration consistent with generally accepted husbandry practices.

“Adoption” means the transfer of ownership of a dog or a cat, or any other companion animal, from a releasing agency to an individual.

“Agricultural animals” means all livestock and poultry.

“Ambient temperature” means the temperature surrounding the animal.

“Animal” means any nonhuman vertebrate species except fish. For the purposes of § 3.2-6522, animal means any species susceptible to rabies. For the purposes of § 3.2-6570, animal means any nonhuman vertebrate species including fish except those fish captured and killed or disposed of in a reasonable and customary manner.

“Animal control officer” means a person appointed as an animal control officer or deputy animal control officer as provided in § 3.2-6555.

“Animal shelter” means a facility, other than a private residential dwelling and its surrounding grounds, that is used to house or contain animals and that is owned, operated, or maintained by a nongovernmental entity including a humane society, animal welfare organization, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, or any other organization operating for the purpose of finding permanent adoptive homes for animals.

“Boarding establishment” means a place or establishment other than a pound or animal shelter where companion animals not owned by the proprietor are sheltered, fed, and watered in exchange for a fee.

“Collar” means a well-fitted device, appropriate to the age and size of the animal, attached to the animal's neck in such a way as to prevent trauma or injury to the animal.

“Commercial dog breeder” means any person who, during any 12-month period, maintains 30 or more adult female dogs for the primary purpose of the sale of their offspring as companion animals.

“Companion animal” means any domestic or feral dog, domestic or feral cat, nonhuman primate, guinea pig, hamster, rabbit not raised for human food or fiber, exotic or native animal, reptile, exotic or native bird, or any feral animal or any animal under the care, custody, or ownership of a person or any animal that is bought, sold, traded, or bartered by any person. Agricultural animals, game species, or any animals regulated under federal law as research animals shall not be considered companion animals for the purposes of this chapter.

“Consumer” means any natural person purchasing an animal from a dealer or pet shop or hiring the services of a boarding establishment. The term “consumer” shall not include a business or corporation engaged in sales or services.

“Dealer” means any person who in the regular course of business for compensation or profit buys, sells, transfers, exchanges, or barters companion animals. The following shall not be considered dealers: (i) any person who transports companion animals in the regular course of business as a common carrier; or (ii) any person whose primary purpose is to find permanent adoptive homes for companion animals.

“Direct and immediate threat” means any clear and imminent danger to an animal's health, safety or life.

“Dump” means to knowingly desert, forsake, or absolutely give up without having secured another owner or custodian any dog, cat, or other companion animal in any public place including the right-of-way of any public highway, road or street or on the property of another.

“Emergency veterinary treatment” means veterinary treatment to stabilize a life-threatening condition, alleviate suffering, prevent further disease transmission, or prevent further disease progression.

“Enclosure” means a structure used to house or restrict animals from running at large.

“Euthanasia” means the humane destruction of an animal accomplished by a method that involves instantaneous unconsciousness and immediate death or by a method that involves anesthesia, produced by an agent that causes painless loss of consciousness, and death during such loss of consciousness.

“Exhibitor” means any person who has animals for or on public display, excluding an exhibitor licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“Facility” means a building or portion thereof as designated by the State Veterinarian, other than a private residential dwelling and its surrounding grounds, that is used to contain a primary enclosure or enclosures in which animals are housed or kept.

“Farming activity” means, consistent with standard animal husbandry practices, the raising, management, and use of agricultural animals to provide food, fiber, or transportation and the breeding, exhibition, lawful recreational use, marketing, transportation, and slaughter of agricultural animals pursuant to such purposes.

“Foster care provider” means an individual who provides care or rehabilitation for companion animals through an affiliation with a pound, animal shelter, or other releasing agency.

“Foster home” means a private residential dwelling and its surrounding grounds at which site through an affiliation with a pound, animal shelter, or other releasing agency care or rehabilitation is provided for companion animals.

“Groomer” means any person who, for a fee, cleans, trims, brushes, makes neat, manicures, or treats for external parasites any animal.

“Home-based rescue” means any person that accepts: (i) more than 12 companion animals; or (ii) more than nine companion animals and more than three unweaned litters of companion animals in a calendar year for the purpose of finding permanent adoptive homes for the companion animals and houses the companion animals in a private residential dwelling or uses a system of housing companion animals in private residential foster homes.

“Humane” means any action taken in consideration of and with the intent to provide for the animal's health and well-being.

“Humane investigator” means a person who has been appointed by a circuit court as a humane investigator as provided in § 3.2-6558.

“Humane society” means any incorporated, nonprofit organization that is organized for the purposes of preventing cruelty to animals and promoting humane care and treatment or adoptions of animals.

“Kennel” means any establishment in which five or more canines, felines, or hybrids of either are kept for the purpose of breeding, hunting, training, renting, buying, boarding, selling, or showing.

“Law-enforcement officer” means any person who is a full-time or part-time employee of a police department or sheriff's office that is part of or administered by the Commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof and who is responsible for the prevention and detection of crime and the enforcement of the penal, traffic or highway laws of the Commonwealth. Part-time employees are compensated officers who are not full-time employees as defined by the employing police department or sheriff's office.

“Livestock” includes all domestic or domesticated: bovine animals; equine animals; ovine animals; porcine animals; cervidae animals; capradae animals; animals of the genus Lama; ratites; fish or shellfish in aquaculture facilities, as defined in § 3.2-2600; enclosed domesticated rabbits or hares raised for human food or fiber; or any other individual animal specifically raised for food or fiber, except companion animals.

“New owner” means an individual who is legally competent to enter into a binding agreement pursuant to subdivision B 2 of § 3.2-6574, and who adopts or receives a dog or cat from a releasing agency.

“Ordinance” means any law, rule, regulation, or ordinance adopted by the governing body of any locality.

“Other officer” includes all other persons employed or elected by the people of Virginia, or by any locality, whose duty it is to preserve the peace, to make arrests, or to enforce the law.

“Owner” means any person who: (i) has a right of property in an animal; (ii) keeps or harbors an animal; (iii) has an animal in his care; or (iv) acts as a custodian of an animal.

“Pet shop” means an establishment where companion animals are bought, sold, exchanged, or offered for sale or exchange to the general public.

“Poultry” includes all domestic fowl and game birds raised in captivity.

“Pound” means a facility operated by the Commonwealth, or any locality, for the purpose of impounding or harboring seized, stray, homeless, abandoned, or unwanted animals; or a facility operated for the same purpose under a contract with any locality or incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to animals.

“Primary enclosure” means any structure used to immediately restrict an animal or animals to a limited amount of space, such as a room, pen, cage, compartment, or hutch. For tethered animals, the term includes the shelter and the area within reach of the tether.

“Properly cleaned” means that carcasses, debris, food waste, and excrement are removed from the primary enclosure with sufficient frequency to minimize the animals' contact with the above-mentioned contaminants; the primary enclosure is sanitized with sufficient frequency to minimize odors and the hazards of disease; and the primary enclosure is cleaned so as to prevent the animals confined therein from being directly or indirectly sprayed with the stream of water, or directly or indirectly exposed to hazardous chemicals or disinfectants.

“Properly lighted” when referring to a facility means sufficient illumination to permit routine inspections, maintenance, cleaning, and housekeeping of the facility, and observation of the animals; to provide regular diurnal lighting cycles of either natural or artificial light, uniformly diffused throughout the facility; and to promote the well-being of the animals.

“Properly lighted” when referring to a private residential dwelling and its surrounding grounds means sufficient illumination to permit routine maintenance and cleaning thereof, and observation of the companion animals; and to provide regular diurnal lighting cycles of either natural or artificial light to promote the well-being of the animals.

“Releasing agency” means a pound, animal shelter, humane society, animal welfare organization, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, or other similar entity or home-based rescue, that releases companion animals for adoption.

“Research facility” means any place, laboratory, or institution licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture at which scientific tests, experiments, or investigations involving the use of living animals are carried out, conducted, or attempted.

“Sanitize” means to make physically clean and to remove and destroy, to a practical minimum, agents injurious to health.

“Sore” means, when referring to an equine, that an irritating or blistering agent has been applied, internally or externally, by a person to any limb or foot of an equine; any burn, cut, or laceration that has been inflicted by a person to any limb or foot of an equine; any tack, nail, screw, or chemical agent that has been injected by a person into or used by a person on any limb or foot of an equine; any other substance or device that has been used by a person on any limb or foot of an equine; or a person has engaged in a practice involving an equine, and as a result of such application, infliction, injection, use, or practice, such equine suffers, or can reasonably be expected to suffer, physical pain or distress, inflammation, or lameness when walking, trotting, or otherwise moving, except that such term does not include such an application, infliction, injection, use, or practice in connection with the therapeutic treatment of an equine by or under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian. Notwithstanding anything contained herein to the contrary, nothing shall preclude the shoeing, use of pads, and use of action devices as permitted by 9 C.F.R. Part 11.2.

“Sterilize” or “sterilization” means a surgical or chemical procedure performed by a licensed veterinarian that renders a dog or cat permanently incapable of reproducing.

“Treasurer” includes the treasurer and his assistants of each county or city or other officer designated by law to collect taxes in such county or city.

“Treatment” or “adequate treatment” means the responsible handling or transportation of animals in the person's ownership, custody or charge, appropriate for the age, species, condition, size and type of the animal.

“Veterinary treatment” means treatment by or on the order of a duly licensed veterinarian.

“Weaned” means that an animal is capable of and physiologically accustomed to ingestion of solid food or food customary for the adult of the species, and has ingested such food, without nursing, for a period of at least five days.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 2008, c. 860, eff. Oct. 1, 2008; Acts 2008, c. 9; Acts 2008, c. 127; Acts 2008, c. 852, eff. Jan. 1, 2009. Amended by Acts 2011, c. 754; Acts 2011, c. 886.

 

§ 3.2-6501. Regulations and guidelines

The Board may adopt regulations and guidelines consistent with the objectives and intent of this chapter concerning the care and transportation of animals.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 2008, c. 860, eff. Oct. 1, 2008.

 

§ 3.2-6502. State Veterinarian's power to inspect premises where animals are kept; investigations and search warrants

A. The State Veterinarian and each State Veterinarian's representative shall have the power to conduct inspections of animal shelters, and inspect any business premises where animals are housed or kept, including any boarding establishment, kennel, pet shop, pound, or the business premises of any dealer, exhibitor or groomer, at any reasonable time, for the purposes of determining if a violation of: (i) this chapter; (ii) any other state law governing the care, control or protection of animals; or (iii) any other state law governing property rights in animals has occurred.

B. Provisions for investigation of suspected violations of this chapter and other laws pertaining to animals are provided in § 3.2-6564. Provisions for obtaining a warrant and the power of search for violations of animal cruelty laws are provided in § 3.2-6568.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 2008, c. 860, eff. Oct. 1, 2008.

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Derivation:

Acts 1993, c. 601; Acts 1998, c. 817; Acts 2002, c. 787; Acts 2003, c. 1007; § 3.1-796.67:2. 
 

 Article 2. Animal Welfare

§ 3.2-6503. Care of companion animals by owner; penalty

A. Each owner shall provide for each of his companion animals:

1. Adequate feed;

2. Adequate water;

3. Adequate shelter that is properly cleaned;

4. Adequate space in the primary enclosure for the particular type of animal depending upon its age, size, species, and weight;

5. Adequate exercise;

6. Adequate care, treatment, and transportation; and

7. Veterinary care when needed to prevent suffering or disease transmission.

The provisions of this section shall also apply to every pound, animal shelter, or other releasing agency, and every foster care provider, dealer, pet shop, exhibitor, kennel, groomer, and boarding establishment. This section shall not require that animals used as food for other animals be euthanized.

B. Violation of this section is a Class 4 misdemeanor. A second or subsequent violation of subdivision A 1, A 2, A 3, or A 7 is a Class 2 misdemeanor and a second or subsequent violation of subdivision A 4, A 5, or A 6 is a Class 3 misdemeanor.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 2008, c. 860, eff. Oct. 1, 2008. Amended by Acts 2010, c. 875.

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Derivation:

Acts 1984, c. 492, § 29-213.38; Acts 1987, c. 488; Acts 1991, c. 348; Acts 1993, c. 174; Acts 1996, c. 249; Acts 1998, c. 817; Acts 2002, c. 787; Acts 2003, c. 1007; § 3.1-796.68.

 

§ 3.2-6503.1. Care of agricultural animals by owner; penalty

A. Each owner shall provide for each of his agricultural animals:

1. Feed to prevent malnourishment;

2. Water to prevent dehydration; and

3. Veterinary treatment as needed to address impairment of health or bodily function when such impairment cannot be otherwise addressed through animal husbandry, including humane destruction.

B. The provisions of this section shall not require an owner to provide feed or water when such is customarily withheld, restricted, or apportioned pursuant to a farming activity or if otherwise prescribed by a veterinarian.

C. There shall be a rebuttable presumption that there has been no violation of this section if an owner is unable to provide feed, water, or veterinary treatment due to an act of God.

D. The provisions of this section shall not apply to agricultural animals used for bona fide medical or scientific experimentation.

E. A violation of this section is a Class 4 misdemeanor.

CREDIT(S)

Added by Acts 2011, c. 754; Acts 2011, c. 886.

 

 § 3.2-6504. Abandonment of animal; penalty

No person shall abandon or dump any animal. Violation of this section is a Class 3 misdemeanor. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the release of an animal by its owner to a pound, animal shelter, or other releasing agency.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 2008, c. 860, eff. Oct. 1, 2008.

 

 § 3.2-6505. Disposal of animals by means of decompression chamber and use of gas chamber for companion animals prohibited

A. No animal shall be euthanized pursuant to the provisions of this chapter by means of a high altitude decompression chamber.

B. No companion animal shall be euthanized pursuant to the provisions of this chapter by means of a gas chamber.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 2008, c. 860, eff. Oct. 1, 2008; Acts 2008, c. 8.

 

 § 3.2-6506. Exceptions regarding veterinarians

Sections 3.2-6503, 3.2-6504, 3.2-6508 through 3.2-6519, 3.2-6557, 3.2-6559, 3.2-6561, 3.2-6564, 3.2-6565, and 3.2-6574 through 3.2-6580 shall not apply to: (i) a place or establishment that is operated under the immediate supervision of a duly licensed veterinarian as a hospital or boarding establishment where animals are harbored, boarded and cared for incident to the treatment, prevention, or alleviation of disease processes during the routine practice of the profession of veterinary medicine; or (ii) animals boarded under the immediate supervision of a duly licensed veterinarian.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 2008, c. 860, eff. Oct. 1, 2008.

 

 § 3.2-6507. Injured or sick animal; action by veterinarian

A. If a licensed veterinarian is called or by his own action comes upon an animal that is sick or injured and the owner of such animal cannot be immediately located, then the licensed veterinarian, in his professional judgment, may treat, hospitalize or euthanize the animal without the permission of the owner. The veterinarian shall make such reports and keep such records of such sick or injured animals as may be prescribed by the Board of Veterinary Medicine, including the information required under subsection B of § 3.2-6557.

B. In no event shall a licensed veterinarian who has acted in good faith and properly exercised professional judgment regarding an animal be subject to liability for his actions in: (i) acting in accordance with subsection A; or (ii) reporting cases of suspected cruelty to animals.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 2008, c. 860, eff. Oct. 1, 2008.
 

Article 2.1. Commercial Dog Breeding Operations

§ 3.2-6507.1. Business license required

No commercial dog breeder shall breed dogs in the Commonwealth without a valid business license issued by any locality, as applicable, where he maintains dogs for the purpose of commercial dog breeding.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 2008, c. 852, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

This section was added as § 3.1-796.77:1 by Acts 2008, c. 852 and was renumbered as § 3.2-6507.1 pursuant to the direction of the Virginia Code Commission due to the recodification of Title 3.1 by Acts 2008, c. 860.

Acts 2008, c. 852, provided in the second enactment:

“That the provisions of this act shall become effective on January 1, 2009.”

 

§ 3.2-6507.2. Commercial dog breeding; requirements

Commercial dog breeders shall:

1. Maintain no more than 50 dogs over the age of one year at any time for breeding purposes. However, a higher number of dogs may be allowed if approved by local ordinance after a public hearing. Any such ordinance may include additional requirements for commercial breeding operations;

2. Breed female dogs only: (i) after annual certification by a licensed veterinarian that the dog is in suitable health for breeding; (ii) after the dog has reached the age of 18 months; and (iii) if the dog has not yet reached the age of 8 years;

3. Dispose of dogs only by gift, sale, transfer, barter, or euthanasia by a licensed veterinarian;

4. Dispose of deceased dogs in accordance with § 3.2-6554;

5. Dispose of dog waste in accordance with state and federal laws and regulations; and

6. Maintain accurate records for at least five years including:

a. The date on which a dog enters the operation;

b. The person from whom the animal was purchased or obtained, including the address and phone number of such person;

c. A description of the animal, including the species, color, breed, sex, and approximate age and weight;

d. Any tattoo, microchip number, or other identification number carried by or appearing on the animal;

e. Each date that puppies were born to such animal and the number of puppies;

f. All medical care and vaccinations provided to the animal, including certifications required by a licensed veterinarian under this chapter; and

g. The disposition of each animal and the date.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 2008, c. 852, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

This section was added as § 3.1-796.77:2 by Acts 2008, c. 852 and was renumbered as § 3.2-6507.2 pursuant to the direction of the Virginia Code Commission due to the recodification of Title 3.1 by Acts 2008, c. 860.

In 2008, a reference appearing in subd. 4 was revised pursuant to the direction of the Virginia Code Commission by changing “§ 3.1-796.121” to “§ 3.2-6554”.

Acts 2008, c. 852, provided in the second enactment:

“That the provisions of this act shall become effective on January 1, 2009.”


 

§ 3.2-6507.3. Right of entry

A. The Commissioner, the State Veterinarian or his assistant, any animal control officer, and any public health or safety official employed by the locality where a commercial dog breeder resides or maintains breeding operations may, upon receiving a complaint or upon his own motion, investigate any violation of the provisions of this chapter. Such investigation may include (i) the inspection of the books and records of any commercial dog breeder, (ii) the inspection of any companion animal owned by the commercial dog breeder, and (iii) the inspection of any place where animals are bred or maintained. In conducting the inspection, the Commissioner or animal control officer may enter any premises where animals may be bred or maintained during daytime hours.

B. Any commercial dog breeder who is the subject of an investigation by the Commissioner, the State Veterinarian, or an animal control officer shall, upon request, provide assistance to the Commissioner, the State Veterinarian, or the animal control officer in making any inspection authorized by this section.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 2008, c. 852, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

This section was added as § 3.1-796.77:3 by Acts 2008, c. 852 and was renumbered as § 3.2-6507.3 pursuant to the direction of the Virginia Code Commission due to the recodification of Title 3.1 by Acts 2008, c. 860.

Acts 2008, c. 852, provided in the second enactment:

“That the provisions of this act shall become effective on January 1, 2009.”


 

§ 3.2-6507.4. Concurrent operation of releasing agency prohibited

It is unlawful for a commercial dog breeder to operate or maintain a controlling interest in any releasing agency.

CREDIT(S)
 
Acts 2008, c. 852, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES
 
This section was added as § 3.1-796.77:4 by Acts 2008, c. 852 and was renumbered as § 3.2-6507.4 pursuant to the direction of the Virginia Code Commission due to the recodification of Title 3.1 by Acts 2008, c. 860.

Acts 2008, c. 852, provided in the second enactment:

“That the provisions of this act shall become effective on January 1, 2009.”
 
 

§ 3.2-6507.5. Penalty

Any commercial dog breeder violating any provision of this article is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

CREDIT(S)
 
Acts 2008, c. 852, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES
 
This section was added as § 3.1-796.77:5 by Acts 2008, c. 852 and was renumbered as § 3.2-6507.5 pursuant to the direction of the Virginia Code Commission due to the recodification of Title 3.1 by Acts 2008, c. 860.

Acts 2008, c. 852, provided in the second enactment:

“That the provisions of this act shall become effective on January 1, 2009.”
 

§ 3.2-6507.6. Duty of attorneys for the Commonwealth

It shall be the duty of each attorney for the Commonwealth to enforce this article.

CREDIT(S)
 
Acts 2008, c. 852, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES
 
This section was added as § 3.1-796.77:6 by Acts 2008, c. 852 and was renumbered as § 3.2-6507.6 pursuant to the direction of the Virginia Code Commission due to the recodification of Title 3.1 by Acts 2008, c. 860.

In 2008, a reference appearing in this section was revised pursuant to the direction of the Virginia Code Commission by changing “this chapter” to “this article”.

Acts 2008, c. 852, provided in the second enactment:

“That the provisions of this act shall become effective on January 1, 2009.”
 
 

Article 3. Transportation and Sale of Animals

§ 3.2-6508. Transporting animals; requirements; penalty

A. No owner, railroad or other common carrier when transporting any animal shall allow that animal to be confined in any type of conveyance more than 24 consecutive hours without being exercised, properly rested, fed and watered as necessary for that particular type and species of animal. A reasonable extension of this time shall be permitted when an accident, storm or other act of God causes a delay. Adequate space in the primary enclosure within any type of conveyance shall be provided each animal depending upon the particular type and species of animal.

B. No person shall import into the Commonwealth, nor export from the Commonwealth, for the purpose of sale or offering for sale any dog or cat under the age of eight weeks without its dam.

C. Violation of this section is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

CREDIT(S)
 
Acts 2008, c. 860, eff. Oct. 1, 2008.

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES
 
Derivation:

Acts 1984, c. 492, § 29-213.39; Acts 1987, c. 488; Acts 1993, c. 174; § 3.1-796.69.
 
 

§ 3.2-6509. Misrepresentation of animal's condition; penalties

No person shall misrepresent the physical condition of any animal at the animal's sale, trade, delivery, or other method of transfer. For the purpose of this section, misrepresentation shall include selling, trading, delivering or otherwise transferring an animal to another person with the knowledge that the animal has an infection, communicable disease, parasitic infestation, abnormality or other physical defect that is not made known to the person receiving the animal. The sale of an agricultural animal that has external or internal parasites that are not made known to the person receiving the animal shall not be a violation of this section unless the animal is clinically ill or debilitated due to such parasites at the time of sale, trade, delivery or transfer of the animal. Violation of this section is a Class 3 misdemeanor.

CREDIT(S)
 
Acts 2008, c. 860, eff. Oct. 1, 2008.

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES
 
Derivation:

Acts 1984, c. 492, § 29-213.42; Acts 1987, c. 488; Acts 1998, c. 817; § 3.1-796.72.
 

§ 3.2-6510. Sale of unweaned or certain immature animals prohibited, vaccinations required for dogs and cats; penalty

A. No person shall sell, raffle, give away, or offer for sale as pets or novelties, or offer or give as a prize, premium, or advertising device any living chicks, ducklings, or other fowl under two months old in quantities of less than six or any unweaned mammalian companion animal or any dog or cat under the age of seven weeks without its dam or queen. Dealers may offer immature fowl, unweaned mammalian companion animals, dogs or cats under the age of seven weeks for sale as pets or novelties with the requirement that prospective owners take possession of the animals only after fowl have reached two months of age, mammalian companion animals have been weaned, and dogs and cats are at least seven weeks of age. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the sale, gift, or transfer of an unweaned animal: (i) as food for other animals; (ii) with the lactating dam or queen or a lactating surrogate dam or queen that has accepted the animal; (iii) due to a concern for the health or safety of the unweaned animal; or (iv) to animal control, an animal shelter, or a veterinarian.

B. Dealers shall provide all dogs and cats with current vaccinations against contagious and infectious diseases, as recommended in writing and considered appropriate for the animal's age and breed by a licensed veterinarian, or pursuant to written recommendations provided by the manufacturer of such vaccines at least five days before any new owner takes possession of the animal. For dogs, the vaccinations required by this subsection shall include at a minimum canine distemper, adenovirus type II parainfluenza, and parvovirus. For cats, the vaccinations required by this subsection shall include at a minimum rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and panleukopenia. Dealers shall provide the new owner with the dog's or cat's immunization history.

C. A violation of this section is a Class 3 misdemeanor.

CREDIT(S)
 
Acts 2008, c. 860, eff. Oct. 1, 2008.

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES
 
Derivation:

Acts 1984, c. 492, § 29-213.40; Acts 1987, c. 488; Acts 1993, c. 174; Acts 1995, c. 625; Acts 2006, c. 503; § 3.1-796.70.
 

§ 3.2-6511. Failure of dealer or pet shop to provide adequate care; penalty

Any dealer or pet shop that fails to adequately house, feed, water, exercise or care for animals in his or its possession or custody as provided for under this chapter is guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor. Such animals shall be subject to seizure and impoundment, and upon conviction of such person the animals may be sold, euthanized, or disposed of as provided by § 3.2-6546 for licensed, tagged, or tattooed animals. Such failure is also grounds for revocation of a permit or certificate of registration after public hearing. Any funds that result from such sale shall be used first to pay the costs of the local jurisdiction for the impoundment and disposition of the animals, and any funds remaining shall be paid to the owner, if known. If the owner is not found, the remaining funds shall be paid into the Literary Fund.

CREDIT(S)
 
Acts 2008, c. 860, eff. Oct. 1, 2008.

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES
 
Derivation:

Acts 1984, c. 492, § 29-213.41; Acts 1987, c. 488; Acts 1993, c. 174; § 3.1-796.71.
 
 

§ 3.2-6511.1. Pet shops; procurement from unlicensed commercial dog breeders; penalty

A. It is unlawful for a pet shop to sell or offer for sale any dog procured from a person who is not a dealer or licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture pursuant to the federal Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. § 2131 et seq.) or regulations adopted thereunder.

B. It shall be unlawful for any commercial dog breeder who is not licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture pursuant to the federal Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. § 2131 et seq.) or regulations adopted thereunder to sell any dog to a pet shop, unless such commercial dog breeder maintains a valid and current USDA dealer's permit.

C. Any person violating any provision of this section is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

CREDIT(S)
 
Acts 2008, c. 852, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES
 
This section was added as § 3.1-796.71:1 by Acts 2008, c. 852 and was renumbered as § 3.2-6511.1 pursuant to the direction of the Virginia Code Commission due to the recodification of Title 3.1 by Acts 2008, c. 860.

Acts 2008, c. 852, provided in the second enactment:

“That the provisions of this act shall become effective on January 1, 2009.”
 

§ 3.2-6512. Sale without pet dealer's animal history certificate violation of Consumer Protection Act; contents of certificate

It shall be a violation of the Virginia Consumer Protection Act (§ 59.1-196 et seq.) for any pet dealer to sell a dog or cat within the Commonwealth stating, promising or representing that the animal is registered or capable of being registered with any animal pedigree registry organization, without providing the consumer with a pet dealer's animal history certificate at the time the consumer takes possession of the dog or cat. The pet dealer's animal history certificate shall be signed by the pet dealer, his agent or employee, and shall contain the following information:

1. The animal's breed, sex, age, color, and birth date;

2. The name and address of the person from whom the pet dealer purchased the animal;

3. The breeder's name and address;

4. The name and registration number of the animal's parents;

5. If the animal has been so examined, the date on which the animal has been examined by a licensed veterinarian, the name and address of such veterinarian, and a brief statement of any findings made; and

6. A statement of all vaccinations administered to the animal, including the identity and quantity of the vaccine, and the name and address of the person or licensed veterinarian administering or supervising the vaccinations.

The information contained in the pet dealer's animal history certificate required herein shall be informative only, and the pet dealer shall not be responsible in any manner for the accuracy of such information unless he knows or has reason to know that such information is erroneous.

A copy of the pet dealer's animal history certificate signed by the consumer shall be maintained by the pet dealer for a period of one year following the date of sale.

CREDIT(S)
 
Acts 2008, c. 860, eff. Oct. 1, 2008.

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES
 
Derivation:

Acts 1984, c. 492, § 29-213.48; Acts 1987, c. 488; § 3.1-796.78.
 

§ 3.2-6513. Inclusion of false or misleading statements in certificate violation of Consumer Protection Act

It shall be a violation of the Virginia Consumer Protection Act (§ 59.1-196 et seq.) for a pet dealer to include in the pet dealer's animal history certificate provided for in § 3.2-6512 any false or misleading statement regarding the information to be contained therein.

CREDIT(S)
 
Acts 2008, c. 860, eff. Oct. 1, 2008.

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES
 
Derivation:

Acts 1984, c. 492, § 29-213.49; Acts 1987, c. 488; § 3.1-796.79.
 

§ 3.2-6514. Consumer remedies for receipt of diseased animal upon certification by veterinarian

A. If, at any time within 10 days following receipt of an animal described as being registered or capable of being registered with any animal pedigree organization and subject to this chapter, a licensed veterinarian certifies such animal to be unfit for purchase due to illness, a congenital defect deleterious to the health of the animal, or the presence of symptoms of a contagious or infectious disease, the pet dealer shall afford the consumer the right to choose one of the following options:

1. The right to return the animal and receive a refund of the purchase price including sales tax; or

2. The right to return the animal and to receive an exchange animal of equivalent value from the dealer, subject to the choice of the consumer.

The refund or reimbursement required by this section shall be made by the pet dealer not later than 10 business days following receipt of a signed veterinary certification as provided in § 3.2-6515.

CREDIT(S)
 
Acts 2008, c. 860, eff. Oct. 1, 2008.

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES
 
Derivation:

Acts 1984, c. 492, § 29-213.50; Acts 1987, c. 488; § 3.1-796.80.
 

§ 3.2-6515. Written notice of consumer remedies required to be supplied by pet dealers

A pet dealer shall give the notice hereinafter set forth in writing to a consumer prior to the delivery of a dog or cat. Such notice shall be embodied in a written contract, the pet dealer's animal history certificate, or a separate document and shall state in ten-point boldface type the following:

NOTICE

The sale of certain dogs and cats described as being registered or capable of being registered with any animal pedigree organization is subject to the provisions of the Virginia Consumer Protection Act (§ 59.1-196 et seq. ). In the event that a licensed veterinarian certifies your animal to be unfit for purchase within 10 days following receipt of your animal, you may choose: (i) to return your animal and receive a refund of the purchase price; or (ii) to return the animal and receive an exchange animal of your choice of equivalent value.

In order to exercise these rights you must present a written veterinary certification that the animal is unfit to the pet dealer within three business days after receiving such certification.

If the pet dealer has promised to register your animal or to provide the papers necessary therefor and fails to do so within 120 days following the date of contract, you are entitled to return the animal and receive a refund of the purchase price or to retain the animal and receive a refund of an amount not to exceed 50 percent of the purchase price.

CREDIT(S)
 
Acts 2008, c. 860, eff. Oct. 1, 2008.

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES
 
Derivation:

Acts 1984, c. 492, § 29-213.51; Acts 1987, c. 488; § 3.1-796.81.
 
 

§ 3.2-6516. Failure of pet dealer to effect registration after promise; violation of Consumer Protection Act; remedies; veterinary certification; finding of intestinal parasites; illness subsequent to sale

A. It shall be a violation of the Virginia Consumer Protection Act (§ 59.1-196 et seq.) for a pet dealer to state, promise, or represent that a dog or cat is registered or capable of being registered with any animal pedigree registry organization if the pet dealer shall then fail to either effect such registration or provide the consumer with the documents necessary therefor within 120 days following the date of sale of such animal. In the event that a pet dealer fails to effect registration or to provide the necessary documents therefor within 120 days following the date of sale, the consumer shall be entitled to choose one of the following options:

1. To return the animal and to receive a refund of the purchase price plus sales tax; or

2. To retain the animal and to receive a refund of an amount not to exceed 50 percent of the purchase price and sales tax.

B. The veterinary certification and statement required herein shall be presented to the pet dealer not later than three business days following receipt thereof by the consumer and shall contain the following information:

1. The name of the owner;

2. The date or dates of the examination;

3. The breed, color, sex, and age of the animal;

4. A description of the veterinarian's findings;

5. A statement that the veterinarian certifies the animal to be unfit for purchase; and

6. The name and address of the certifying veterinarian and the date of the certification.

C. A veterinary finding of intestinal parasites shall not be grounds for declaring the animal unfit for purchase unless the animal is clinically ill due to such condition. An animal may not be found unfit for purchase on account of an injury sustained or illness contracted subsequent to the consumer taking possession thereof.

CREDIT(S)
 
Acts 2008, c. 860, eff. Oct. 1, 2008.

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES
 
Derivation:

Acts 1984, c. 492, § 29-213.52; Acts 1987, c. 488; § 3.1-796.82.
 
 

§ 3.2-6517. Remedies cumulative

The remedies provided for pursuant to this article are cumulative and not exclusive and shall be in addition to any other remedy provided for by law.

CREDIT(S)
 
Acts 2008, c. 860, eff. Oct. 1, 2008.

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES
 
Derivation:

Acts 1984, c. 492, § 29-213.53; Acts 1987, c. 488; § 3.1-796.83.
 
 

Article 4. Boarding Establishments and Groomers


§ 3.2-6518. Boarding establishments and groomers; veterinary care requirements; consumer notification; penalty

A. When an animal is boarded at a boarding establishment, or under the care, custody or subject to the actions of a groomer, the boarding establishment or groomer shall be responsible for providing the animal care requirements for each animal as specified in § 3.2-6503.

B. If an animal becomes ill or injured while in the custody of the boarding establishment or groomer, the boarding establishment or groomer shall provide the animal with emergency veterinary treatment for the illness or injury. The consumer shall bear the reasonable and necessary costs of emergency veterinary treatment for any illness or injury occurring while the animal is in the custody of the boarding establishment or groomer. The boarding establishment or groomer shall pay for veterinary treatment of any injury that the animal sustains while at the establishment or under the care or custody of a groomer if the injury resulted from the establishment's or groomer's failure, whether accidental or intentional, to provide the care required by § 3.2-6503, or if the injury is a result of the actions of the boarding establishment or groomer. Boarding establishments and groomers shall not be required to bear the cost of veterinary treatment for injuries resulting from the animal's self-mutilation.

C. If an animal is seized from a boarding establishment or groomer because of the establishment's or groomer's failure to provide adequate food, water, shelter, exercise, and care as defined in § 3.2-6500 and required by § 3.2-6503 or because of any other violation of this chapter, the animal shall be returned to the rightful owner as soon as possible or, if the owner refuses to reclaim the animal, be impounded and disposition made pursuant to § 3.2-6569.

D. Violation of this section by a boarding establishment or groomer is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

CREDIT(S)
 
Acts 2008, c. 860, eff. Oct. 1, 2008.
 

§ 3.2-6519. Written notice of consumer remedies required to be supplied by boarding establishments; penalty

A. A boarding establishment shall give the notice hereinafter set forth in writing to a consumer prior to the consumer's delivery of the animal to the boarding establishment. Such notice shall be embodied in a written document and shall state in ten-point boldfaced type the following:

NOTICE

The boarding of animals is subject to Article 4 (§ 3.2-6518 et seq.) of Chapter 65 of Title 3.2. If your animal becomes ill or injured while in the custody of the boarding establishment, the boarding establishment shall provide the animal with emergency veterinary treatment for the illness or injury.

The consumer shall bear the reasonable and necessary costs of emergency veterinary treatment for any illness or injury occurring while the animal is in the custody of the boarding establishment. The boarding establishment shall bear the expenses of veterinary treatment for any injury the animal sustains while at the boarding establishment if the injury resulted from the establishment's failure, whether accidental or intentional, to provide the care required by § 3.2-6503. Boarding establishments shall not be required to bear the cost of veterinary treatment for injuries resulting from the animal's self-mutilation.

B. In addition, the boarding establishment shall display the following notice, in ten-point boldfaced type, on a sign placed in a conspicuous location and manner at the boarding establishment's intake area:

PUBLIC NOTICE

THE BOARDING OF ANIMALS BY A BOARDING ESTABLISHMENT IS SUBJECT TO ARTICLE 4 (§ 3.2-6518 et seq.) OF CHAPTER 65 OF TITLE 3.2 OF THE CODE OF VIRGINIA. YOU HAVE SPECIFIC REMEDIES WHEN BOARDING ANIMALS IN THIS OR ANY OTHER BOARDING ESTABLISHMENT IN VIRGINIA. A COPY IS AVAILABLE IMMEDIATELY UPON REQUEST AND IS TO BE PRESENTED TO YOU AT THE TIME OF INTAKE IN THE FORM OF A WRITTEN DOCUMENT. IF YOU HAVE A COMPLAINT, YOU MAY CONTACT YOUR LOCAL LAW-ENFORCEMENT OFFICER OR THE VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND CONSUMER SERVICES, RICHMOND, VIRGINIA.

C. Failure to display or provide the consumer with the written notice as required by this section is a Class 3 misdemeanor.

CREDIT(S)
 
Acts 2008, c. 860, eff. Oct. 1, 2008.

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES
 
Derivation:

Acts 1993, c. 174; Acts 1998, c. 817; § 3.1-796.83:2.
 

§ 3.2-6520. Procedure for animals left unclaimed with veterinarian or boarding establishment after public notice; lien; sale

Any animal not claimed by its owner from a licensed veterinarian or boarding establishment within 14 days after a letter of notice has been sent to the owner, by the veterinarian or boarding establishment, may be sold by the veterinarian or boarding establishment. The animal may be sold at public or private sale for fair compensation to a person capable of providing care consistent with this chapter. Any expense incurred by the veterinarian or boarding establishment becomes a lien on the animal and the proceeds of the sale shall first discharge this lien. Any balance of the proceeds shall be paid to the owner. If the owner cannot be found within the next ensuing 30 days, the balance shall be paid to the Literary Fund. If no purchaser is found, the animal may be offered for adoption or euthanized.

CREDIT(S)
 
Acts 2008, c. 860, eff. Oct. 1, 2008.

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES
 
Derivation:

Acts 1984, c. 492, § 29-213.45; Acts 1987, c. 488; Acts 1993, c. 174; § 3.1-796.75. 
 
 

Article 9. Cruelty to Animals

§ 3.2-6570. Cruelty to animals; penalty

A. Any person who: (i) overrides, overdrives, overloads, tortures, ill-treats, abandons, willfully inflicts inhumane injury or pain not connected with bona fide scientific or medical experimentation, or cruelly or unnecessarily beats, maims, mutilates, or kills any animal, whether belonging to himself or another; (ii) deprives any animal of necessary food, drink, shelter or emergency veterinary treatment; (iii) sores any equine for any purpose or administers drugs or medications to alter or mask such soring for the purpose of sale, show, or exhibition of any kind, unless such administration of drugs or medications is within the context of a veterinary client-patient relationship and solely for therapeutic purposes; (iv) willfully sets on foot, instigates, engages in, or in any way furthers any act of cruelty to any animal; (v) carries or causes to be carried by any vehicle, vessel or otherwise any animal in a cruel, brutal, or inhumane manner, so as to produce torture or unnecessary suffering; or (vi) causes any of the above things, or being the owner of such animal permits such acts to be done by another is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

In addition to the penalties provided in this subsection, the court may, in its discretion, require any person convicted of a violation of this subsection to attend an anger management or other appropriate treatment program or obtain psychiatric or psychological counseling. The court may impose the costs of such a program or counseling upon the person convicted.

B. Any person who: (i) tortures, willfully inflicts inhumane injury or pain not connected with bona fide scientific or medical experimentation, or cruelly and unnecessarily beats, maims, mutilates or kills any animal whether belonging to himself or another; (ii) sores any equine for any purpose or administers drugs or medications to alter or mask such soring for the purpose of sale, show, or exhibit of any kind, unless such administration of drugs or medications is under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian and solely for therapeutic purposes; (iii) maliciously deprives any companion animal of necessary food, drink, shelter or emergency veterinary treatment; (iv) instigates, engages in, or in any way furthers any act of cruelty to any animal set forth in clauses (i) through (iv); or (v) causes any of the actions described in clauses (i) through (iv), or being the owner of such animal permits such acts to be done by another; and has been within five years convicted of a violation of this subsection or subsection A, is guilty of a Class 6 felony if the current violation or any previous violation of this subsection or subsection A resulted in the death of an animal or the euthanasia of an animal based on the recommendation of a licensed veterinarian upon determination that such euthanasia was necessary due to the condition of the animal, and such condition was a direct result of a violation of this subsection or subsection A.

C. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the dehorning of cattle conducted in a reasonable and customary manner.

D. This section shall not prohibit authorized wildlife management activities or hunting, fishing or trapping as regulated under other titles of the Code of Virginia, including Title 29.1, or to farming activities as provided under this title or regulations adopted hereunder.

E. It is unlawful for any person to kill a domestic dog or cat for the purpose of obtaining the hide, fur or pelt of the dog or cat. A violation of this subsection is a Class 1 misdemeanor. A second or subsequent violation of this subsection is a Class 6 felony.

F. Any person who: (i) tortures, willfully inflicts inhumane injury or pain not connected with bona fide scientific or medical experimentation or cruelly and unnecessarily beats, maims or mutilates any dog or cat that is a companion animal whether belonging to him or another; and (ii) as a direct result causes the death of such dog or cat that is a companion animal, or the euthanasia of such animal on the recommendation of a licensed veterinarian upon determination that such euthanasia was necessary due to the condition of the animal, is guilty of a Class 6 felony. If a dog or cat is attacked on its owner's property by a dog so as to cause injury or death, the owner of the injured dog or cat may use all reasonable and necessary force against the dog at the time of the attack to protect his dog or cat. Such owner may be presumed to have taken necessary and appropriate action to defend his dog or cat and shall therefore be presumed not to have violated this subsection. The provisions of this subsection shall not overrule § 3.2-6540, 3.2-6540.1, or 3.2-6552.

G. Any person convicted of violating this section may be prohibited by the court from possession or ownership of companion animals.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 2008, c. 860, eff. Oct. 1, 2008. Amended by Acts 2013, c. 58; Acts 2013, c. 732.

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Derivation:

Acts 1984, c. 492, § 29-213.91; Acts 1987, c. 488; Acts 1992, c. 177; Acts 1998, c. 817; Acts 1999, c. 209; Acts 1999, c. 620; Acts 1999, c. 645; Acts 2002, c. 351; Acts 2002, c. 500; Acts 2002, c. 583; Acts 2002, c. 613; Acts 2003, c. 787; Acts 2003, c. 788; Acts 2004, c. 217; Acts 2007, c. 743; § 3.1-796.122.
 

§ 3.2-6570.1. Sale of animals after cruelty or neglect conviction; penalty

Any person who has been convicted of a violation of any law concerning abuse, neglect, or cruelty to animals that sells, offers for sale, or trades any companion animal is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. However, a person may dispose of animals under the provisions of a court order.

Acts 2008, c. 852, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

This section was added as § 3.1-796.122:1 by Acts 2008, c. 852 and was renumbered as § 3.2-6570.1 pursuant to the direction of the Virginia Code Commission due to the recodification of Title 3.1 by Acts 2008, c. 860.

 

§ 3.2-6571. Animal fighting; penalty

A. No person shall knowingly:

1. Promote, prepare for, engage in, or be employed in, the fighting of animals for amusement, sport or gain;

2. Attend an exhibition of the fighting of animals;

3. Authorize or allow any person to undertake any act described in this section on any premises under his charge or control; or

4. Aid or abet any such acts.

Except as provided in subsection B, any person who violates any provision of this subsection is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

B. Any person who violates any provision of subsection A in combination with one or more of the following is guilty of a Class 6 felony:

1. When a dog is one of the animals;

2. When any device or substance intended to enhance an animal's ability to fight or to inflict injury upon another animal is used, or possessed with intent to use it for such purpose;

3. When money or anything of value is wagered on the result of such fighting;

4. When money or anything of value is paid or received for the admission of a person to a place for animal fighting;

5. When any animal is possessed, owned, trained, transported, or sold with the intent that the animal engage in an exhibition of fighting with another animal; or

6. When he permits or causes a minor to (i) attend an exhibition of the fighting of any animals or (ii) undertake or be involved in any act described in this subsection.

C. 1. Any animal control officer, as defined in § 3.2-6500, shall confiscate any animal that he determines has been, is, or is intended to be used in animal fighting and any equipment used in training such animal or used in animal fighting.

2. Upon confiscation of an animal, the animal control officer shall petition the appropriate court for a hearing for a determination of whether the animal has been, is, or is intended to be used in animal fighting. The hearing shall be not more than 10 business days from the date of the confiscation of the animal. If the court finds that the animal has not been used, is not used and is not intended to be used in animal fighting, it shall order the animal released to its owner. However, if the court finds probable cause to believe that the animal has been, is, or is intended to be used in animal fighting, the court shall order the animal forfeited to the locality unless the owner posts bond in surety with the locality in an amount sufficient to compensate the locality for its cost of caring for the animal for a period of nine months. He shall post additional bond for each successive nine-month period until a final determination by the trial court on any criminal charges brought pursuant to subsections A or B.

3. Upon a final determination of guilt by the trial court on criminal charges brought pursuant to subsections A or B, the court shall order that the animal be forfeited to the locality. Upon a final determination of not guilty by the trial court on the underlying criminal charges, a confiscated animal shall be returned to its owner and any bond shall be refunded to him.

D. Any person convicted of violating any provision of subsection A or B shall be prohibited by the court from possession or ownership of companion animals or cocks.

E. In addition to fines and costs, the court shall order any person who is convicted of a violation of this section to pay all reasonable costs incurred in housing, caring for, or euthanizing any confiscated animal. If the court finds that the actual costs are reasonable, it may order payment of actual costs.

F. The provisions of this section shall not apply to any law-enforcement officer in the performance of his duties. This section shall not prohibit (i) authorized wildlife management activities or hunting, fishing, or trapping authorized under any title of the Code of Virginia or regulations promulgated thereto or (ii) farming activities authorized under Title 3.2 of the Code of Virginia or regulations promulgated thereto.

Acts 2008, c. 860, eff. Oct. 1, 2008; Acts 2008, c. 543; Acts 2008, c. 707.

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Pursuant to the direction of the Virginia Code Commission, the amendments to former § 3.1-796.124 by Acts 2008, cc. 543 and 707 were applied to this section, and references were changed in subd. C.1 from "§ 3.1-796.66" to "§ 3.2-6500" and in subsec. F from "Title 3.1" to "Title 3.2".

Derivation:

Acts 1984, c. 408, § 29-213.92:1; Acts 1987, c. 488; Acts 1998, c. 817; Acts 1999, c. 113; Acts 2003, c. 857; § 3.1-796.124.

 

§ 3.2-6572. Reserved

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Former § 3.1-796.125, from which this section was derived, related to fighting cocks or other animals, attendance at fighting, and penalties, and was repealed by Acts 2008, cc. 543 and 707. Pursuant to the direction of the Virginia Code Commission and the recodification of Title 3.1 by Acts 2008, c. 860, § 3.2-6572 was reserved for future use. See, now, § 3.2-6571 for the former subject matter of this section.

 

§ 3.2-6573. Shooting birds for amusement, and renting premises for such purposes; penalty

Live pigeons or other birds or fowl shall not be kept or used for the purpose of a target, or to be shot at either for amusement or as a test of skill in marksmanship. It is a Class 4 misdemeanor to shoot at a bird kept or used as aforesaid, or to be a party to such shooting. Any person who lets any building, room, field or premises, or knowingly permits the use thereof for the purpose of such shooting is guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor.

Nothing contained herein shall apply to the shooting of wild game.

Acts 2008, c. 860, eff. Oct. 1, 2008.

 

Article 12. Miscellaneous Provisions


§ 3.2-6585. Dogs and cats deemed personal property; rights relating thereto

All dogs and cats shall be deemed personal property and may be the subject of larceny and malicious or unlawful trespass. Owners, as defined in § 3.2-6500, may maintain any action for the killing of any such animals, or injury thereto, or unlawful detention or use thereof as in the case of other personal property. The owner of any dog or cat that is injured or killed contrary to the provisions of this chapter by any person shall be entitled to recover the value thereof or the damage done thereto in an appropriate action at law from such person.

An animal control officer or other officer finding a stolen dog or cat, or a dog or cat held or detained contrary to law, shall have authority to seize and hold such animal pending action before a general district court or other court. If no such action is instituted within seven days, the animal control officer or other officer shall deliver the dog or cat to its owner.

The presence of a dog or cat on the premises of a person other than its legal owner shall raise no presumption of theft against the owner, and the animal control officer may take such animal and notify its legal owner. The legal owner of the animal shall pay a reasonable charge as the local governing body by ordinance shall establish for the keep of such animal while in the possession of the animal control officer.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 2008, c. 860, eff. Oct. 1, 2008.

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Derivation:

Acts 1984, c. 492, § 29-213.95; Acts 1987, c. 488; Acts 1988, c. 537; Acts 1998, c. 817; § 3.1-796.127.

 

§ 3.2-6586. Dog injuring or killing other companion animals

The owner of any companion animal that is injured or killed by a dog shall be entitled to recover damages consistent with the provisions of § 3.2-6585 from the owner of such dog in an appropriate action at law if: (i) the injury occurred on the premises of the companion animal's owner; and (ii) the owner of the offending dog did not have the permission of the companion animal's owner for the dog to be on the premises at the time of the attack.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 2008, c. 860, eff. Oct. 1, 2008.

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Derivation:

Acts 2003, c. 841; § 3.1-796.127:1.

 

§ 3.2-6587. Unlawful acts; penalties

A. The following shall be unlawful acts and are Class 4 misdemeanors:

1. For any person to make a false statement in order to secure a dog or cat license to which he is not entitled.

2. For any dog or cat owner to fail to pay any license tax required by this chapter before February 1 for the year in which it is due. In addition, the court may order confiscation and the proper disposition of the dog or cat.

3. For any dog owner to allow a dog to run at large in violation of an ordinance passed pursuant to § 3.2-6539.

4. For any person to fail to obey an ordinance passed pursuant to §§ 3.2-6522 and 3.2-6525.

5. For any owner to fail to dispose of the body of his companion animals in accordance with § 3.2-6554.

6. For the owner of any dog or cat with a contagious or infectious disease to permit such dog or cat to stray from his premises if such disease is known to the owner.

7. For any person to conceal or harbor any dog or cat on which any required license tax has not been paid.

8. For any person, except the owner or custodian, to remove a legally acquired license tag from a dog or cat without the permission of the owner or custodian.

9. Any other violation of this chapter for which a specific penalty is not provided.

B. It is a Class 1 misdemeanor for any person to:

1. Present a false claim or to receive any money on a false claim under the provisions of § 3.2-6553; or

2. Impersonate a humane investigator.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 2008, c. 860, eff. Oct. 1, 2008.

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Derivation:

Acts 1984, c. 492, § 29-213.99; Acts 1987, c. 488; Acts 1993, c. 174; Acts 1993, c. 775; Acts 1993, c. 817; Acts 1998, c. 817; § 3.1-796.128.

 

§ 3.2-6588. Intentional interference with a guide or leader dog; penalty

A. It is unlawful for a person to, without just cause, willfully impede or interfere with the duties performed by a dog if the person knows or has reason to believe the dog is a guide or leader dog. A violation of this subsection is a Class 3 misdemeanor.

B. It is unlawful for a person to, without just cause, willfully injure a dog if the person knows or has reason to believe the dog is a guide or leader dog. A violation of this subsection is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

“Guide or leader dog” means a dog that: (i) serves as a dog guide for a blind person as defined in § 51.5-60 or for a person with a visual disability; (ii) serves as a listener for a deaf or hard-of-hearing person as defined in § 51.5-111; or (iii) provides support or assistance for a physically disabled or handicapped person.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 2008, c. 860, eff. Oct. 1, 2008.

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Derivation:

Acts 1995, c. 209; § 3.1-796.128:1.

 

§ 3.2-6589. Selling garments containing dog or cat fur prohibited; penalty

It is unlawful for any person to sell a garment containing the hide, fur, or pelt that he knows to be that of a domestic dog or cat. A violation of this section is punishable by a fine of not more than $10,000.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 2008, c. 860, eff. Oct. 1, 2008.

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Derivation:

Acts 1999, c. 646; Acts 1999, c. 678; § 3.1-796.128:2.

 

§ 3.2-6590. Jurisdiction of general district courts; right of appeal

Unless otherwise provided, the provisions of this article may be enforced by any general district court in cities or counties wherein the offense is committed or the offender or owner may be found. Every such offender shall have the right of appeal to the appropriate circuit court.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 2008, c. 860, eff. Oct. 1, 2008.

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Derivation:

Acts 1984, c. 492, § 29-213.100; Acts 1987, c. 488; § 3.1-796.129. 
 

Title 18.2. Crimes and Offenses Generally. Chapter 8. Crimes Involving Morals and Decency. Article 3. Sexual Offenses, Prostitution, Etc.

§ 18.2-361. Crimes against nature; penalty

Held Unconstitutional by:

MacDonald v. Moose, 710 F.3d 154, 154+ (4th Cir.(Va.) Mar 12, 2013) (NO. 11-7427) 

A. If any person carnally knows in any manner any brute animal, or carnally knows any male or female person by the anus or by or with the mouth, or voluntarily submits to such carnal knowledge, he or she shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony, except as provided in subsection B.

B. Any person who performs or causes to be performed cunnilingus, fellatio, anilingus or anal intercourse upon or by his daughter or granddaughter, son or grandson, brother or sister, or father or mother is guilty of a Class 5 felony. However, if a parent or grandparent commits any such act with his child or grandchild and such child or grandchild is at least 13 but less than 18 years of age at the time of the offense, such parent or grandparent is guilty of a Class 3 felony.

C. For the purposes of this section, parent includes step-parent, grandparent includes step-grandparent, child includes step-child and grandchild includes step-grandchild.

Acts 1975, c. 14; Acts 1975, c. 15; Acts 1977, c. 285; Acts 1981, c. 397; Acts 1993, c. 450. Amended by Acts 2005, c. 185.

 

 



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