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Virginia

West's Annotated Code of Virginia. Title 3.2. Agriculture, Animal Care, and Food. Subtitle V. Domestic Animals. Chapter 59. General Provisions

Statute Details
Printable Version
Citation: Va. Code Ann. 3.2-5900 - 6590; 29.1-516.1

Citation: VA ST 3.2-5900 - 6590; 29.1-516.1


Last Checked by Web Center Staff: 11/2013

Summary:   These Virginia statutes comprise the state's dog laws.  Among the provisions include laws on the sale of dogs, rabies control laws, and sections concerning damage done by dogs.


Statute in Full:

Title 3.2. Agriculture, Animal Care, and Food. Subtitle V. Domestic Animals. Chapter 59. General Provisions

Rabies/Animal Health and Disease

§ 3.2-5900. Definitions

§ 3.2-5901. State Veterinarian and representatives

§ 3.2-5902. Certificate of veterinary inspection required for importation of certain pet animals; examination; exceptions; penalty

§ 3.2-5903. Laboratory for diagnosis of diseases

§ 3.2-5904. Authority of the Commissioner; coyotes

§ 3.2-5905. Compensation for animals slaughtered or animals or animal products destroyed to control or eradicate an animal disease outbreak

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

§ 3.2-6504. 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

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

Article 4. Boarding Establishments and Groomers

§ 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

§ 3.2-6521. Rabies inoculation of companion animals; availability of certificate; rabies clinics

§ 3.2-6522. Rabid animals

§ 3.2-6523. Inoculation for rabies at animal shelters

§ 3.2-6524. Unlicensed dogs prohibited; ordinances for licensing cats

§ 3.2-6525. Regulations to prevent spread of rabies

§ 3.2-6526. What dog or cat license shall consist of

§ 3.2-6527. How to obtain license

§ 3.2-6528. Amount of license tax

§ 3.2-6529. Veterinarians to provide treasurer with rabies certificate information; civil penalty

§ 3.2-6530. When license tax payable

§ 3.2-6531. Displaying receipts; dogs to wear tags

§ 3.2-6532. Duplicate license tags

§ 3.2-6533. Effect of dog or cat not wearing a license tag as evidence

§ 3.2-6534. Disposition of funds

§ 3.2-6535. Supplemental funds

§ 3.2-6536. Payment of license tax subsequent to summons

Article 6. Authority of Local Governing Bodies

§ 3.2-6537. Ordinances; penalties

§ 3.2-6538. Governing body of any locality may prohibit dogs from running at large

§ 3.2-6539. Ordinance requiring dogs to be kept on leash

§ 3.2-6540. Control of dangerous or vicious dogs; penalties

§ 3.2–6540.1. Vicious dogs; penalties

§ 3.2-6541. Authority to prohibit training of attack dogs

§ 3.2-6542. Establishment of Dangerous Dog Registry

§ 3.2-6543. Governing body of any locality may adopt certain ordinances

§ 3.2-6544. Regulation of keeping of animals and fowl

§ 3.2-6545. Regulation of sale of animals procured from animal shelters

§ 3.2-6546. County or city pounds; confinement and disposition of animals; affiliation with foster care providers; penalties; injunctive relief

§ 3.2-6547. Acceptance of animals for research or experimentation; prohibition

§ 3.2-6548. Animal shelters; confinement and disposition of animals; affiliation with foster care providers; penalties; injunctive relief

§ 3.2-6549. Releasing agencies other than pounds or animal shelters; confinement and disposition of companion animals; recordkeeping; affiliation with foster care providers; penalties

§ 3.2-6550. Requirements for foster homes penalty

§ 3.2-6551. Notification by individuals finding companion animals; penalty

§ 3.2-6552. Dogs killing, injuring or chasing livestock or poultry

§ 3.2-6553. Compensation for livestock and poultry killed by dogs

§ 3.2-6554. Disposal of dead companion animals

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

§ 3.2-6574. Sterilization of adopted dogs and cats; enforcement; civil penalty

§ 3.2-6575. Sterilization agreement

§ 3.2-6576. Sterilization confirmation; civil penalty

§ 3.2-6577. Notification concerning lost, stolen or dead dogs or cats; civil penalty

§ 3.2-6578. Exemptions

§ 3.2-6579. Releasing agency; fees and deposits

§ 3.2-6580. Civil penalties

Article 11. Hybrid Canines

§ 3.2-6581. Definitions

§ 3.2-6582. Hybrid canine ordinance; penalty

§ 3.2-6583. Hybrid canines killing, injuring or chasing livestock

§ 3.2-6584. Compensation for livestock and poultry killed by hybrid canines

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

Article 12. Miscellaneous Provisions (injury to service animals, prohibition on dog/cat fur)

§ 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 29.1. Game, Inland Fisheries and Boating. Chapter 5. Wildlife and Fish Laws. Article 2. Hunting and Trapping

§ 29.1-516.1. Using tracking dogs to retrieve bears or deer

 

 

 

 

Title 3.2. Agriculture, Animal Care, and Food. Subtitle V. Domestic Animals. Chapter 59. General Provisions

§ 3.2-5900. Definitions

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

"Accredited veterinarian" means a veterinarian approved by the Administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture in accordance with 9 C.F.R. Part 161, which includes the authority to issue health certificates.

"Animal" means any organism of the kingdom Animalia, other than a human being.

"Hatching egg" means any egg of any chicken, turkey, waterfowl, or game bird, or the egg of any other avian species that is used or intended to be used for hatching purposes.

"Horse" means any stallion, colt, gelding, mare, or filly.

"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 rabbits or hares raised for human food or fiber; or any other individual animal specifically raised for food or fiber, except companion animals.

"Passport" means a document that may be used in lieu of a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection and shall contain animal identifiers and health maintenance history such as vaccinations and laboratory tests.

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

"State Veterinarian" means the veterinarian employed by the Commissioner as provided in § 3.2-5901.

"State Veterinarian's representative" means any person who is either: (i) an employee of the Department under the direction of the State Veterinarian; or (ii) a veterinarian deputized pursuant to § 3. 2-5901.

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

Derivation:
Acts 1966, c. 702; Acts 1972, c. 531; Acts 1975, c. 115; Acts 1975, c. 260; Acts 1977, c. 186; Acts 1978, c. 219; Acts 1978, c. 540; Acts 1982, c. 150; Acts 1984, c. 492, § 29-213.36; Acts 1987, c. 488; Acts 1988, c. 538; Acts 1991, c. 348; Acts 1993, c. 174; Acts 1993, c. 455; Acts 1993, c. 959; Acts 1994, c. 261; Acts 1994, c. 370; Acts 1995, c. 10; Acts 1995, c. 610; Acts 1996, c. 996; Acts 1998, c. 817; Acts 2002, c. 351; Acts 2002, c. 500; Acts 2002, c. 787; Acts 2003, c. 544; Acts 2003, c. 551; Acts 2003, c. 1007; Acts 2005, c. 633; §§ 3.1-4, 3.1-14, 3.1-741.1, 3.1-741.3 and 3.1-796.66.

 
 
§ 3.2-5901. State Veterinarian and representatives
 
The Commissioner shall employ and direct a veterinarian who shall be known as the State Veterinarian, whose duties shall be to carry out the laws of the Commonwealth and the regulations of the Board and the Commissioner. The State Veterinarian and his representatives shall have the power to carry into effect all lawful orders given by the Board or the Commissioner.

The State Veterinarian may deputize, for a specific period of time, licensed veterinarians, veterinarians employed by the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, and veterinarians in the employment of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Derivation:
Acts 1966, c. 702; Acts 1978, c. 396; § 3.1-723.
 
 
§ 3.2-5902. Certificate of veterinary inspection required for importation of certain pet animals; examination; exceptions; penalty

A. It shall be unlawful for any person to import into the Commonwealth from another state any pet animal, including dogs, cats, monkeys, or other animals, ferae naturae, wild or tame under domestication or in custody, or any poultry not intended for commercial use that by its nature is fit for use only as a pet, unless such animal is accompanied by a certificate of veterinary inspection issued by an accredited veterinarian. Such certificate shall be on an official interstate certificate of veterinary inspection issued by the state of origin, shall be dated no more than 10 days before shipment, and shall contain such evidence of proof of the health of the animal as the Board, by regulation, may require.

B. Any animal imported into the Commonwealth without a certificate may be examined immediately by the State Veterinarian, his representative, or a licensed veterinarian designated by him, and the examination cost may be charged to the owner or the person in possession of the animal. If, in the opinion of the State Veterinarian or his representative, there is danger from contagion or infection, the animal may be placed in quarantine at the expense of the owner until all danger of infection or contagion has passed, whereupon the animal shall be released upon the order of the State Veterinarian or his representative.

C. The provisions of this section shall not apply to any ornamental aquarium fish or invertebrate animal, or an animal accompanied by a passport approved by the State Veterinarian. The provisions of this section shall also not apply to: (i) any animal as herein defined passing directly through the Commonwealth to another state in interstate commerce, or when such animal is kept properly under control by its owner or custodian when passing through the Commonwealth to another state; (ii) any animal brought into the Commonwealth by a resident or by a resident of another state who intends to make his residence in the Commonwealth except if brought into the Commonwealth with the intent of offering it for public sale, trade, or promotional incentive; or (iii) to any animal brought into the Commonwealth temporarily for the purpose of hunting or legal exhibition within this state.

D. Any person who violates any of the provisions of this section is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

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

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Derivation:
Acts 1966, c. 702; Acts 1993, c. 174; Acts 2001, c. 311; Acts 2001, c. 333; § 3.1-735.
 
 
§ 3.2-5903. Laboratory for diagnosis of diseases
 
The Commissioner shall maintain and operate a laboratory system for the diagnosis of diseases of livestock and poultry, and for such other uses and purposes as may be determined by the Commissioner.

Acts 2008, c. 860, eff. Oct. 1, 2008.
 
HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Derivation:
Acts 1966, c. 702; § 3.1-725.
 
 
§ 3.2-5904. Authority of the Commissioner; coyotes
 
The Commissioner may enter into agreements with local and state agencies, or other persons for the control of coyotes that pose a danger to agricultural animals. The Commissioner shall enter into an agreement with the federal government to reestablish the Virginia Cooperative Coyote Damage Control Program.

CREDIT(S)
Acts 2008, c. 860, eff. Oct. 1, 2008. Amended by Acts 2010, c. 761.

 
 
§ 3.2-5905. Compensation for animals slaughtered or animals or animal products destroyed to control or eradicate an animal disease outbreak

When, in the judgment of the State Veterinarian, it is necessary for the control or eradication of an animal disease outbreak to slaughter or destroy animals or destroy animal products affected with or exposed to such disease and when the Commissioner determines that there should be compensation to owners and, when applicable, individuals contracted by the owners to produce such animals or animal products for loss thereof, the Commissioner, with the approval of the Governor and the Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry, may, within his discretion, use funds so appropriated to pay to the appropriate persons a portion of the difference between the appraised value of each animal destroyed or slaughtered or animal product destroyed and the total value of the salvage thereof and any compensation made for each animal or animal product by the federal government.

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

Derivation:
Acts 2006, c. 443; § 3.1-741.7.
 


§ 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.

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Derivation:

Acts 1984, c. 492, § 29-213.37; Acts 1987, c. 488; § 3.1-796.67
 
 
§ 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.

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.

 
§ 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.
 
 
§ 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.

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

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Derivation:

Acts 1984, c. 492, § 29-213.43; Acts 1987, c. 488; Acts 1993, c. 174; Acts 2002, c. 351; Acts 2002, c. 787; Acts 2003, c. 1007; § 3.1-796.73.
 
 
§ 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.

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

Derivation:

Acts 1984, c. 492, § 29-213.47; Acts 1987, c. 488; § 3.1-796.77.
 
 
 
§ 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.

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

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Derivation:

Acts 1984, c. 492, § 29-213.44; Acts 1987, c. 488; Acts 1993, c. 174; Acts 1993, c. 959; § 3.1-796.74.
 
 
 
§ 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.

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

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Derivation:

Acts 1984, c. 492, § 29-213.46; Acts 1987, c. 488; Acts 1999, c. 620; § 3.1- 796.76.
 
 
 
§ 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.

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

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

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

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

 
 
§ 3.2-6507.5. Penalty

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.
 
 
§ 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.

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

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Derivation:

Acts 1993, c. 174; Acts 1996, c. 249; § 3.1-796.83:1.
 
 
§ 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.

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.

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.
 
 
§ 3.2-6521. Rabies inoculation of companion animals; availability of certificate; rabies clinics

A. The owner or custodian of all dogs and cats four months of age and older shall have such animal currently vaccinated for rabies by a licensed veterinarian or licensed veterinary technician who is under the immediate and direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian on the premises unless otherwise provided by regulations. The supervising veterinarian on the premises shall provide the owner or custodian of the dog or the cat with a rabies vaccination certificate or herd rabies vaccination certificate and shall keep a copy in his own files. The owner or custodian of the dog or the cat shall furnish within a reasonable period of time, upon the request of an animal control officer, humane investigator, law-enforcement officer, State Veterinarian's representative, or official of the Department of Health, the certificate of vaccination for such dog or cat. The vaccine used shall be licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for use in that species. At the discretion of the local health director, a medical record from a licensed veterinary establishment reflecting a currently vaccinated status may serve as proof of vaccination.

B. All rabies clinics require the approval by the appropriate local health department and governing body. The licensed veterinarian who administers rabies vaccinations at the clinic shall (i) provide the owner or custodian a rabies vaccination certificate for each vaccinated animal and (ii) ensure that a licensed veterinary facility retains a copy of the rabies vaccination certificate. The sponsoring organization of a rabies clinic shall, upon the request of the owner or custodian, an animal control officer, a humane investigator, a law-enforcement officer, a State Veterinarian's representative, a licensed veterinarian, or an official of the Department of Health, provide the name and contact information of the licensed veterinary facility where a copy of the rabies vaccination certificate is retained. However, the county or city shall ensure that a clinic is conducted to serve its jurisdiction at least once every two years.

C. Vaccination subsequent to a summons to appear before a court for failure to do so shall not operate to relieve such owner from the penalties or court costs provided under § 16.1-69.48:1 or 17.1-275.7.

D. The Board of Health shall, by regulation, provide an exemption to the requirements of subsection A if an animal suffers from an underlying medical condition that is likely to result in a life-threatening condition in response to vaccination and such exemption would not risk public health and safety. For the purposes of § 3.2-6522, such exemption shall mean that the animal is considered not currently vaccinated for rabies. For the purposes of §§ 3.2-5902, 3.2-6526, and 3.2-6527, such exemption shall be considered in place of a current certificate of vaccination.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 2008, c. 860, eff. Oct. 1, 2008. Amended by Acts 2009, c. 756; Acts 2010, c. 182; Acts 2010, c. 834; Acts 2013, c. 286.


§ 3.2-6522. Rabid animals

A. When there is sufficient reason to believe that the risk of exposure to rabies is elevated, the governing body of any locality may enact, and the local health director may recommend, an emergency ordinance that shall become effective immediately upon passage, requiring owners of all dogs and cats therein to keep the same confined on their premises unless leashed under restraint of the owner in such a manner that persons or animals will not be subject to the danger of being bitten by a rabid animal. Any such emergency ordinance enacted pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be operative for a period not to exceed 30 days unless renewed by the governing body of such locality in consultation with the local health director. The governing body of any locality shall also have the power and authority to pass ordinances restricting the running at large in their respective jurisdiction of dogs and cats that have not been inoculated or vaccinated against rabies and to provide penalties for the violation thereof.

B. Any dog or cat showing active signs of rabies or suspected of having rabies that is not known to have exposed a person, companion animal, or livestock to rabies shall be confined under competent observation for such a time as may be necessary to determine a diagnosis. If, in the discretion of the local health director, confinement is impossible or impracticable, such dog or cat shall be euthanized by one of the methods approved by the State Veterinarian as provided in § 3.2-6546. The disposition of other animals showing active signs of rabies shall be determined by the local health director and may include euthanasia and testing.

C. Every person having knowledge of the existence of an animal that is suspected to be rabid and that may have exposed a person, companion animal, or livestock to rabies shall report immediately to the local health department the existence of such animal, the place where seen, the owner's name, if known, and the signs suggesting rabies.

D. Any dog or cat, for which no proof of current rabies vaccination is available, and that may have been exposed to rabies through a bite, or through saliva or central nervous system tissue, in a fresh open wound or mucous membrane, by an animal suspected to be rabid, shall be isolated in a pound, kennel, or enclosure approved by the local health department for a period not to exceed six months at the expense of the owner or custodian in a manner and by a date certain as determined by the local health director. A rabies vaccination shall be administered by a licensed veterinarian prior to release. Inactivated rabies vaccine may be administered at the beginning of isolation. Any dog or cat so bitten, or exposed to rabies through saliva or central nervous system tissue, in a fresh open wound or mucous membrane with proof of current vaccination, shall be revaccinated by a licensed veterinarian immediately following the exposure and shall be confined to the premises of the owner or custodian, or other site as may be approved by the local health department at the expense of the owner or custodian, for a period of 45 days. If the local health director determines that isolation is not feasible or maintained, such dog or cat shall be euthanized by one of the methods approved by the State Veterinarian as provided in § 3.2-6546. The disposition of such dogs or cats not so confined shall be at the discretion of the local health director.

E. At the discretion of the local health director, any animal that may have exposed a person shall be confined under competent observation for 10 days at the expense of the owner or custodian, unless the animal develops active signs of rabies, expires, or is euthanized before that time. A seriously injured or sick animal may be euthanized as provided in § 3.2-6546.

F. When any suspected rabid animal, other than a dog or cat, exposes or may have exposed a person to rabies through a bite, or through saliva or central nervous system tissue, in a fresh open wound or mucous membrane, decisions regarding the disposition of that animal shall be at the discretion of a local health director and may include euthanasia as provided in § 3.2-6546, or as directed by the state agency with jurisdiction over that species. When any animal, other than a dog or cat, is exposed or may have been exposed to rabies through a bite, or through saliva or central nervous system tissue, in a fresh open wound or mucous membrane, by an animal suspected to be rabid, decisions regarding the disposition of that newly exposed animal shall be at the discretion of a local health director.

G. When any animal may have exposed a person to rabies and subsequently expires due to illness or euthanasia, either within an observation period, where applicable, or as part of a public health investigation, its head or brain shall be sent to the Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services of the Department of General Services or be tested as directed by the local health department.

CREDIT(S)
Acts 2008, c. 860, eff. Oct. 1, 2008. Amended by Acts 2010, c. 834.

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Derivation:

Acts 1984, c. 492; Acts 1984, c. 527, § 29-213.68; Acts 1987, c. 488; Acts 1988, c. 538; Acts 1991, c. 380; Acts 2003, c. 479; § 3.1-796.98.

 

§ 3.2-6523. Inoculation for rabies at animal shelters

Dogs and cats being adopted from an animal shelter during the period an emergency ordinance is in force, as provided for in § 3.2-6522 may be inoculated for rabies by a certified animal technician at such shelter if the certified animal technician is under the immediate and direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian.

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

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Derivation:

Acts 1984, c. 384, § 29-213.68:1; Acts 1987, c. 488; § 3.1-796.99.

 

§ 3.2-6524. Unlicensed dogs prohibited; ordinances for licensing cats

A. It shall be unlawful for any person other than a releasing agency that has registered as such annually with local animal control to own a dog four months old or older in the Commonwealth unless such dog is licensed, as required by the provisions of this article.

B. The governing body of any locality may, by ordinance, prohibit any person other than a releasing agency that has registered as such annually with local animal control from owning a cat four months old or older within such locality unless such cat is licensed as provided by this article.

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

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Derivation:
Acts 1984, c. 492, § 29-213.55; Acts 1987, c. 488; Acts 1988, c. 538; Acts 1993, c. 817; Acts 2007, c. 640; § 3.1-796.85.

 

§ 3.2-6525. Regulations to prevent spread of rabies

A. The governing body of any locality may adopt such ordinances, regulations or other measures as may be deemed reasonably necessary to prevent the spread within its boundaries of the disease of rabies. Penalties may be provided for the violation of any such ordinances. If the ordinance declares the existence of an emergency, then the ordinance shall be in force upon passage.

B. The governing body of any locality may adopt an ordinance creating a program for the distribution of oral rabies vaccine within its boundaries to prevent the spread of rabies. An ordinance enacted pursuant to this subsection on or after July 1, 2010, shall be developed in consultation with the Department of Health and with written authorization from the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries in accordance with § 29.1-508.1 and shall contain the following provisions:

1. Notice shall be given to the owner or occupant of property prior to the entry upon the property for the purpose of the distribution of oral rabies vaccine or the use of any other methods to place oral rabies vaccine on the property. Notice shall be given by: (i) sending two letters by first-class mail, at successive intervals of not less than two weeks set forth in the ordinance; and (ii) printing a copy thereof, at least once, in a newspaper of general circulation in the locality concerned. Written notice shall be in a form approved by the governing body and shall include a description of the purpose for which entry upon the property is to be made, the time and method of rabies vaccine distribution at the property, and the submission deadline for requests by any owner or occupant of property who wishes to be excluded from the oral rabies vaccine distribution program.

2. The owner or occupant of property may refuse to allow the distribution of oral rabies vaccine upon such property. The ordinance shall establish procedures to be followed by any owner or occupant who wishes to be excluded from the oral rabies vaccine distribution program, including the time and method by which requests for nonparticipation must be received. If the governing body receives a request for nonparticipation by the owner or occupant of property for the distribution of oral rabies vaccine, no further action shall be taken to distribute oral vaccine, on such property for a period of one year.

Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to limit any authority for the distribution of oral rabies vaccine otherwise provided by law.

CREDIT(S)
Acts 2008, c. 860, eff. Oct. 1, 2008. Amended by Acts 2010, c. 834.

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES
 
Derivation:

Acts 1984, c. 492, § 29-213.69; Acts 1987, c. 488; Acts 2001, c. 674; § 3.1-796.100.

 

§ 3.2-6526. What dog or cat license shall consist of

A. A dog or cat license shall consist of a license receipt and a metal tag. The tag shall be stamped or otherwise permanently marked to show the jurisdiction issuing the license and bear a serial number or other identifying information prescribed by the locality.

B. No license tag shall be issued for any dog or cat unless there is presented, to the treasurer or other officer of the locality, or other agent charged by law with the duty of issuing license tags for dogs and cats, satisfactory evidence that such dog or cat has been inoculated or vaccinated against rabies by a currently licensed veterinarian or currently licensed veterinary technician who was under the immediate and direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian on the premises.

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

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Derivation:

Acts 1984, c. 492, § 29-213.60; Acts 1984, c. 492, § 29-213.67; Acts 1987, c. 488; Acts 1993, c. 817; Acts 1996, c. 351; Acts 2006, c. 836; §§ 3.1-796.90 and 3.1-796.97.

 

§ 3.2-6527. How to obtain license

Any person may obtain a dog license or cat license if required by an ordinance adopted pursuant to subsection B of § 3.2-6524, by making oral or written application to the treasurer of the locality where such person resides, accompanied by the amount of license tax and current certificate of vaccination as required by this article or satisfactory evidence that such certificate has been obtained. The treasurer or other officer charged with the duty of issuing dog and cat licenses shall only have authority to license dogs and cats of resident owners or custodians who reside within the boundary limits of his county or city and may require information to this effect from any applicant. Upon receipt of proper application and current certificate of vaccination as required by this article or satisfactory evidence that such certificate has been obtained, the treasurer or other officer charged with the duty of issuing dog and cat licenses shall issue a license receipt for the amount on which he shall record the name and address of the owner or custodian, the date of payment, the year for which issued, the serial number of the tag, whether dog or cat, whether male or female, whether spayed or neutered, or whether a kennel, and deliver the metal license tags or plates provided for herein. The information thus received shall be retained by the treasurer, open to public inspection, during the period for which such license is valid. The treasurer may establish substations in convenient locations in the county or city and appoint agents for the collection of the license tax and issuance of such licenses.

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

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Derivation:

Acts 1984, c. 492, § 29-213.56; Acts 1987, c. 488; Acts 1991, c. 77; Acts 1993, c. 817; Acts 2006, c. 836; § 3.1-796.86.
 
 
§ 3.2-6528. Amount of license tax

The governing body of each county or city shall impose by ordinance a license tax on the ownership of dogs within its jurisdiction. The governing body of any locality that has adopted an ordinance pursuant to subsection B of § 3.2-6524 shall impose by ordinance a license tax on the ownership of cats within its jurisdiction. The governing body may establish different rates of taxation for ownership of female dogs, male dogs, spayed or neutered dogs, female cats, male cats, and spayed or neutered cats. The tax for each dog or cat shall not be less than $1 and not more than $10 for each year. If the dog or cat has been spayed, the tax shall not exceed the tax provided for a male dog or cat. Any ordinance may provide for a license tax for kennels of 10, 20, 30, 40, or 50 dogs or cats not to exceed $50 for any one such block of kennels.

No license tax shall be levied on any dog that is trained and serves as a guide dog for a blind person, that is trained and serves as a hearing dog for a deaf or hearing impaired person or that is trained and serves as a service dog for a mobility-impaired person.

As used in this section, "hearing dog" means a dog trained to alert its owner by touch to sounds of danger and sounds to which the owner should respond and "service dog" means a dog trained to accompany its owner for the purpose of carrying items, retrieving objects, pulling a wheelchair or other such activities of service or support.

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

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Derivation:

Acts 1984, c. 248; Acts 1984, c. 492, § 29-213.57; Acts 1986, c. 169; Acts 1987, c. 488; Acts 1993, c. 817; Acts 1994, c. 108; Acts 2006, c. 836; § 3.1-796.87.

 

§ 3.2-6529. Veterinarians to provide treasurer with rabies certificate information; civil penalty
 
A. Each veterinarian who vaccinates a dog against rabies or directs a veterinary technician in his employ to vaccinate a dog against rabies shall provide the owner a copy of the rabies vaccination certificate. The veterinarian shall forward within 45 days a copy of the rabies vaccination certificate or the relevant information contained in such certificate to the treasurer of the locality where the vaccination occurs.

The rabies vaccination certificate shall include at a minimum the signature of the veterinarian, the animal owner's name and address, the species of the animal, the sex, the age, the color, the primary breed, whether or not the animal is spayed or neutered, the vaccination number, and expiration date. The rabies vaccination certificate shall indicate the locality where the animal resides.

B. It shall be the responsibility of the owner of each vaccinated animal that is not already licensed to apply for a license for the vaccinated dog. Beginning January 1, 2008, if the treasurer determines, from review of the rabies vaccination information provided by veterinarians, that the owner of an unlicensed dog has failed to apply for a license within 90 days of the date of vaccination, the treasurer shall transmit an application to the owner and request the owner to submit a completed application and pay the appropriate fee. Upon receipt of the completed application and payment of the license fee, the treasurer or other agent charged with the duty of issuing the dog licenses shall issue a license receipt and a permanent tag. The treasurer shall retain only the information that is required to be collected and open to public inspection pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter and shall forthwith destroy any rabies vaccination certificate or other similar record transmitted by a veterinarian to a treasurer pursuant to this section.

The treasurer shall remit any rabies vaccination certificate received for any animal owned by an individual residing in another locality to the local treasurer for the appropriate locality.

Any veterinarian that willfully fails to provide the treasurer of any locality with a copy of the rabies vaccination certificate or the information contained in such certificate may be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $10 per certificate. Monies raised pursuant to this subsection shall be placed in the locality's general fund for the purpose of animal control activities including spay or neuter programs.

Acts 2008, c. 860, eff. Oct. 1, 2008; Acts 2008, c. 16.

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Derivation:
Acts 2006, c. 836; Acts 2007, c. 270; § 3.1-796.87:1.

 

§ 3.2-6530. When license tax payable

A. The license tax as prescribed in § 3.2-6528 is due not later than 30 days after a dog or cat has reached the age of four months, or not later than 30 days after an owner acquires a dog or cat four months of age or older and each year thereafter.

B. Licensing periods for individual dogs and cats may be equal to and may run concurrently with the rabies vaccination effective period. Any kennel license tax prescribed pursuant to § 3.2-6528 shall be due on January 1 and not later than January 31 of each year.

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

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Derivation:

Acts 1984, c. 248, Acts 1984, c. 492, § 29-213.58; Acts 1986, c. 169; Acts 1987, c. 488; Acts 1990, c. 365; Acts 1993, c. 817; Acts 2006, c. 836; § 3.1-796.88.

 

§ 3.2-6531. Displaying receipts; dogs to wear tags

Dog and cat license receipts shall be carefully preserved by the licensees and exhibited promptly on request for inspection by any animal control officer or other officer. Dog license tags shall be securely fastened to a substantial collar by the owner or custodian and worn by such dog. It shall be unlawful for the owner to permit any licensed dog four months old or older to run or roam at large at any time without a license tag. The owner of the dog may remove the collar and license tag required by this section when: (i) the dog is engaged in lawful hunting; (ii) the dog is competing in a dog show; (iii) the dog has a skin condition that would be exacerbated by the wearing of a collar; (iv) the dog is confined; or (v) the dog is under the immediate control of its owner.

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

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Derivation:

Acts 1984, c. 492, § 29-213.62; Acts 1987, c. 488; Acts 1990, c. 365; Acts 1993, c. 817; Acts 1998, c. 817; § 3.1-796.92.
 
 
§ 3.2-6532. Duplicate license tags

If a dog or cat license tag is lost, destroyed or stolen, the owner or custodian shall at once apply to the treasurer or his agent who issued the original license for a duplicate license tag, presenting the original license receipt. Upon affidavit of the owner or custodian before the treasurer or his agent that the original license tag has been lost, destroyed or stolen, he shall issue a duplicate license tag that the owner or custodian shall immediately affix to the collar of the dog. The treasurer or his agent shall endorse the number of the duplicate and the date issued on the face of the original license receipt. The fee for a duplicate tag for any dog or cat shall be $1.

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

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Derivation:

Acts 1984, c. 492, § 29-213.61; Acts 1987, c. 488; Acts 1993, c. 817; § 3.1- 796.91.
 
 
§ 3.2-6533. Effect of dog or cat not wearing a license tag as evidence

Any dog or cat not wearing a collar bearing a valid license tag shall prima facie be deemed to be unlicensed, and in any proceedings under this chapter the burden of proof of the fact that such dog or cat has been licensed, or is otherwise not required to bear a tag at the time, shall be on the owner of the dog or cat.

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

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Derivation:

Acts 1984, c. 492, § 29-213.59; Acts 1987, c. 488; Acts 1993, c. 817; Acts 2006, c. 836; § 3.1-796.89.
 
 
§ 3.2-6534. Disposition of funds

Unless otherwise provided by ordinance of the local governing body, the treasurer of each locality shall keep all moneys collected by him for dog and cat license taxes in a separate account from all other funds collected by him. The locality shall use the funds for the following purposes:

1. The salary and expenses of the animal control officer and necessary staff;

2. The care and maintenance of a pound;

3. The maintenance of a rabies control program;

4. Payments as a bounty to any person neutering or spaying a dog up to the amount of one year of the license tax as provided by ordinance;

5. Payments for compensation as provided in § 3.2-6553; and

6. Efforts to promote sterilization of dogs and cats.

Any part or all of any surplus remaining in such account on December 31 of any year may be transferred by the governing body of such locality into the general fund of such locality.

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

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Derivation:
Acts 1984, c. 492, § 29-213.70; Acts 1987, c. 488; Acts 1993, c. 959; Acts 1998, c. 817; § 3.1-796.101.
 
 
§ 3.2-6535. Supplemental funds

Localities may supplement the dog and cat license tax fund with other funds as they consider appropriate. Localities shall supplement the dog and cat license tax fund to the extent necessary to provide for the salary and expenses of the animal control officer and staff and the care and maintenance of a pound as provided in subdivisions 1 and 2 of § 3.2-6534.

Acts 2008, c. 860, eff. Oct. 1, 2008.
HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Derivation:
Acts 1984, c. 492, § 29-213.71; Acts 1987, c. 488; Acts 1998, c. 817; § 3.1- 796.102.
 
 
§ 3.2-6536. Payment of license tax subsequent to summons

Payment of the license tax subsequent to a summons to appear before a court for failure to pay the license tax within the time required shall not operate to relieve such owner from the penalties or court costs provided under § 16.1-69.48:1 or 17.1-275.7.

CREDIT(S)
Acts 2008, c. 860, eff. Oct. 1, 2008. Amended by Acts 2009, c. 756.

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Derivation:

Acts 1984, c. 492, § 29-213.72; Acts 1987, c. 488; § 3.1-796.103.

 
§ 3.2-6537. Ordinances; penalties

The governing body of any locality may, by ordinance, require a person operating a pet shop or operating as a dealer in companion animals to obtain a permit. Such local governing body may charge no more than $50 per year for such permit. The revenues derived therefrom shall be used for the administration and enforcement of such ordinance.

The aforementioned ordinance may provide: (i) that records be kept by the permittees as are deemed necessary; (ii) for public hearing prior to issuance, renewal or revocation of any such permit; or (iii) for the denial of issuance, denial of renewal or for the revocation of such permit for fraudulent practices or inhumane treatment of the animals dealt with by the permittee.

The ordinance may provide for either a criminal penalty not to exceed a Class 3 misdemeanor or a civil penalty not to exceed $500 for any violation of the ordinance. Any civil penalties collected shall be deposited by the local treasurer pursuant to § 3.2-6534.

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

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Derivation:

Acts 1984, c. 492, § 29-213.54; Acts 1987, c. 488; Acts 2005, c. 307; § 3.1- 796.84.
 
 
§ 3.2-6538. Governing body of any locality may prohibit dogs from running at large

The governing body of any locality may prohibit the running at large of all or any category of dogs in all or any designated portion of such locality during such months as they may designate. Governing bodies may also require that dogs be confined, restricted or penned up during such periods. For the purpose of this section, a dog shall be deemed to run at large while roaming, running or self-hunting off the property of its owner or custodian and not under its owner's or custodian's immediate control. Any person who permits his dog to run at large, or remain unconfined, unrestricted or not penned up shall be deemed to have violated the provisions of this section.

Acts 2008, c. 860, eff. Oct. 1, 2008.
HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Derivation:
Acts 1984, c. 492, § 29-213.63; Acts 1987, c. 488; § 3.1-796.93.
 
 
§ 3.2-6539. Ordinance requiring dogs to be kept on leash

The governing body of any locality may adopt ordinances requiring that dogs within any such locality be kept on a leash or otherwise restrained and may, by resolution directed to the circuit court, request the court to order a referendum as to whether any such ordinance so adopted shall become effective. Such referendum shall be held and conducted, and the results thereof ascertained and certified in accordance with § 24.2-684. The court shall require the governing body to give appropriate notice of the time, place and subject matter of such referendum.

The results of the referendum shall not be binding upon the governing body of the locality but may be used in ascertaining the sense of the voters.

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

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Derivation:

Acts 1984, c. 492, § 29-213.65; Acts 1987, c. 488; § 3.1-796.95.
 
 
§ 3.2-6540. Control of dangerous or vicious dogs; penalties

A. As used in this section:

“Dangerous dog” means a canine or canine crossbreed that has bitten, attacked, or inflicted injury on a person or companion animal that is a dog or cat, or killed a companion animal that is a dog or cat. When a dog attacks or bites a companion animal that is a dog or cat, the attacking or biting dog shall not be deemed dangerous (i) if no serious physical injury as determined by a licensed veterinarian has occurred to the dog or cat as a result of the attack or bite; (ii) if both animals are owned by the same person; (iii) if such attack occurs on the property of the attacking or biting dog's owner or custodian; or (iv) for other good cause as determined by the court. No dog shall be found to be a dangerous dog as a result of biting, attacking, or inflicting injury on a dog or cat while engaged with an owner or custodian as part of lawful hunting or participating in an organized, lawful dog handling event. No dog that has bitten, attacked, or inflicted injury on a person shall be found to be a dangerous dog if the court determines, based on the totality of the evidence before it, that the dog is not dangerous or a threat to the community.

B. Any law-enforcement officer or animal control officer who has reason to believe that a canine or canine crossbreed within his jurisdiction is a dangerous dog shall apply to a magistrate serving the jurisdiction for the issuance of a summons requiring the owner or custodian, if known, to appear before a general district court at a specified time. The summons shall advise the owner of the nature of the proceeding and the matters at issue. If a law-enforcement officer successfully makes an application for the issuance of a summons, he shall contact the local animal control officer and inform him of the location of the dog and the relevant facts pertaining to his belief that the dog is dangerous. The animal control officer shall confine the animal until such time as evidence shall be heard and a verdict rendered. If the animal control officer determines that the owner or custodian can confine the animal in a manner that protects the public safety, he may permit the owner or custodian to confine the animal until such time as evidence shall be heard and a verdict rendered. The court, through its contempt powers, may compel the owner, custodian, or harborer of the animal to produce the animal. If, after hearing the evidence, the court finds that the animal is a dangerous dog, the court shall order the animal's owner to comply with the provisions of this section. The court, upon finding the animal to be a dangerous dog, may order the owner, custodian, or harborer thereof to pay restitution for actual damages to any person injured by the animal or whose companion animal was injured or killed by the animal. The court, in its discretion, may also order the owner to pay all reasonable expenses incurred in caring and providing for such dangerous dog from the time the animal is taken into custody until such time as the animal is disposed of or returned to the owner. The procedure for appeal and trial shall be the same as provided by law for misdemeanors. Trial by jury shall be as provided in Article 4 (§ 19.2-260 et seq.) of Chapter 15 of Title 19.2. The Commonwealth shall be required to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

C. No canine or canine crossbreed shall be found to be a dangerous dog solely because it is a particular breed, nor is the ownership of a particular breed of canine or canine crossbreed prohibited. No animal shall be found to be a dangerous dog if the threat, injury, or damage was sustained by a person who was (i) committing, at the time, a crime upon the premises occupied by the animal's owner or custodian; (ii) committing, at the time, a willful trespass upon the premises occupied by the animal's owner or custodian; or (iii) provoking, tormenting, or physically abusing the animal, or can be shown to have repeatedly provoked, tormented, abused, or assaulted the animal at other times. No police dog that was engaged in the performance of its duties as such at the time of the acts complained of shall be found to be a dangerous dog. No animal that, at the time of the acts complained of, was responding to pain or injury, or was protecting itself, its kennel, its offspring, a person, or its owner's or custodian's property, shall be found to be a dangerous dog.

D. If the owner of an animal found to be a dangerous dog is a minor, the custodial parent or legal guardian shall be responsible for complying with all requirements of this section.

E. The owner of any animal found to be a dangerous dog shall, within 45 days of such finding, obtain a dangerous dog registration certificate from the local animal control officer or treasurer for a fee of $150, in addition to other fees that may be authorized by law. The local animal control officer or treasurer shall also provide the owner with a uniformly designed tag that identifies the animal as a dangerous dog. The owner shall affix the tag to the animal's collar and ensure that the animal wears the collar and tag at all times. By January 31 of each year, until such time as the dangerous dog is deceased, all certificates obtained pursuant to this subsection shall be updated and renewed for a fee of $85 and in the same manner as the initial certificate was obtained. The animal control officer shall post registration information on the Virginia Dangerous Dog Registry.

F. All dangerous dog registration certificates or renewals thereof required to be obtained under this section shall only be issued to persons 18 years of age or older who present satisfactory evidence (i) of the animal's current rabies vaccination, if applicable; (ii) that the animal has been neutered or spayed; and (iii) that the animal is and will be confined in a proper enclosure or is and will be confined inside the owner's residence or is and will be muzzled and confined in the owner's fenced-in yard until the proper enclosure is constructed. In addition, owners who apply for certificates or renewals thereof under this section shall not be issued a certificate or renewal thereof unless they present satisfactory evidence that (a) their residence is and will continue to be posted with clearly visible signs warning both minors and adults of the presence of a dangerous dog on the property and (b) the animal has been permanently identified by means of electronic implantation. All certificates or renewals thereof required to be obtained under this section shall only be issued to persons who present satisfactory evidence that the owner has liability insurance coverage, to the value of at least $100,000, that covers animal bites. The owner may obtain and maintain a bond in surety, in lieu of liability insurance, to the value of at least $100,000.

G. While on the property of its owner, an animal found to be a dangerous dog shall be confined indoors or in a securely enclosed and locked structure of sufficient height and design to prevent its escape or direct contact with or entry by minors, adults, or other animals. While so confined within the structure, the animal shall be provided for according to § 3.2-6503. When off its owner's property, an animal found to be a dangerous dog shall be kept on a leash and muzzled in such a manner as not to cause injury to the animal or interfere with the animal's vision or respiration, but so as to prevent it from biting a person or another animal.

H. The owner shall cause the local animal control officer to be promptly notified of (i) the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of all owners; (ii) all of the means necessary to locate the owner and the dog at any time; (iii) any complaints or incidents of attack by the dog upon any person or cat or dog; (iv) any claims made or lawsuits brought as a result of any attack; (v) chip identification information; (vi) proof of insurance or surety bond; and (vii) the death of the dog.

I. After an animal has been found to be a dangerous dog, the animal's owner shall immediately, upon learning of same, cause the local animal control authority to be notified if the animal (i) is loose or unconfined; (ii) bites a person or attacks another animal; or (iii) is sold, is given away, or dies. Any owner of a dangerous dog who relocates to a new address shall, within 10 days of relocating, provide written notice to the appropriate local animal control authority for the old address from which the animal has moved and the new address to which the animal has been moved.

J. Any owner or custodian of a canine or canine crossbreed or other animal is guilty of a:

1. Class 2 misdemeanor if the canine or canine crossbreed previously declared a dangerous dog pursuant to this section, when such declaration arose out of a separate and distinct incident, attacks and injures or kills a cat or dog that is a companion animal belonging to another person;

2. Class 1 misdemeanor if the canine or canine crossbreed previously declared a dangerous dog pursuant to this section, when such declaration arose out of a separate and distinct incident, bites a human being or attacks a human being causing bodily injury; or

3. Class 6 felony if any owner or custodian whose willful act or omission in the care, control, or containment of a canine, canine crossbreed, or other animal is so gross, wanton, and culpable as to show a reckless disregard for human life, and is the proximate cause of such dog or other animal attacking and causing serious bodily injury to any person.

The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to any animal that, at the time of the acts complained of, was responding to pain or injury, or was protecting itself, its kennel, its offspring, a person, or its owner's or custodian's property, or when the animal is a police dog that is engaged in the performance of its duties at the time of the attack.

K. The owner of any animal that has been found to be a dangerous dog who willfully fails to comply with the requirements of this section is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Whenever an owner or custodian of an animal found to be a dangerous dog is charged with a violation of this section, the animal control officer shall confine the dangerous dog until such time as evidence shall be heard and a verdict rendered. The court, through its contempt powers, may compel the owner, custodian, or harborer of the animal to produce the animal.

Upon conviction, the court may (i) order the dangerous dog to be disposed of by a local governing body pursuant to § 3.2-6562 or (ii) grant the owner up to 45 days to comply with the requirements of this section, during which time the dangerous dog shall remain in the custody of the animal control officer until compliance has been verified. If the owner fails to achieve compliance within the time specified by the court, the court shall order the dangerous dog to be disposed of by a local governing body pursuant to § 3.2-6562. The court, in its discretion, may order the owner to pay all reasonable expenses incurred in caring and providing for such dangerous dog from the time the animal is taken into custody until such time that the animal is disposed of or returned to the owner.

L. All fees collected pursuant to this section, less the costs incurred by the animal control authority in producing and distributing the certificates and tags required by this section and fees due to the State Veterinarian for maintenance of the Virginia Dangerous Dog Registry, shall be paid into a special dedicated fund in the treasury of the locality for the purpose of paying the expenses of any training course required under § 3.2-6556.

M. The governing body of any locality may enact an ordinance parallel to this statute regulating dangerous dogs. No locality may impose a felony penalty for violation of such ordinances.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 2008, c. 860, eff. Oct. 1, 2008; Acts 2008, c. 360; Acts 2008, c. 551; Acts 2008, c. 691. Amended by Acts 2009, c. 377; Acts 2012, c. 107; Acts 2012, c. 236; Acts 2013, c. 58; Acts 2013, c. 732.

 

§ 3.2-6540.1. Vicious dogs; penalties

A. As used in this section:

“Serious injury” means an injury having a reasonable potential to cause death or any injury other than a sprain or strain, including serious disfigurement, serious impairment of health, or serious impairment of bodily function and requiring significant medical attention.

“Vicious dog” means a canine or canine crossbreed that has (i) killed a person, (ii) inflicted serious injury to a person, or (iii) continued to exhibit the behavior that resulted in a previous finding by a court or, on or before July 1, 2006, by an animal control officer as authorized by ordinance that it is a dangerous dog, provided that its owner has been given notice of that finding.

B. Any law-enforcement officer or animal control officer who has reason to believe that a canine or canine crossbreed within his jurisdiction is a vicious dog shall apply to a magistrate serving the jurisdiction for the issuance of a summons requiring the owner or custodian, if known, to appear before a general district court at a specified time. The summons shall advise the owner of the nature of the proceeding and the matters at issue. If a law-enforcement officer successfully makes an application for the issuance of a summons, he shall contact the local animal control officer and inform him of the location of the dog and the relevant facts pertaining to his belief that the dog is vicious. The animal control officer shall confine the animal until such time as evidence shall be heard and a verdict rendered. The court, through its contempt powers, may compel the owner, custodian, or harborer of the animal to produce the animal. If, after hearing the evidence, the court finds that the animal is a vicious dog, the court shall order the animal euthanized in accordance with the provisions of § 3.2-6562. The court, upon finding the animal to be a vicious dog, may order the owner, custodian, or harborer thereof to pay restitution for actual damages to any person injured by the animal or to the estate of any person killed by the animal. The court, in its discretion, may also order the owner to pay all reasonable expenses incurred in caring and providing for such vicious dog from the time the animal is taken into custody until such time as the animal is disposed of. The procedure for appeal and trial shall be the same as provided by law for misdemeanors. Trial by jury shall be as provided in Article 4 (§ 19.2-260 et seq.) of Chapter 15 of Title 19.2. The Commonwealth shall be required to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

C. No canine or canine crossbreed shall be found to be a vicious dog solely because it is a particular breed, nor is the ownership of a particular breed of canine or canine crossbreed prohibited. No animal shall be found to be a vicious dog if the threat, injury, or damage was sustained by a person who was (i) committing, at the time, a crime upon the premises occupied by the animal's owner or custodian; (ii) committing, at the time, a willful trespass upon the premises occupied by the animal's owner or custodian; or (iii) provoking, tormenting, or physically abusing the animal, or can be shown to have repeatedly provoked, tormented, abused, or assaulted the animal at other times. No police dog that was engaged in the performance of its duties as such at the time of the acts complained of shall be found to be a vicious dog. No animal that, at the time of the acts complained of, was responding to pain or injury or was protecting itself, its kennel, its offspring, a person, or its owner's or custodian's property, shall be found to be a vicious dog.

D. Any owner or custodian of a canine or canine crossbreed or other animal whose willful act or omission in the care, control, or containment of a canine, canine crossbreed, or other animal is so gross, wanton, and culpable as to show a reckless disregard for human life and is the proximate cause of such dog or other animal attacking and causing serious injury to any person is guilty of a Class 6 felony. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to any animal that, at the time of the acts complained of, was responding to pain or injury or was protecting itself, its kennel, its offspring, a person, or its owner's or custodian's property, or when the animal is a police dog that is engaged in the performance of its duties at the time of the attack.

E. The governing body of any locality may enact an ordinance parallel to this statute regulating vicious dogs. No locality may impose a felony penalty for violation of such ordinances.

CREDIT(S)

Added by Acts 2013, c. 58; Acts 2013, c. 732.


§ 3.2-6541. Authority to prohibit training of attack dogs 

Fairfax County may enact an ordinance that prohibits persons from training dogs on residential property to attack. As used in this section, "attack" means to attack or respond aggressively, either with or without command. Any such ordinance shall exempt from its provisions the training of dogs owned by any person who resides on the property.

Acts 2008, c. 860, eff. Oct. 1, 2008.
HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Derivation:

 Acts 1999, c. 848; § 3.1-796.93:2.
 
 
§ 3.2-6542. Establishment of Dangerous Dog Registry

The Commissioner shall establish the Virginia Dangerous Dog Registry to be maintained by the Department, Office of Animal Care and Health Policy. The State Veterinarian shall maintain information provided and posted by animal control officers or other such officials statewide on a website. All information collected for the Dangerous Dog Registry shall be available to animal control officers via the website. Registration information shall include the name of the animal, a photograph, sex, age, weight, primary breed, secondary breed, color and markings, whether spayed or neutered, the acts that resulted in the dog being designated as dangerous and associated trial docket information, microchip or tattoo number, address where the animal is maintained, name of the owner, address of the owner, telephone numbers of the owner, and a statement that the owner has complied with the provisions of the dangerous dog order. The address of the owner along with the name and breed of the dangerous dog, the acts that resulted in the dog being deemed dangerous, and information necessary to access court records of the adjudication shall be available to the general public. By January 31 of each year, until such time as the dangerous dog is deceased, the owner shall submit to an animal control officer or other designated local official of the county or city in which he currently resides a renewal registration that shall include all information contained in the original registration and any updates. The owner shall verify the information is accurate by annual resubmissions. The animal control officer or other such official shall post any updates on the website. In the event that the dangerous dog is moved to a different location, or contact information for the owner changes in any way at any time, the owner shall submit a renewal containing the address of the new location or other updated information within 10 days of such move or change to an animal control officer or other such official for the new location. There shall be no charge for any updated information provided between renewals. Each county and city shall submit to the State Veterinarian by January 31 of each year $90 for each dangerous dog it initially registered and $25 for each dangerous dog for which it renewed registration within the previous calendar year. Any funds collected pursuant to this section shall be used by the State Veterinarian to maintain the registry and website. The website list shall be known as the Virginia Dangerous Dog Registry.

Actions of the Department relating to the establishment, operation, and maintenance of the Virginia Dangerous Dog Registry under this section shall be exempt from the provisions of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.).

Copies of all records, documents, and other papers pertaining to the Dangerous Dog Registry that are duly certified and authenticated in writing on the face of such documents to be true copies by the State Veterinarian or the Dangerous Dog Registry administrator shall be received as evidence with like effect as the original records, documents, or other papers in all courts of the Commonwealth.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 2008, c. 860, eff. Oct. 1, 2008. Amended by Acts 2009, c. 354; Acts 2012, c. 107; Acts 2012, c. 236.

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Derivation:

Acts 2006, c. 837; Acts 2006, c. 864; Acts 2006, c. 898; § 3.1-796.93:3.

 
§ 3.2-6543. Governing body of any locality may adopt certain ordinances

A. The governing body of any locality of the Commonwealth may adopt, and make more stringent, ordinances that parallel §§ 3.2-6521 through 3.2-6539, 3.2-6546 through 3.2-6555, 3.2-6562, 3.2-6569, 3.2-6570, 3.2-6574 through 3.2-6580, and 3.2-6585 through 3.2-6590. Any town may choose to adopt by reference any ordinance of the surrounding county adopted under this section to be applied within its town limits, in lieu of adopting an ordinance of its own.
Any funds collected pursuant to the enforcement of ordinances adopted pursuant to the provisions of this section may be used for the purpose of defraying the costs of local animal control, including efforts to promote sterilization of cats and dogs.

B. Any locality may, by ordinance, establish uniform schedules of civil penalties for violations of specific provisions of ordinances adopted pursuant to this section. Civil penalties may not be imposed for violations of ordinances that parallel § 3.2-6570. Designation of a particular violation for a civil penalty shall be in lieu of criminal sanctions and preclude prosecution of such violation as a criminal misdemeanor. The schedule for civil penalties shall be uniform for each type of specified violation and the penalty for any one violation shall not be more than $150. Imposition of civil penalties shall not preclude an action for injunctive, declaratory or other equitable relief. Moneys raised pursuant to this subsection shall be placed in the locality's general fund.

An animal control officer or law-enforcement officer may issue a summons for a violation. Any person summoned or issued a ticket for a scheduled violation may make an appearance in person or in writing by mail to the department of finance or the treasurer of the locality issuing the summons or ticket prior to the date fixed for trial in court. Any person so appearing may enter a waiver of trial, admit liability, and pay the civil penalty established for the offense charged.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 2008, c. 860, eff. Oct. 1, 2008. Amended by Acts 2009, c. 107, eff. Feb. 25, 2009.

Derivation:

Acts 1976, c. 182, § 15.1-29.1:1; Acts 1984, c. 492, § 29-213.64; Acts 1987, c. 488; Acts 1993, c. 959; Acts 1993, c. 959; Acts 1994, c. 115; Acts 1994, c. 630; Acts 1995, c. 832; Acts 1997, c. 587; Acts 1998, c. 817; Acts 2005, c. 304; § 3.1-796.94. 

 
§ 3.2-6544. Regulation of keeping of animals and fowl

A. Any locality may, for the preservation of public health, regulate by ordinance the keeping of animals or fowl, other than dogs and cats, within a certain distance of residences or other buildings or wells, springs, streams, creeks, or brooks, and provide that all or certain of such animals shall not be kept within certain areas.

B. Any locality may, by ordinance, prohibit cruelty to and abuse of animals and fowl; and may regulate or prohibit the running at large and the keeping of animals and fowl and provide for the impounding and confiscation of any such animal or fowl found at large or kept in violation of such regulations. Any such ordinance may require that owners of any exotic or poisonous animal found running at large pay a fee to cover the locality's actual cost in locating and capturing or otherwise disposing of the animal.

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

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Derivation:

Acts 1997, c. 411; Acts 1997, c. 587; Acts 1999, c. 663; § 3.1-796.94:1.
 
 
§ 3.2-6545. Regulation of sale of animals procured from animal shelters

Any locality that maintains or supports, in whole or in part, a pound or animal shelter may by ordinance provide that no person who acquires an animal from such pound or shelter shall be able to sell the animal within a period of six months from the time the animal is acquired from the shelter. Violation of the ordinance is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

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

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Derivation:

Acts 1972, c. 347, § 15.1-517.1; Acts 1997, c. 587; § 3.1-796.94:2.
 
 
§ 3.2-6546. County or city pounds; confinement and disposition of animals; affiliation with foster care providers; penalties; injunctive relief

A. For purposes of this section:

"Animal" shall not include agricultural animals.

"Rightful owner" means a person with a right of property in the animal.

B. The governing body of each county or city shall maintain or cause to be maintained a pound and shall require dogs running at large without the tag required by § 3.2-6531 or in violation of an ordinance passed pursuant to § 3.2-6538 to be confined therein. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit confinement of other companion animals in such a pound. The governing body of any county or city need not own the facility required by this section but may contract for its establishment with a private group or in conjunction with one or more other local governing bodies. The governing body shall require that:

1. The pound shall be accessible to the public at reasonable hours during the week;

2. The pound shall obtain a signed statement from each of its directors, operators, staff, or animal caregivers specifying that each individual has never been convicted of animal cruelty, neglect, or abandonment, and each pound shall update such statement as changes occur;

3. If a person contacts the pound inquiring about a lost companion animal, the pound shall advise the person if the companion animal is confined at the pound or if a companion animal of similar description is confined at the pound;

4. The pound shall maintain a written record of the information on each companion animal submitted to the pound by an animal shelter in accordance with subsection D of § 3.2-6548 for a period of 30 days from the date the information is received by the pound. If a person contacts the pound inquiring about a lost companion animal, the pound shall check its records and make available to such person any information submitted by an animal shelter or allow such person inquiring about a lost animal to view the written records;

5. The pound shall maintain a written record of the information on each companion animal submitted to the pound by a releasing agency other than a pound or animal shelter in accordance with subdivision F 2 of § 3.2-6549 for a period of 30 days from the date the information is received by the pound. If a person contacts the pound inquiring about a lost companion animal, the pound shall check its records and make available to such person any information submitted by such releasing agency or allow such person inquiring about a lost companion animal to view the written records; and

6. The pound shall maintain a written record of the information on each companion animal submitted to the pound by an individual in accordance with subdivision A 2 of § 3.2-6551 for a period of 30 days from the date the information is received by the pound. If a person contacts the pound inquiring about a lost companion animal, the pound shall check its records and make available to such person any information submitted by the individual or allow such person inquiring about a lost companion animal to view the written records.

C. An animal confined pursuant to this section shall be kept for a period of not less than five days, such period to commence on the day immediately following the day the animal is initially confined in the facility, unless sooner claimed by the rightful owner thereof.

The operator or custodian of the pound shall make a reasonable effort to ascertain whether the animal has a collar, tag, license, tattoo, or other form of identification. If such identification is found on the animal, the animal shall be held for an additional five days, unless sooner claimed by the rightful owner. If the rightful owner of the animal can be readily identified, the operator or custodian of the pound shall make a reasonable effort to notify the owner of the animal's confinement within the next 48 hours following its confinement.

If any animal confined pursuant to this section is claimed by its rightful owner, such owner may be charged with the actual expenses incurred in keeping the animal impounded. In addition to this and any other fees that might be levied, the locality may, after a public hearing, adopt an ordinance to charge the owner of an animal a fee for impoundment and increased fees for subsequent impoundments of the same animal.

D. If an animal confined pursuant to this section has not been claimed upon expiration of the appropriate holding period as provided by subsection C, it shall be deemed abandoned and become the property of the pound.

Such animal may be euthanized in accordance with the methods approved by the State Veterinarian or disposed of by the methods set forth in subdivisions 1 through 5. No pound shall release more than two animals or a family of animals during any 30-day period to any one person under subdivisions 2, 3, or 4.

1. Release to any humane society, animal shelter, or other releasing agency within the Commonwealth, provided that each humane society, animal shelter, or other releasing agency obtains a signed statement from each of its directors, operators, staff, or animal caregivers specifying that each individual has never been convicted of animal cruelty, neglect, or abandonment and updates such statements as changes occur;

2. Adoption by a resident of the county or city where the pound is operated and who will pay the required license fee, if any, on such animal, provided that such resident has read and signed a statement specifying that he has never been convicted of animal cruelty, neglect, or abandonment;

3. Adoption by a resident of an adjacent political subdivision of the Commonwealth, if the resident has read and signed a statement specifying that he has never been convicted of animal cruelty, neglect, or abandonment;

4. Adoption by any other person, provided that such person has read and signed a statement specifying that he has never been convicted of animal cruelty, neglect, or abandonment, and provided that no dog or cat may be adopted by any person who is not a resident of the county or city where the pound is operated, or of an adjacent political subdivision, unless the dog or cat is first sterilized, and the pound may require that the sterilization be done at the expense of the person adopting the dog or cat; or

5. Release for the purposes of adoption or euthanasia only, to an animal shelter, or any other releasing agency located in and lawfully operating under the laws of another state, provided that such animal shelter, or other releasing agency: (i) maintains records that would comply with § 3.2- 6557; (ii) requires that adopted dogs and cats be sterilized; (iii) obtains a signed statement from each of its directors, operators, staff, and animal caregivers specifying that each individual has never been convicted of animal cruelty, neglect, or abandonment, and updates such statement as changes occur; and (iv) has provided to the pound, animal shelter, or other releasing agency within the Commonwealth a statement signed by an authorized representative specifying the entity's compliance with clauses (i) through (iii), and the provisions of adequate care and performance of humane euthanasia, as necessary in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

For purposes of recordkeeping, release of an animal by a pound to a pound, animal shelter or other releasing agency shall be considered a transfer and not an adoption. If the animal is not first sterilized, the responsibility for sterilizing the animal transfers to the receiving entity.

Any proceeds deriving from the gift, sale, or delivery of such animals shall be paid directly to the treasurer of the locality. Any proceeds deriving from the gift, sale, or delivery of such animals by an animal shelter or other releasing agency shall be paid directly to the clerk or treasurer of the animal shelter or other releasing agency for the expenses of the society and expenses incident to any agreement concerning the disposing of such animal. No part of the proceeds shall accrue to any individual except for the aforementioned purposes.

E. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the immediate euthanasia of a critically injured, critically ill, or unweaned animal for humane purposes. Any animal euthanized pursuant to the provisions of this chapter shall be euthanized by one of the methods prescribed or approved by the State Veterinarian.

F. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the immediate euthanasia or disposal by the methods listed in subdivisions 1 through 5 of subsection D of an animal that has been released to a pound, animal shelter, other releasing agency, or animal control officer by the animal's rightful owner after the rightful owner has read and signed a statement: (i) surrendering all property rights in such animal; (ii) stating that no other person has a right of property in the animal; and (iii) acknowledging that the animal may be immediately euthanized or disposed of in accordance with subdivisions 1 through 5 of subsection D.

G. Nothing in this section shall prohibit any feral dog or feral cat not bearing a collar, tag, tattoo, or other form of identification that, based on the written statement of a disinterested person, exhibits behavior that poses a risk of physical injury to any person confining the animal, from being euthanized after being kept for a period of not less than three days, at least one of which shall be a full business day, such period to commence on the day the animal is initially confined in the facility, unless sooner claimed by the rightful owner. The statement of the disinterested person shall be kept with the animal as required by § 3.2-6557. For purposes of this subsection, a disinterested person shall not include a person releasing or reporting the animal.

H. No pound shall place a companion animal in a foster home with a foster care provider unless the foster care provider has read and signed a statement specifying that he has never been convicted of animal cruelty, neglect, or abandonment, and each pound shall update such statement as changes occur. The pound shall maintain the original statement and any updates to such statement in accordance with this chapter and for at least so long as the pound has an affiliation with the foster care provider.

I. A pound that places a companion animal in a foster home with a foster care provider shall ensure that the foster care provider complies with § 3.2- 6503.

J. If a pound finds a direct and immediate threat to a companion animal placed with a foster care provider, it shall report its findings to the animal control agency in the locality where the foster care provider is located.

K. The governing body shall require that the pound be operated in accordance with regulations issued by the Board. If this chapter or such regulations are violated, the locality may be assessed a civil penalty by the Board or its designee in an amount that does not exceed $1,000 per violation. Each day of the violation is a separate offense. In determining the amount of any civil penalty, the Board or its designee shall consider: (i) the history of previous violations at the pound; (ii) whether the violation has caused injury to, death or suffering of, an animal; and (iii) the demonstrated good faith of the locality to achieve compliance after notification of the violation. All civil penalties assessed under this section shall be recovered in a civil action brought by the Attorney General in the name of the Commonwealth. Such civil penalties shall be paid into a special fund in the state treasury to the credit of the Department to be used in carrying out the purposes of this chapter.

L. If this chapter or any laws governing pounds are violated, the Commissioner may bring an action to enjoin the violation or threatened violation of this chapter or the regulations pursuant thereto regarding pounds, in the circuit court where the pound is located. The Commissioner may request the Attorney General to bring such an action, when appropriate.

Acts 2008, c. 860, eff. Oct. 1, 2008; Acts 2008, c. 345.

Derivation:
Acts 1984, c. 492, §§ 29-213.66, 29-213.89; Acts 1985, c. 21; Acts 1987, c. 488; Acts 1989, c. 344; Acts 1993, c. 601; Acts 1993, c. 817; Acts 1994, c. 936; Acts 1995, c. 496; Acts 1996, c. 213; Acts 1997, c. 159; Acts 1997, c. 286; Acts 1998, c. 817; Acts 1999, c. 627; Acts 1999, c. 672; Acts 2000, c. 1010; Acts 2002, c. 53; Acts 2002, c. 208; Acts 2002, c. 787; Acts 2003, c. 770; Acts 2003, c. 1007; §§ 3.1-796.96 and 3.1-796.120.

 

§ 3.2-6547. Acceptance of animals for research or experimentation; prohibition

No person shall use or accept for the purpose of medical research or experimentation any animal bearing a tag, license, or tattooed identification, unless the individual who owns such animal consents thereto in writing.

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

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Derivation:

Acts 1990, c. 904; § 3.1-796.96:1.
 
 
§ 3.2-6548. Animal shelters; confinement and disposition of animals; affiliation with foster care providers; penalties; injunctive relief

A. An animal shelter may confine and dispose of animals in accordance with the provisions of subsections B through G of § 3.2-6546.

B. Each animal shelter shall obtain a signed statement from each of its directors, operators, staff, and animal caregivers specifying that the individual has never been convicted of animal cruelty, neglect, or abandonment, and each animal shelter shall update such statement as changes occur.

C. The State Veterinarian or his representative shall inspect an animal shelter prior to the animal shelter confining or disposing of animals pursuant to this section. The animal shelter shall meet the requirements of all laws with regard to confinement and disposition of animals before the animal shelter is approved to receive animals and provide a reasonable and comfortable climate appropriate for the age, species, condition, size, and type of animal.

D. An animal shelter that confines an animal that has not been received from its owner shall, pursuant to this section, transmit a description of the animal including at least species, color, breed, size, sex, and other identification or markings and where the animal was found, and its contact information, including its name, address, and telephone number, to the pound in the county or city where the animal was found within 48 hours of the animal shelter receiving the animal. An animal shelter that confines and disposes of animals pursuant to this subsection shall be accessible to the public at reasonable hours, shall have its telephone number and address listed in a telephone directory, and shall post its contact information, including at least its name, address, and telephone number, in the pound in the locality where the animal shelter is located.

E. For purposes of recordkeeping, release of an animal by an animal shelter to a pound, animal shelter or other releasing agency shall be considered a transfer and not an adoption. If the animal is not first sterilized, the responsibility for sterilizing the animal transfers to the receiving entity.

F. No animal shelter shall place a companion animal in a foster home with a foster care provider unless the foster care provider has read and signed a statement specifying that he has never been convicted of animal cruelty, neglect, or abandonment, and the animal shelter shall update the statement as changes occur. The animal shelter shall maintain the original statement and any updates to such statement in accordance with this chapter and for at least so long as the animal shelter has an affiliation with the foster care provider.

G. An animal shelter that places a companion animal in a foster home with a foster care provider shall ensure that the foster care provider complies with § 3.2-6503.

H. If an animal shelter finds a direct and immediate threat to a companion animal placed with a foster care provider, it shall report its findings to the animal control agency in the locality where the foster care provider is located.

I. No animal shelter shall be operated in violation of any local zoning ordinance.

J. An animal shelter that confines and disposes of animals pursuant to this section shall be operated in accordance with this chapter. If this chapter is violated, the animal shelter may be assessed a civil penalty by the Board or its designee in an amount that does not exceed $1,000 per violation. Each day of the violation is a separate offense. In determining the amount of any civil penalty, the Board or its designee shall consider: (i) the history of previous violations at the animal shelter; (ii) whether the violation has caused injury to, death or suffering of, an animal; and (iii) the demonstrated good faith of the animal shelter to achieve compliance after notification of the violation. All civil penalties assessed under this section shall be recovered in a civil action brought by the Attorney General in the name of the Commonwealth. Such civil penalties shall be paid into a special fund in the state treasury to the credit of the Department to be used in carrying out the purposes of this chapter.

K. If this chapter or any laws governing animal shelters are violated, the Commissioner may bring an action to enjoin the violation or threatened violation of this chapter or the regulations pursuant thereto regarding animal shelters, in the circuit court where the animal shelter is located. The Commissioner may request the Attorney General to bring such an action, when appropriate.

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

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Derivation:

Acts 2001, c. 727; Acts 2002, c. 53; Acts 2002, c. 208; Acts 2002, c. 787; Acts 2003, c. 770; Acts 2003, c. 1007; § 3.1-796.96:2.
 
 
§ 3.2-6549. Releasing agencies other than pounds or animal shelters; confinement and disposition of companion animals; recordkeeping; affiliation with foster care providers; penalties

A. A releasing agency other than a pound or animal shelter:

1. May confine and dispose of companion animals in accordance with subsections B through G of § 3.2-6546; and

2. Shall keep accurate records of each companion animal received for two years from the date of disposition of the companion animal. Records shall: (i) include a description of the companion animal including species, color, breed, sex, approximate weight, age, reason for release, owner's or finder's name, address and telephone number, license number or other identifying tags or markings, as well as disposition of the companion animal; and (ii) be made available upon request to the Department, animal control officers, and law-enforcement officers at mutually agreeable times. A releasing agency other than a pound or animal shelter shall submit a summary of such records to the State Veterinarian annually in a format prescribed by him, wherein a post office box may be substituted for a home address.

3. For purposes of recordkeeping, release of a companion animal by a releasing agency to a pound, animal shelter or other releasing agency shall be considered a transfer and not an adoption. If the animal is not first sterilized, the responsibility for sterilizing the animal transfers to the receiving entity.

B. Each releasing agency other than a pound or animal shelter shall obtain a signed statement from each of its directors, operators, staff, or animal caregivers specifying that each individual has never been convicted of animal cruelty, neglect, or abandonment, and each such releasing agency shall update such statement as changes occur.

C. No releasing agency other than a pound or animal shelter shall place a companion animal in a foster home with a foster care provider unless the foster care provider has read and signed a statement specifying that the foster care provider has never been convicted of animal cruelty, neglect, or abandonment, and such releasing agency shall update the statement as changes occur. A releasing agency other than a pound or animal shelter shall maintain the original statement and any updates to such statement for so long as the releasing agency has an affiliation with the foster care provider.

D. A releasing agency other than a pound or animal shelter that places a companion animal in a foster home with a foster care provider shall ensure that the foster care provider complies with § 3.2-6503.

E. If a releasing agency other than a pound or animal shelter finds a direct and immediate threat to a companion animal placed with a foster care provider, it shall report its findings to the animal control agency in the area where the foster care provider is located.

F. Any releasing agency other than a pound or animal shelter that finds a companion animal or receives a companion animal that has not been released by its owner and: (i) provides care or safekeeping; or (ii) takes possession of such companion animal shall, within 48 hours:

1. Make a reasonable attempt to notify the owner of the companion animal, if the owner can be ascertained from any tag, license, collar, tattoo, or other identification or markings, or if the owner of the companion animal is otherwise known to the releasing agency; and

2. Notify the pound that serves the locality where the companion animal was found and provide to the pound contact information including at least a name and a contact telephone number, a description of the companion animal including at least species, breed, sex, size, color, information from any tag, license, collar, tattoo, or other identification or markings, and the location where the companion animal was found.

G. A releasing agency other than a pound or animal shelter shall comply with the provisions of § 3.2-6503.

H. No releasing agency other than a pound or animal shelter shall be operated in violation of any local zoning ordinance.

I. A releasing agency other than a pound or animal shelter that violates any provision of this section, other than subsection G, may be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $250.

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

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Derivation:
Acts 2002, c. 787; Acts 2003, c. 770; Acts 2003, c. 1007; § 3.1-796.96:5.
 
 
§ 3.2-6550. Requirements for foster homes; penalty

In addition to any other requirements of this chapter, foster homes shall be subject to the following:

1. No foster home shall be operated in violation of any local zoning ordinance; and

2. No foster home shall keep more than 50 companion animals on-site at one time.

Any foster home found in violation of this section may be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $250.

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

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Derivation:
Acts 2003, c. 1007; § 3.1-796.96:6.
 
 
§ 3.2-6551. Notification by individuals finding companion animals; penalty

A. Any individual who finds a companion animal and: (i) provides care or safekeeping; or (ii) retains a companion animal in such a manner as to control its activities shall, within 48 hours:

1. Make a reasonable attempt to notify the owner of the companion animal, if the owner can be ascertained from any tag, license, collar, tattoo, or other form of identification or markings, or if the owner of the animal is otherwise known to the individual; and

2. Notify the pound that serves the locality where the companion animal was found and provide to the pound contact information including at least a name and a contact telephone number, a description of the animal including information from any tag, license, collar, tattoo, or other identification or markings, and the location where the companion animal was found.

B. If an individual finds a companion animal and: (i) provides care or safekeeping; or (ii) retains a companion animal in such a manner as to control its activities, the individual shall comply with the provisions of § 3.2- 6503.

C. Any individual who violates this section may be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $50 per companion animal.

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

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Derivation:
Acts 2003, c. 1007; § 3.1-796.96:7.
 
 
§ 3.2-6552. Dogs killing, injuring or chasing livestock or poultry

It shall be the duty of any animal control officer or other officer who may find a dog in the act of killing or injuring livestock or poultry to kill such dog forthwith whether such dog bears a tag or not. Any person finding a dog committing any of the depredations mentioned in this section shall have the right to kill such dog on sight as shall any owner of livestock or his agent finding a dog chasing livestock on land utilized by the livestock when the circumstances show that such chasing is harmful to the livestock. Any court shall have the power to order the animal control officer or other officer to kill any dog known to be a confirmed livestock or poultry killer, and any dog killing poultry for the third time shall be considered a confirmed poultry killer. The court, through its contempt powers, may compel the owner, custodian, or harborer of the dog to produce the dog.

Any animal control officer who has reason to believe that any dog is killing livestock or poultry shall be empowered to seize such dog solely for the purpose of examining such dog in order to determine whether it committed any of the depredations mentioned herein. Any animal control officer or other person who has reason to believe that any dog is killing livestock, or committing any of the depredations mentioned in this section, shall apply to a magistrate serving the locality wherein the dog may be, who shall issue a warrant requiring the owner or custodian, if known, to appear before a general district court at a time and place named therein, at which time evidence shall be heard. If it shall appear that the dog is a livestock killer, or has committed any of the depredations mentioned in this section, the district court shall order that the dog be: (i) killed immediately by the animal control officer or other officer designated by the court; or (ii) removed to another state that does not border on the Commonwealth and prohibited from returning to the Commonwealth. Any dog ordered removed from the Commonwealth that is later found in the Commonwealth shall be ordered by a court to be killed immediately.

Acts 2008, c. 860, eff. Oct. 1, 2008; Acts 2008, c. 551; Acts 2008, c. 691.

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Derivation:

Acts 1984, c. 492, § 29-213.85; Acts 1985, c. 385; Acts 1987, c. 488; Acts 1990, c. 222; Acts 1993, c. 977; Acts 1998, c. 817; § 3.1-796.116.

 

§ 3.2-6553. Compensation for livestock and poultry killed by dogs

Any person who has any livestock or poultry killed or injured by any dog not his own shall be entitled to receive as compensation the fair market value of such livestock or poultry not to exceed $400 per animal or $10 per fowl if: (i) the claimant has furnished evidence within 60 days of discovery of the quantity and value of the dead or injured livestock and the reasons the claimant believes that death or injury was caused by a dog; (ii) the animal control officer or other officer shall have been notified of the incident within 72 hours of its discovery; and (iii) the claimant first has exhausted his legal remedies against the owner, if known, of the dog doing the damage for which compensation under this section is sought. Exhaustion shall mean a judgment against the owner of the dog upon which an execution has been returned unsatisfied.

Local jurisdictions may by ordinance waive the requirements of (ii) or (iii) or both provided that the ordinance adopted requires that the animal control officer has conducted an investigation and that his investigation supports the claim. Upon payment under this section the local governing body shall be subrogated to the extent of compensation paid to the right of action to the owner of the livestock or poultry against the owner of the dog and may enforce the same in an appropriate action at law.

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

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Derivation:

Acts 1984, c. 492, § 29-213.87; Acts 1986, c. 108; Acts 1987, c. 488; Acts 1992, c. 461; Acts 1998, c. 817; § 3.1-796.118.

 

§ 3.2-6554. Disposal of dead companion animals

The owner of any companion animal shall forthwith cremate, bury, or sanitarily dispose of the animal upon its death. If, after notice, any owner fails to do so, the animal control officer or other officer shall bury or cremate the companion animal, and he may recover on behalf of the local jurisdiction from the owner his cost for this service.

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

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Derivation:

Acts 1984, c. 492, § 29-213.90; Acts 1987, c. 488; Acts 1993, c. 174; Acts 1998, c. 817; § 3.1-796.121.
 
 
 Article 10. Mandatory Sterilization of Dogs and Cats Adopted from Releasing Agencies

§ 3.2-6574. Sterilization of adopted dogs and cats; enforcement; civil penalty

A. Every new owner of a dog or cat adopted from a releasing agency shall cause to be sterilized the dog or cat pursuant to the agreement required by subdivision 2 of subsection B of this article.

B. A dog or cat shall not be released for adoption from a releasing agency unless:

1. The animal has already been sterilized; or

2. The individual adopting the animal signs an agreement to have the animal sterilized by a licensed veterinarian: (i) within 30 days of the adoption, if the animal is sexually mature; or (ii) within 30 days after the animal reaches six months of age, if the animal is not sexually mature at the time of adoption.

C. A releasing agency may extend for 30 days the date by which a dog or cat must be sterilized on presentation of a written report from a veterinarian stating that the life or health of the adopted animal may be jeopardized by sterilization. In cases involving extenuating circumstances, the veterinarian and the releasing agency may negotiate the terms of an extension of the date by which the animal must be sterilized.

D. Nothing in this section shall preclude the sterilization of a sexually immature dog or cat upon the written agreement of the veterinarian, the releasing agency, and the new owner.

E. Upon the petition of an animal control officer, humane investigator, the State Veterinarian or a State Veterinarian's representative to the district court of the county or city where a violation of this article occurs, the court may order the new owner to take any steps necessary to comply with the requirements of this article. This remedy shall be exclusive of and in addition to any civil penalty that may be imposed under this article.

F. Any person who violates subsection A or B of this section shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $250.

CREDIT(S)
Acts 2008, c. 860, eff. Oct. 1, 2008. Amended by Acts 2010, c. 875.

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES
 
Derivation:

Acts 1993, c. 959; Acts 1998, c. 817; § 3.1-796.126:1.
 
 
§ 3.2-6575. Sterilization agreement

Any agreement used by a releasing agency pursuant to subsection B of § 3.2- 6574 shall contain:

1. The date of the agreement;

2. The names, addresses, and signatures of the releasing agency and the new owner;

3. A description of the dog or cat to be adopted;

4. The date by which the dog or cat is required to be sterilized; and

5. A statement printed in conspicuous, bold print, that sterilization of the dog or cat is required under this article; that a person who violates this article is subject to a civil penalty; and that the new owner may be compelled to comply with the provisions of this article.

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

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Derivation:
Acts 1993, c. 959; § 3.1-796.126:2.

 

§ 3.2-6576. Sterilization confirmation; civil penalty

Each new owner who signs a sterilization agreement shall, within seven days of the sterilization, cause to be delivered or mailed to the releasing agency written confirmation signed by the veterinarian who performed the sterilization. The confirmation shall briefly describe the dog or cat; include the new owner's name and address; certify that the sterilization was performed; and specify the date of the procedure. Any person who violates this section shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $150.

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

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Derivation:

Acts 1993, c. 959; Acts 1999, c. 627; Acts 1999, c. 672; § 3.1-796.126:3.

 

§ 3.2-6577. Notification concerning lost, stolen or dead dogs or cats; civil penalty

If an adopted dog or cat is lost or stolen or dies before the animal is sterilized and before the date by which the dog or cat is required to be sterilized, the new owner shall, within seven days of the animal's disappearance or death, notify the releasing agency of the animal's disappearance or death. Any person who violates this section shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $25.

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

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Derivation:

Acts 1993, c. 959; § 3.1-796.126:4.

 

§ 3.2-6578. Exemptions

This article shall not apply to:

1. An owner reclaiming his dog or cat from a releasing agency;

2. A releasing agency within a locality that has adopted a more stringent mandatory sterilization ordinance; and

3. A local governing body that has disposed of an animal by sale or gift to a federal agency, state-supported institution, agency of the Commonwealth, agency of another state, or licensed federal dealer having its principal place of business located within the Commonwealth.

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

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Derivation:

Acts 1993, c. 959; § 3.1-796.126:5.

 

§ 3.2-6579. Releasing agency; fees and deposits

A local governing body or releasing agency may charge and collect from the new owner a fee or deposit before releasing a dog or cat for adoption to ensure sterilization.

Acts 2008, c. 860, eff. Oct. 1, 2008.
HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Derivation:
Acts 1993, c. 959; § 3.1-796.126:6.
 
 
§ 3.2-6580. Civil penalties

Any animal control officer, humane investigator, releasing agency, the State Veterinarian or State Veterinarian's representative shall be entitled to bring a civil action for any violation of this article that is subject to a civil penalty. Any civil penalty assessed pursuant to this article shall be paid into the treasury of the city or county where such civil action is brought and used for the purpose of defraying the costs of local animal control, including efforts to promote sterilization of cats and dogs.

Acts 2008, c. 860, eff. Oct. 1, 2008.
HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Derivation:
Acts 1993, c. 959; Acts 1998, c. 817; Acts 2002, c. 787; § 3.1-796.126:7.
 
 
§ 3.2-6581. Definitions

As used in this article:

"Adequate confinement" means that, while on the property of its owner and not under the direct supervision and control of the owner or custodian, a hybrid canine shall be confined in a humane manner in a securely enclosed and locked structure of sufficient height and design to: (i) prevent the animal's escape; or if the hybrid canine is determined to be a dangerous dog pursuant to § 3.2-6540, the structure shall prevent direct contact with any person or animal not authorized by the owner to be in direct contact with the hybrid canine; and (ii) provide a minimum of 100 square feet of floor space for each adult animal. Tethering of a hybrid canine not under the direct supervision and control of the owner or custodian shall not be considered adequate confinement.

"Hybrid canine" means any animal that at any time has been or is permitted, registered, licensed, advertised or otherwise described or represented as a hybrid canine, wolf or coyote by its owner to a licensed veterinarian, law-enforcement officer, animal control officer, humane investigator, official of the Department of Health, or State Veterinarian's representative.

"Responsible ownership" means the ownership and humane care of a hybrid canine in such a manner as to comply with all laws and ordinances regarding hybrid canines and prevent endangerment by the animal to public health and safety.

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

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Derivation:
Acts 1997, c. 918; Acts 1998, c. 817; § 3.1-796.126:8.
 
 
§ 3.2-6582. Hybrid canine ordinance; penalty

A. Any locality may, by ordinance, establish a permit system to ensure the adequate confinement and responsible ownership of hybrid canines. Such ordinance may include requirements pertaining to: (i) the term and expiration date of the permit; (ii) the number of hybrid canines that may be owned by a permittee; (iii) identification tags or tattooing of the animal; (iv) where the animal may be kept; (v) handling of the animal while not on the property of the owner; and (vi) information required to be provided when applying for a permit, such as the sex, color, height, vaccination records, length, or identifying marks of the hybrid canine. The ordinance shall not require that hybrid canines be disposed of by the owner unless the owner fails to obtain or renew any required permit or violates a provision of the ordinance or any other law pertaining to the responsible ownership of the hybrid canine. The locality may impose a permit fee to cover the cost of the permitting system.

B. Violation of an ordinance enacted pursuant to this section is a Class 3 misdemeanor for the first violation and a Class 1 misdemeanor for any subsequent violation. The ordinance may require a violator to surrender the hybrid canine for euthanasia in accordance with § 3.2-6562.

C. The provisions of this section shall not affect any ordinance adopted prior July 1, 1997.

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

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Derivation:

Acts 1997, c. 918; § 3.1-796.126:9.
 
 
§ 3.2-6583. Hybrid canines killing, injuring or chasing livestock

It shall be the duty of any animal control officer or other officer who may find a hybrid canine in the act of killing or injuring livestock or poultry to kill such hybrid canine forthwith, whether such hybrid canine bears a tag or not. Any person finding a hybrid canine committing any of the depredations mentioned in this section may kill such hybrid canine on sight as may any owner of livestock or his agent finding a hybrid canine chasing livestock on land lawfully utilized by the livestock when the circumstances show that such chasing is harmful to the livestock. Any court may order the animal control officer or other officer to kill any hybrid canine known to be a confirmed livestock or poultry killer, and any hybrid canine that kills poultry for a third time shall be considered a confirmed poultry killer. The court, through its contempt powers, may compel the owner, custodian, or harborer of the hybrid canine to produce the hybrid canine.

Any animal control officer who has reason to believe that any hybrid canine is killing livestock or poultry shall be empowered to seize such hybrid canine solely for the purpose of examining such hybrid canine in order to determine whether it committed any of the depredations mentioned herein. Any animal control officer or other person who has reason to believe that any hybrid canine is killing livestock, or committing any of the depredations mentioned in this section, shall apply to a magistrate serving the locality where such hybrid canine may be, who shall issue a warrant requiring the owner or custodian, if known, to appear before a general district court, at which time evidence shall be heard. If it appears that the hybrid canine is a livestock killer, or has committed any of the depredations mentioned in this section, the district court shall order that the hybrid canine be: (i) killed immediately by the animal control officer or other officer designated by the court; or (ii) removed to another state that does not border on the Commonwealth and prohibited from returning to the Commonwealth. Any hybrid canine ordered removed from the Commonwealth that is later found in the Commonwealth shall be ordered by a court to be killed immediately.

Acts 2008, c. 860, eff. Oct. 1, 2008; Acts 2008, c. 551; Acts 2008, c. 691.

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Pursuant to the direction of the Virginia Code Commission, the amendments to former § 3.1-796.126:10 by Acts 2008, cc. 551 and 691 were applied to this section.

Derivation:
Acts 1997, c. 918; Acts 1998, c. 817; § 3.1-796.126:10.
 
 
§ 3.2-6584. Compensation for livestock and poultry killed by hybrid canines

Any person who has any livestock or poultry killed or injured by any hybrid canine not his own shall be entitled to receive as compensation the fair market value of such livestock or poultry not to exceed $400 per animal or $10 per fowl if: (i) the claimant has furnished evidence within 60 days of discovery of the quantity and value of the dead or injured livestock and the reasons the claimant believes that death or injury was caused by a hybrid canine; (ii) the animal control officer or other officer shall have been notified of the incident within 72 hours of its discovery; and (iii) the claimant first has exhausted his legal remedies against the owner, if known, of the hybrid canine doing the damage for which compensation under this section is sought. Exhaustion shall mean a judgment against the owner of the hybrid canine upon which an execution has been returned unsatisfied.

Local jurisdictions may by ordinance waive the requirements of (ii) or (iii) or both provided that the ordinance adopted requires that the animal control officer has conducted an investigation and that his investigation supports the claim. Upon payment under this section the local governing body shall be subrogated to the extent of compensation paid to the right of action to the owner of the livestock or poultry against the owner of the hybrid canine and may enforce the same in an appropriate action at law.

Acts 2008, c. 860, eff. Oct. 1, 2008.
HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Derivation:
Acts 1997, c. 918; Acts 1998, c. 817; § 3.1-796.126:11.
 
 
§ 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 29.1. Game, Inland Fisheries and Boating. Chapter 5. Wildlife and Fish Laws. Article 2. Hunting and Trapping

§ 29.1-516.1. Using tracking dogs to retrieve bears or deer
 
Tracking dogs maintained and controlled on a lead may be used to find a wounded or dead bear or deer statewide during any archery, muzzleloader, or firearm bear or deer hunting season, or within 24 hours of the end of such season, provided that those who are involved in the retrieval effort have permission to hunt on or to access the land being searched and do not have any weapons in their possession.

CREDIT(S)
Added by Acts 2011, c. 459.
 
 



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