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Virginia

West's Annotated Code of Virginia. Title 3.2. Agriculture, Animal Care, and Food. Subtitle V. Domestic Animals. Chapter 65. Comprehensive Animal Care. Article 6. Authority of Local Governing Bodies. 3.2-6548. Animal shelters; confinement and disposition of animals; affiliation with foster care providers; penalties; injunctive relief

Statute Details
Printable Version
Citation: Va. Code Ann. 3.2-6548

Citation: VA ST 3.2-6548


Last Checked by Web Center Staff: 11/2013

Summary:   This Virginia statute outlines the requirements for state animal shelters.  Included are provisions that each animal shelter must obtain a signed statement from each of its directors, operators, and staff specifying that the individual has never been convicted of animal cruelty, neglect, or abandonment.  The State Veterinarian's office is responsible for inspection of the facilities to be sure the spaces for animals are adequate.  The statute also describes the requirements for animal foster care homes and states the penalties for violations of this statutory section.


Statute in Full:

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.

 



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