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WV - Exotic Pets - Article 34. Dangerous Wild Animals Act The State of West Virginia found the possession of dangerous wild animals to present a serious public health and safety concern. Because of this, the state prohibits a person from possessing a dangerous wild animal unless the animal was owned prior to June 1, 2015 and the owner obtained a permit. Under this statute, a “Dangerous wild animal” means a mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian or aquatic animal, including a hybrid that is dangerous to humans, other animals or the environment due to its inherent nature and capability to do significant harm.
WV - Exotic Pet - § 20-2-51. Permit for keeping pets; § 20-2-52. Permits for roadside menageries


This West Virginia statute provides that the state fish and game director may issue a permit to a person to keep and maintain in captivity as a pet, a wild animal acquired from a commercial dealer or during the legal open season. The fee is charged is two dollars.

WV - Equine Activity Liability - Article 4. Equestrian Activities Responsibility Act.


This West Virginia section expressly recognizes the value of equestrian activities to the state.  Thus, in order to limit liability to those who provide equine services, the duties of both the horsemen who provide such services and the participants who engage in such activities are stated.  Each participant in an equestrian activity expressly assumes the risk of and legal responsibility for any injury, loss or damage to person or property which results from participation in an equestrian activity.  Horsemen are required to ensure the safety of the participants and the equipment provided.

WV - Eagle - § 20-2-5c. Protection of bald eagles and golden eagles; unlawful acts; criminal penalties; forfeitures; license rev


This statute makes it a misdemeanor to possess or barter in golden or bald eagles,  and any subsequent convictions under this chapter result in felony prosecution.  In addition to fines and imprisonment, violators face revocation of hunting license privileges for up to ten years.

WV - Domestic Violence - § 48-27-503. Permissive provisions in protective order.


In West Virginia, the terms of a protective order may include awarding the petitioner the exclusive care, possession, or control of any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept or held by either the petitioner or the respondent or a minor child residing in the residence or household of either the petitioner or the respondent and prohibiting the respondent from taking, concealing, molesting, physically injuring, killing or otherwise disposing of the animal and limiting or precluding contact by the respondent with the animal. Furthermore, West Virginia mandates that law enforcement officers who suspect animal cruelty during an alleged incident of domestic violence must report that suspicion and the grounds therefor to the county humane officer within twenty-four hours of the response to the alleged incident of domestic violence.

WV - Dogs - Consolidated Dog Laws


These West Virginia statutes comprise the state's dog laws.  Among the provisions include registration requirements, rabies control, and hunting laws that impact dogs.

WV - Dangerous - § 20-2-16. Dogs chasing deer


This West Virginia statute mandates that no person shall permit his dog to hunt or chase deer.  A conservation officer shall take into possession any dog known to have hunted or chased deer and the director shall advertise that such dog is in his possession, giving a description of the dog and stating the circumstances under which it was taken.  The owner then has ten days to reclaim the dog.  If after a bona fide but unsuccessful effort to capture dogs detected chasing or pursuing deer, an officer may kill the offending dogs.

WV - Dangerous - § 19-20-21. License fee for keeping vicious or dangerous dog.


These West Virginia statutes provide that any person who owns or harbors any dog, cat or other domesticated animal, whether licensed or unlicensed, which bites any person, shall confine and quarantine the animal for a period of ten days for rabies observation.  The state apparently has a prohibition against owning a dangerous dog, such that no person shall own, keep or harbor any dog known by him to be vicious, dangerous, or in the habit of biting or attacking other persons, whether or not such dog wears a tag or muzzle.  However, another section provides that any person who keeps a dog which is generally considered to be vicious, for the purpose of protection, shall acquire a special license therefor from the county assessor and then keep the dog restrained/enclosed.

WV - Cruelty, reporting - § 9-6-9a. Mandatory reporting suspected of animal cruelty by adult protective service workers

These West Virginia statutes require that an adult protective services worker, a child protective services worker, or a law enforcement officer who responds to an alleged domestic violence incident, who form a reasonable suspicion that an animal is the victim of cruelty, shall report their suspicion to the county humane society within twenty-four hours.

WV - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes


These West Virginia statutes comprise the state's anti-cruelty and animal fighting provisions.  If any person cruelly mistreats, abandons or withholds proper sustenance, including food, water, shelter or medical treatment, necessary to sustain normal health and fitness or to end suffering or abandons any animal to die, or uses, trains or possesses any domesticated animal for the purpose of seizing, detaining or maltreating any other domesticated animal, he or she is guilty of a misdemeanor.  If any person intentionally tortures or maliciously kills an animal, or causes, procures or authorizes any other person to torture or maliciously kill an animal, he or she is guilty of a felony.  The provisions of this section do not apply to lawful acts of hunting, fishing, trapping or animal training or farm livestock, poultry, gaming fowl or wildlife kept in private or licensed game farms if kept and maintained according to usual and accepted standards of livestock, poultry, gaming fowl or wildlife or game farm production and management.  The section also prohibits animal fighting, making it a felony if the animal is a dog or other fur-bearing animal ("canine, feline, porcine, bovine, or equine species whether wild or domesticated"), and a misdemeanor if not (i.e., cockfighting).

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