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Titlesort descending Summary
VA - Dogs - Consolidated Dog Laws

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.

VA - Domestic Violence - Protective orders In 2014, Virginia amended its Protective Order laws to grant petitioners possession of any “companion animal," so long as the petitioner is considered the owner. Companion animals include any family pets, such as dogs, cats, hamsters, etc., but do not include farm animals. To be considered an owner, a petitioner must either have a property interest in the animal, keep or house the animal, have the animal in their care, or have acted as a custodian of the animal. This new provision is now included in Virginia's Emergency Protective Orders, Preliminary Protective Orders, and Protective Orders.
VA - Education - § 22.1-200.01. Alternatives to animal dissection This Virginia law states that local school divisions shall provide students with alternatives to animal dissection techniques. The Board of Education shall establish guidelines to be implemented by local school divisions regarding such alternative dissection techniques. In addition, those guidelines must provide notification to students and parents of the option to decline participation in animal dissection.
VA - Endangered Species - Article 6. Endangered Species. The taking, transportation, possession, sale, or offer for sale within the Commonwealth of any fish or wildlife appearing on any list of threatened or endangered species published by the United States Secretary of the Interior pursuant to the provisions of the federal Endangered Species Act of 1973 (P.L. 93-205), or any modifications or amendments thereto, is prohibited except as provided in § 29.1-568. Interestingly, the state mandates that anyone who keeps a non-native or exotic reptile must keep the reptile so as to prevent it from running-at-large or escaping.  Violation of this provision is a Class 2 misdemeanor.
VA - Equine - Chapter 62. Equine Activity Liability/Chapter 63. Ox Activity Liability


This Virginia section provides that an equine activity sponsor, an equine professional, or any other person shall not be liable for an injury to or death of a participant resulting from the intrinsic dangers of equine activities.  Liability is not limited where the equine professional intentionally injures the participant, commits an act or omission that constitutes negligence for the safety of the participant, or knowingly provides faulty equipment or tack that causes injury.  The statute seems to imply that a waiver should be executed when a participant engages in equine activities to adequately insulate the equine professional.

VA - Exotic Pets - Article 11. Hybrid Canines


This section provides Virginia's hybrid canine laws (registered or described to a veterinarian, animal control, or other listed authority as a wolf or coyote-dog cross) . Under the section, any locality may, by ordinance, establish a permit system to ensure the adequate confinement and responsible ownership of hybrid canines. 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. Further, it is 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.

VA - Exotic Pets - Chapter 30. Definitions and Miscellaneous The following regulations implement Virginia's exotic pet laws.
VA - Facility dog - § 18.2-67.9:1. Use of a certified facility dog for testimony in a criminal proceeding This Virginia law, enacted in 2018, allows either party in a criminal proceeding to apply for an order from the court allowing a certified facility dog to be present with a witness testifying before the court through in-person testimony or testimony televised by two-way closed-circuit television. A court may allow if it several factors are found by a preponderance of the evidence. In this section, a “certified facility dog” means a dog that (i) has completed training and been certified by a program accredited by Assistance Dogs International or by another assistance dog organization that is a member of an organization whose main purpose is to improve training, placement, and utilization of assistance dogs and (ii) is accompanied by a duly trained handler.
VA - Fighting - § 3.2-6571. Animal fighting; penalty


This section makes it unlawful to knowingly promote, prepare, engage in or attend an exhibition of the fighting of animals. The violation becomes a Class 6 felony if: 1) one of the animals is a dog; 2) a device or substance is used to enhance the dog's ability to fight; 3) money or something else of value is wagered; 4) admission is paid; 5) an animal is owned or possessed with the intent to engage in an animal fight; or 6) a person causes a minor to attend or undertake in the activities. An animal used in fighting may be confiscated by law enforcement. Additionally, any person convicted of violating any listed provision shall be prohibited by the court from possession or ownership of companion animals or cocks.

VA - Fur - § 3.2-6570. Cruelty to animals; penalty (dog/cat fur prohibition)


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

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