Virginia

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Titlesort descending Summary
Smith v. Com.


The defendant was charged for violation of Virginia’s Code § 3.2–6570(F) after he shot the family dog; he was later convicted by a jury.  Upon appeal, the defendant argued the trial court erred in denying his proffered self-defense jury instructions. The appeals court agreed, reasoning that more than a scintilla of evidence supported giving the proffered self-defense instructions, that determining whether this evidence was credible and actually supported a conclusion that the defendant acted in self-defense or defense of others was the responsibility of the jury, not that of the trial court, and that the proffered jury instructions properly stated the law. The case was thus reversed and remanded.

VA - Assistance animal - Assistance Animal/Guide Dog Laws The following statutes comprise the state's relevant assistance animal and guide dog laws.
VA - Breeder - § 3.2-6500. Definitions (definitions for commercial breeder) Provides most recent definitions for terms used throughout the rest of the statute, including but not limited to private and public animal shelters, commercial breeder, shelter, pet shop, and kennel.
VA - Cemeteries, Pet - Article 8. Pet Cemeteries This Virginia chapter concerns pet cemeteries. Pet cemetery means land, together with any structures, facilities, or buildings appurtenant thereto provided to members of the public for use or reservation for use for the individual interment, above or below ground, of pet remains. The owner of land used for a pet cemetery must file a declaration in the office of the clerk restricting the land use. Each pet cemetery operation must establish a "perpetual care fund" of at least $12,000 before the first plot is sold in the pet cemetery. Violation of § 57-39.22 relating to the perpetual care fund is a Class 3 misdemeanor.
VA - Cruelty - Article 7. Animal Control Officers and Humane Investigators. These chapters relate to the qualifications and duties of animal control officers and the procedures for impounding stray animals.
VA - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes These Virginia statutes set forth Title 3.2, the Comprehensive Animal Care laws, which include the state's anti-cruelty and animal fighting provisions. For the purposes of Sec. 3.2-6570, the operative animal cruelty law, animal means any nonhuman vertebrate species including fish except those fish captured and killed or disposed of in a reasonable and customary manner. The section has a misdemeanor animal cruelty law as well as a felony provision related to torture or willful infliction of cruelty. The section requires companion animal owners to provide adequate care.
VA - Cruelty, reporting - § 63.2-1509. Requirement that certain injuries to children be reported by physicians, nurses, teachers, etc. This Virginia statute relates to mandated reporting of suspected child abuse or neglect. With respect to animal-related issues, subsection (A)(8) requires any law-enforcement officer or animal control officer to report suspected child abuse or neglect as outlined in the statute.
VA - Dangerous - § 3.2-6540. Control of dangerous or vicious dogs; penalties These Virginia statutes comprise the state's dangerous dog laws, which were updated in 2021. Any law-enforcement officer or animal control officer who (i) has reason to believe that an animal is a dangerous dog and (ii) is located in the jurisdiction where the animal resides or in the jurisdiction where the act was committed may apply to a magistrate for the issuance of a summons requiring the owner, 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. Section 3.2-6540.1 also defines a vicious dog as "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."
VA - Dangerous - § 3.2-6553. Compensation for livestock and poultry killed by dogs This Virginia statute states that any person who has any livestock or poultry killed or injured by any dog not his or her own shall be entitled to receive the fair market value of such livestock or poultry not to exceed $750 per animal or $10 per fowl, provided that the claimant has furnished evidence, the animal control officer was notified within seventy-two hours after discovery of the damage, and the claimant has exhausted other legal remedies. However, local jurisdictions may by ordinance waive the last two requirements provided that the ordinance adopted requires that the animal control officer has conducted an investigation and that his investigation supports the claim.
VA - Disaster - § 44-146.18. Department of Emergency Services continued as Department of Emergency Management; In Virginia, the State Department of Emergency Management must develop an emergency response plan to address the needs of individuals with household pets and service animals in the event of a disaster (subsection (B)(18)).

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