West Virginia

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WV - Veterinary - Article 10. Veterinarians.


These are the state's veterinary practice laws.  Among the provisions include licensing requirements, laws concerning the state veterinary board, veterinary records laws, and the laws governing disciplinary actions for impaired or incompetent practitioners.

WV - Scientific research - § 20-2-50. Permit to hunt, kill, etc., wildlife for scientific or propagation purposes


Under this West Virginia law, the director may issue a permit to a person to hunt, kill, take, capture or maintain in captivity wildlife exclusively for scientific purposes, but not for any commercial purposes.

WV - Pet Trust - § 44D-4-408. Trust for care of animal


These West Virginia statutes regulate trusts for the care of animals. A pet trust may be created to provide for the care of an animal alive during the grantor's lifetime. The trust terminates upon the death of the animal. Property of a trust may be applied only to its intended use. A trust may be enforced by a person appointed in the terms of the trust instrument or by a person appointed by the court.

WV - Ordinances - § 19-20A-8. Vaccinated dogs and cats may run at large; confinement may be required
This West Virginia statute provides that dogs or cats vaccinated in compliance with the provisions of this article may run at large in any area or locality unless a county commission or a municipality has adopted and enforced ordinances to prevent dogs from running at large.  The state commissioner of agriculture may also enforce an at large ban when a rabies quarantine is in effect.  However, any county commission or municipality may not adopt any ordinance which purports to keep any vaccinated dog from running at large while engaged in any lawful hunting activity; from running at large while engaged in any lawful training activity; or from running at large while engaged in any lawful herding or other farm related activity.
WV - Lien - § 38-11-4. Lien of bailee of animals or vehicles

This West Virginia law (as it relates to animals) states the a person who keeps a livery stable, or boarding stable for animals, or one who boards, pastures, feeds or trains animals for hire, has a lien upon such animals for the sum due him for the care, boarding, pasturage, feeding, or training of such animals, or the care, keeping of such animals. This lien exists even though such animals are permitted to be taken out of the possession of the one claiming such lien even if the contract has not yet terminated for the lien. The purchaser of such an animal, while out of the possession of the person claiming the lien, can take the property free of the lien unless he or she had actual notice of the lien at the time of purchase.

WV - Licenses - § 7-7-6d. Collection of head tax on dogs; duties of assessor and sheriff;
This West Virginia statute provides that it is the duty of the county assessor at the time of assessment of the personal property within such county, to assess and collect a head tax of one dollar on each male or spayed female dog and of two dollars on each unspayed female dog.  In addition to the above, the assessor and his deputies shall have the further duty of collecting any such head tax on dogs as may be levied by the ordinances of each and every municipality within the county.  The tax also serves the function of providing a registration for the dog.  Any person who refuses to pay the tax after a specified period may have his or her dog seized, which may then be sold or eventually destroyed.
WV - Leash - § 5A-4-4. Unlawful to kill or molest animals, birds or fowls upon grounds of capitol;


This West Virginia statute aims at protecting the state capitol grounds and governor's mansion from disturbance.  In doing so, it makes it unlawful for any person to knowingly allow a dog owned by him or her to be upon the grounds of the capitol buildings or governor's mansion unless such dog is under control by leash. Any person who knowingly allows a dog owned by him to be upon the grounds of the capitol buildings or governor's mansion while not under control by leash shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, be fined not less than twenty-five nor more than one hundred dollars.  Other interesting provisions are included in this law.

WV - Impound - § 19-20-8. Impounding and disposition of dogs; costs and fees


This West Virginia statute provides that dogs seized and impounded as provided in this article shall be kept housed and fed in the county dog pound for five days after notice of seizure and impounding has been given or posted.  Upon expiration this time period, all dogs which have not previously been redeemed by their owners shall be sold or humanely destroyed (this statute outlines what constitutes "humanely destroyed").  The owner may, at any time prior to the expiration of five days retrieve his or her dog by paying the requisite fees and satisfying any other provisions.

WV - Hunting, Internet - § 20-2-5. Unlawful methods of hunting and fishing and other unlawful acts. This statute prohibits unlawful hunting in the state of West Virginia. Subsection (a)(27) effectively serves as the remote hunting ban. It is unlawful for any person to "[h]unt or conduct hunts for a fee when the person is not physically present in the same location as the wildlife being hunted within West Virginia." The statute also prohibits hunting by airplane or other airborne conveyance or by "a drone or other unmanned aircraft."
WV - Hunting - § 20-2-5a. Forfeiture by person causing injury, death or destruction


Under this statute, defendants must pay an additional monetary penalty in the form of a "replacement cost" for the unlawful killing of certain listed species ($5,000 for each bald or golden eagle killed).  If two defendants were implicated in the killing, each must pay the full penalty.  For discussion of federal Eagle Act, see

Detailed Discussion

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