Full Statute Name:  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. § 3.2-6549. Releasing agencies other than pounds or animal shelters; confinement and disposition of companion animals; recordkeeping; affiliation with foster care providers; penalties

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Primary Citation:  Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6549 Country of Origin:  United States Last Checked:  October, 2014 Alternate Citation:  VA ST § 3.2-6549 Date Adopted:  2002
Summary:

This Virginia statute outlines the requirements for releasing agencies other than pounds or animal shelters.  Included in the provisions are recordkeeping requirements, a requirement that each agency receives a signed statement from each of its directors, operators, staff, or animal caregivers specifying that each individual has never been convicted of animal cruelty, neglect, or abandonment, and owner notice provisions.

Statute Text: 

A. A releasing agency other than a public or private animal shelter:

1. May confine and dispose of companion animals in accordance with subsections B through G of § 3.2-6546 if incorporated and not operated for profit; and

2. Shall keep accurate records of each companion animal received for two years from the date of disposition of the companion animal. Records shall: (i) include a description of the companion animal including species, color, breed, sex, approximate weight, age, reason for release, owner's or finder's name, address and telephone number, license number or other identifying tags or markings, as well as disposition of the companion animal; and (ii) be made available upon request to the Department, animal control officers, and law-enforcement officers at mutually agreeable times. A releasing agency other than a public or private animal shelter shall submit a summary of such records to the State Veterinarian annually in a format prescribed by him, wherein a post office box may be substituted for a home address.

3. For purposes of recordkeeping, release of a companion animal by a releasing agency to a public or private 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.

B. Each releasing agency other than a public or private animal shelter shall obtain a signed statement from each of its directors, operators, staff, or animal caregivers specifying that each individual has never been convicted of animal cruelty, neglect, or abandonment, and each such releasing agency shall update such statement as changes occur.

C. No releasing agency other than a public or private 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 the foster care provider has never been convicted of animal cruelty, neglect, or abandonment, and such releasing agency shall update the statement as changes occur. A releasing agency other than a public or private animal shelter shall maintain the original statement and any updates to such statement for so long as the releasing agency has an affiliation with the foster care provider.

D. A releasing agency other than a public or private 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.

E. If a releasing agency other than a public or private 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 area where the foster care provider is located.

F. Any releasing agency other than a public or private animal shelter that finds a companion animal or receives a companion animal that has not been released by its owner and (i) provides care or safekeeping or (ii) takes possession of such companion animal shall within 48 hours:

1. Make a reasonable attempt to notify the owner of the companion animal, if the owner can be ascertained from any tag, license, collar, tattoo, or other identification or markings, or if the owner of the companion animal is otherwise known to the releasing agency; and

2. Notify the public animal shelter that serves the locality where the companion animal was found and provide to the shelter contact information including at least a name and a contact telephone number, a description of the companion animal including at least species, breed, sex, size, color, information from any tag, license, collar, tattoo, or other identification or markings, and the location where the companion animal was found.

G. A releasing agency other than a public or private animal shelter shall comply with the provisions of § 3.2-6503.

H. No releasing agency other than a public or private animal shelter shall be operated in violation of any local zoning ordinance.

I. A releasing agency other than a public or private animal shelter that violates any provision of this section, other than subsection G, may be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $250.

Credits
Acts 2008, c. 860, eff. Oct. 1, 2008. Amended by Acts 2014, c. 148.

 

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