Statutes

Statute by category Citationsort descending Summary
VA - Rabies - § 3.2-6523. Inoculation for rabies at animal shelters Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6523 This Virginia statute provides that animals at a shelter may be inoculated by a licensed veterinary technician who is under the direct supervision of a veterinarian when an emergency rabies ordinance has been issued by a city or county.
VA - Licenses - § 3.2-6524. Unlicensed dogs prohibited; ordinances for licensing cats Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6524 This Virginia statute provides that it is unlawful for any person to own a dog four months old or older in the state unless such dog is licensed. With regard to cats, the governing body of any county, city or town may, by local ordinance, prohibit any person from owning a cat four months or older within such locality unless such cat is licensed.
VA - Rabies - § 3.2-6525. Regulations to prevent spread of rabies Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6525 This Virginia statute provides that the governing body of any county, city or town may adopt such ordinances, regulations or other measures as may be deemed reasonably necessary to prevent the spread within its boundaries of the disease of rabies, and to regulate and control the running at large within its boundaries of vicious or destructive dogs. Penalties may be provided for the violation of any such ordinances. The governing body of any county that has adopted the urban county executive form of government may adopt an ordinance creating a program for the distribution of oral rabies vaccine within its boundaries to prevent the spread of rabies.
VA - Licenses - § 3.2-6527. How to obtain license Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6527 This Virginia statute describes the process under which an individual may obtain a dog or cat license. Generally, it states that any person may obtain a dog license or cat license if required by an ordinance by making oral or written application to the treasurer of the county or city in which such person resides, accompanied by the amount of license tax and current certificate of vaccination as required by this article.
VA - Licenses - § 3.2-6528. Amount of license tax Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6528 This Virginia statute provides that the governing body of each county or city shall impose by ordinance a license tax on the ownership of dogs within its jurisdiction. With regard to cats, the governing body of any county, city or town which has adopted an ordinance requiring licensing of cats shall impose by ordinance a license tax on the ownership of cats within its jurisdiction. The tax amount may vary depending on whether the pet is male or female, and neutered or spayed.
VA - Assistance animal - Assistance Animal/Guide Dog Laws Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6528, 6588; § 46.2-932.1 - 934; § 51.5-40.1 - 51.5-46; § 36-96.1:1 - 3.2 The following statutes comprise the state's relevant assistance animal and guide dog laws.
VA - Ordinances - § 3.2-6537. Ordinances; penalties (pet shops) Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6537 This Virginia statute provides that the governing body of any county, city or town may, by local ordinance, require a person operating a pet shop or operating as a dealer in companion animals to obtain a permit. It further outlines the specific requirements the ordinance may provide, including record-keeping and penalties.
VA - Ordinances - § 3.2-6539. Ordinance requiring dogs to be kept on leash Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6539 This Virginia statute provides that the governing body of any city may adopt regulations or ordinances requiring that dogs to be kept on a leash or otherwise restrained and may request the court to order a referendum as to whether any such ordinance so adopted shall become effective in the city. The results of the referendum shall not be binding upon the governing body of any such city but may be used in ascertaining the sense of the voters.
VA - Dangerous - § 3.2-6540. Control of dangerous or vicious dogs; penalties Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6540 - 6542 These Virginia statutes amended in 2013 provide the state's dangerous dog laws. The first law outlines control procedures for a dangerous dog, defined as a canine or canine crossbreed that has bitten, attacked, or inflicted injury on a person or companion animal that is a dog or cat, or killed a companion animal that is a dog or cat.. The new section deals with a "vicious dog," defined 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 - § 3.2-6541. Authority to prohibit training of attack dogs Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6541 This Virginia statute provides that Fairfax County may enact an ordinance that prohibits persons from training dogs on residential property to attack.
VA - Ordinances - § 3.2-6543. Governing body of any locality may adopt certain ordinances Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6543 This Virginia statute provides that the governing bodies of counties, cities, and towns of the Commonwealth are hereby authorized to adopt, in their discretion, ordinances which parallel statutory sections dealing with licensing of dogs, taxation, impoundment, and regulation of dangerous dogs. It also provides that nothing in this section shall be construed so as to prevent or restrict any local governing body from adopting local animal control ordinances which are more stringent than the relevant state statutory sections. It further outlines how ordinances may impose civil penalties for violations of the above.
VA - Impound - § 3.2-6545. Regulation of sale of animals procured from animal shelters Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6545 This Virginia statute provides that any city, county or town which supports an animal shelter may by ordinance provide that no person who acquires an animal from a shelter shall be able to sell such animal within a period of six months from the time the animal is acquired from the shelter. Violation of such an ordinance shall constitute a misdemeanor.
VA - Impound - § 3.2-6547. Acceptance of animals for research or experimentation; prohibition Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6547 This Virginia statute provides that no animal bearing a tag, license or tattooed identification shall be used or accepted by any person for the purpose of medical research or experimentation, unless the individual who owns such animal consents in writing.
VA - Impound - § 3.2-6548. Private animal shelters; confinement and disposition of animals; affiliation with foster care providers; penalties; injunctive relief Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6548 This Virginia statute outlines the requirements for private animal shelters. Included are provisions that each animal shelter must obtain a signed statement from each of its directors, operators, and staff specifying that the individual has never been convicted of animal cruelty, neglect, or abandonment. The State Veterinarian's office is responsible for inspection of the facilities to be sure the spaces for animals are adequate. The statute also describes the requirements for animal foster care homes and states the penalties for violations of this statutory section.
VA - Impound - § 3.2-6549. Releasing agencies other than pounds or animal shelters; confinement and disposition of companion ani Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6549 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.
VA - Impound - § 3.2-6551. Notification by individuals finding companion animals; penalty Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6551 This recent Virginia statute provides that any individual who finds a companion animal and provides care shall, within 48 hours, 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 form of identification and notify the pound that serves the locality where the companion animal was found. Any individual who violates this section may be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $50 per companion animal.
VA - Dangerous - § 3.2-6553. Compensation for livestock and poultry killed by dogs Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6553 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 - Cruelty - Article 7. Animal Control Officers and Humane Investigators. Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6555 - 3.2-6569 These chapters relate to the qualifications and duties of animal control officers and the procedures for impounding stray animals.
VA - Fur - § 3.2-6570. Cruelty to animals; penalty (dog/cat fur prohibition) Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6570 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.
VA - Fighting - § 3.2-6571. Animal fighting; penalty Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6571 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 - Exotic Pets - Article 11. Hybrid Canines Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6581 - 6584 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 - Property - § 3.2-6585. Dogs and cats deemed personal property; rights relating thereto Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6585 This Virginia statute provides that all dogs and cats shall be deemed personal property and may be the subject of larceny and malicious or unlawful trespass. It further grants authority to animal control officers to seize a stolen dog or cat pending court action.
VA - Ordinance - § 3.2-6587. Unlawful acts; penalties Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6587 This Virginia statute describes the unlawful acts related to pets that will constitute Class 4 misdemeanors. Included are furnishing a false license application, failing to pay license tax, violating a leash or rabies ordinance, not disposing of dead companion animals per statute, and improperly concealing a pet. Also, a Class 1 misdemeanor may be imposed for falsely impersonating a humane officer or for falsifying a claim for animal damage.
VA - Fur - § 3.2-6589. Selling garments containing dog or cat fur prohibited; penalty Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6589 This Virginia statute makes it illegal to sell a garment containing the fur of a "domestic" dog or cat. Violation incurs up to a $10,000 penalty.
VA - Rabies - § 32.1-48.3. Regulations of Commissioner covering local ordinances and requirements Va. Code Ann. § 32.1-48.3 This Virginia statute specifically authorizes preemption of local control in the event of a rabies outbreak. It states that if the governing body of the county or city in which the outbreak exists does not adopt ordinances, regulations and measures to prohibit the running at large of dogs and to prevent the spread of rabies, the State Health Commissioner is authorized to adopt regulations providing for the matters contained in such sections and to enforce the same in the same manner as if they had been specifically adopted by the governing body of the county or city involved.
VA - Liens - § 43–32 Lien of keeper of livery stable, marina, etc. Va. Code Ann. § 43-32 Every keeper of a livery stable, hangar, tie-down, or marina, and every person pasturing or keeping any horses or other animals, boats, aircrafts, or harness, will have a lien for the amount that would be due for towing, storage, recovery, keeping, supporting, and care. The lien will be removed once the amount is paid.
VA - Veterinary - Chapter 38. Veterinary Medicine. Va. Code Ann. § 54.1-3800 - 3813 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.\
VA - Endangered Species - Article 6. Endangered Species. Va. Code Ann. §§ 29.1-563 - 570 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 - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes Va. Code Ann. §§ 3.2-6500 - 6590; Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-361; § 18.2-144.1 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.
Virginia General Laws 1893: Cruelty to Animals Va. Code Ann. §§ 4554-4567 (Michie 1913) A collection of Virginia laws from 1893 concerning the punishment and enforcement against cruelty to animals. The laws cover cruelty to animals, power of agents of the court to search for cruelty to animals, and the punishment for shooting pigeons among other things.
VA - Domestic Violence - Protective orders Va. Code Ann.§§ 16.1-253, 16.1-253.1, 16.1-253.4, 16.1-279.1, 19.2-152.8, 19.2-152.9, and 19.2-152.10 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.
TX - Racing - Art. 179e, Texas Racing Act Vernon's Ann. Texas Civ. St. Art. 179e This Texas Act was enacted for the purpose of strictly regulating horse racing, greyhound racing, and pari-mutuel wagering. The Act created the Texas Racing Commission which is charged with regulating and supervising every race meeting that involves wagering on the result of greyhound or horse racing. The commission must adopt rules for conducting greyhound or horse racing as well as rules for administering the Act. A person is required to apply for a license from the commission in order to conduct a greyhound or horse race where wagering is to take place. A person is also not allowed to participate in racing involving pari-mutuel wagering unless they obtain a license form the commission.
VA - Initiatives - Virginia Ballot Measure 2 (2000), Right to Hunt, Fish, and Harvest Game Virginia Ballot Measure 2 (2000), Right to Hunt, Fish, and Harvest Game (passed) This Virginia ballot measure passed in 2000 provided by constitutional amendment that, "The people have a right to hunt, fish, and harvest game, subject to such regulations and restrictions as the General Assembly may prescribe by general law." It passed with 60% of the vote.
WY - Cruelty, livestock - Chapter 29. Protection of Livestock Animals. W. S. 1977 §§ 11-29-101 to 115 This chapter concerns cruelty to livestock animals. The laws state that every person who confines or causes to be confined any livestock animal under the laws of this state, must supply to the livestock animal during confinement a sufficient quantity of wholesome food and water. The section also provides that officers and agents of the Wyoming livestock board must be provided with a certificate and badge. Any peace officer, agent or officer of the board may lawfully interfere to prevent the perpetration of any act of cruelty upon any livestock animal in his or her presence
WY - Livestock - Chapter 30. Offenses Concerning Livestock and Other Animals. W. S. 1977 § 11-30-101 to 115 This Wyoming chapter of laws covers such offenses from misbranding livestock to a prohibition on the desertion and abandonment of sheep. Specific horse offenses are detailed, such as taking possession of any horse or mule found running at large on the open range with the intent of working or riding it, and the use of horses by a stable keeper without consent of the owner. The chapter also makes it a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than $750 and/or imprisonment for up to 6 months for willfully or maliciously killing a wild horse.
WY - Horses - § 11-30-115. Unlawful killing of wild horses W. S. 1977 § 11-30-115 This Wyoming statute provides that it is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $750 with possible imprisonment of up to six months to maliciously kill a "wild horse" (one that is unbranded and unclaimed and lives on state or public land). This was signed into law in March of 2001.
WY - Ordinances - § 11-31-301. Public nuisance; notice; penalties; rules and regulations; W. S. 1977 § 11-31-301 This Wyoming statute provides that a board of county commissioners may declare the running at large of any specified animals in unincorporated areas within the county limits a public nuisance. Dogs or other animals, whose ownership cannot be determined, may be destroyed. A dog injuring or killing livestock may be killed by the owner of the livestock or his agent or any peace officer. However, any dog attacking any person in a vicious manner may be impounded by the county sheriff or animal control officer and held in quarantine for at least fifteen (15) days and not more than twenty (20) days after the attack to determine whether the dog has any disease which may be communicated to humans. A board of county commissioners may enact regulations relative to dogs running at large, vicious dogs, dogs running wild game or livestock or acts by other animals which shall carry out the purposes of this section. The county may also establish a county license fee and an animal control program/facility.
WY - Feral animals - Chapter 48. Feral Livestock W. S. 1977 § 11-48-101 to 102 This Wyoming chapter deals with feral livestock. Under the chapter, "feral" means a domestic animal that is not under the control of nor cared for by a person and which has returned to a wild or semi-wild state. Before livestock can be declared feral, an attempt must be made to locate the owner. If the owner cannot be located, the director of the Wyoming livestock board or state veterinarian can then capture or dispose of any feral livestock damaging public or private property, and destroy any feral livestock thought to be infected with disease. The owner of feral livestock is responsible for costs associated with this chapter for damage or care of the feral livestock.
WY - Predatory Animals - Chapter 6. Predatory Animals. W. S. 1977 § 11-6-101 - 313 This first article of the chapter allows owners of livestock to fill out an application with the board of county commissioners to receive permission to eradicate predatory animals. The second article of the chapter outlines the composition and function of the state predator management advisory board. Article 3 outlines the Wyoming animal damage management program. In that section, "predatory animal is defined as any coyote, jackrabbit, porcupine, raccoon, red fox, skunk or stray cat; and gray wolves except where they are designated as trophy game animals.
WY - Grizzly Bear - Article 10. Grizzly Bear Relocation W. S. 1977 § 23-1-1001 This Wyoming statute requires that, when a grizzly bear is relocated, that the department must notify the sheriff and issue a press release to the media and sheriff. The press release must provide the date and location of the relocation, and the number of bears to be relocated.
WY - Hunting - § 23-3-304. Certain trapping devices unlawful; game for bait prohibited; W. S. 1977 § 23-3-304 This Wyoming statute prohibits certain trapping devices, such as pit, pitfall, net, trap, deadfall, poison, etc. It is illegal to take or use a game animal to bait a trap or to poison any wildlife. A violation is a high misdemeanor.
WY - Impound - § 33-30-215. Disposition of unclaimed animals in custody of veterinarians; W. S. 1977 § 33-30-215 This Wyoming statute states that any animal placed in the custody of a licensed veterinarian for treatment, boarding, or other care, which is then unclaimed by its owner for a period of more than ten days after written notice is given to the owner at his or her last known address, shall be deemed to be abandoned. It may then be turned over to the nearest humane society or dog pound in the area where it may be disposed of as the shelter sees fit.
WY - Domestic Violence - § 35-21-105. Order of protection; contents; remedies; order not to affect title to property; conditions W. S. 1977 § 35-21-105 In 2019, Wyoming amended its domestic violence protection order law by adding subparts (a)(ix) and (a)(x). Subpart (a)(ix) grants sole possession of any household pet, as defined in W.S. 6-3-203(o), owned, possessed or kept by the petitioner, the respondent or a minor child residing in the residence or household of either the petitioner or the respondent to the petitioner during the period the order of protection is effective if the order is for the purpose of protecting the household pet. In addition, under subpart (a)(x), the court may order that the respondent not have contact with the household pet(s) in the custody of the petitioner and prohibit the respondent from abducting, removing, concealing or disposing of the household pet if the order is for the purpose of protecting the household pet.
WY - Trust - § 4-10-409. Trust for care of animal W. S. 1977 § 4-10-409 This statute represents Wyoming's pet trust law. The law provides that a trust may be created to provide for the care of an animal alive during the settlor's lifetime. The trust terminates upon the death of the last animal named in the trust.
WY - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes W. S. 1977 § 6-3-203 Under the general anti-cruelty part of the law, a person commits misdemeanor cruelty to animals if he or she knowingly overrides an animal or drives an animal when overloaded; unnecessarily or cruelly beats or injures an animal, or carries an animal in a manner that poses undue risk of injury or death. The neglect component provides that person who has charge and custody of any animal and unnecessarily fails to provide it with the proper food, drink or protection from the weather, or cruelly abandons the animal, or fails to provide the animal with appropriate medical care is also guilty of cruelty. Felony cruelty involves acts like animal fighting offenses and shooting, poisoning, or intentionally killing or seriously injuring livestock or domesticated animals. If a person convicted of a violation of this section is also the owner of the animal, the court may require the person to forfeit ownership of the animal to the county in which the person is convicted. Wyoming amended its cruelty law in early 2011 to include the new offense of "household pet animal cruelty" described in subpart (p).
WY - Ecoterrorism - § 6-3-414. Trespassing to Unlawfully Collect Resource Data W. S. 1977 § 6-3-414 This statute prohibits trespassing to unlawfully collect resource data. Collecting resource data is done by entering onto open land without an ownership interest or permission to collect information or photograph resource data (including animal species). Violation of this law is punishable by imprisonment of not more than one year and/or a $1,000 fine for the first offense, and imprisonment from ten days to a year and/or a $5,000 fine for subsequent offenses.
WY - Dog - Consolidated Dog Laws W. S. 1977 § 6-5-211; § 11-31-101 - 108; § 11-31-201 - 214; § 11-31-301; § 15-1-103; § 23-3-109; § 33-30-215 These Wyoming statutes comprise the state's dog laws. Among the provisions include damage done to livestock by dogs, rabies vaccination requirements, and municipal powers to regulate dogs.
WY - Wildlife, exotic hybrid - Chapter 1. Game and Fish Administration. W. S. 1977 §§ 23-1-101 to 109 This section of Wyoming statutes states that all wildlife in the state is considered the property of the state. It further provides that there is no private ownership of live animals classified in this act as big or trophy game animals. Exotic species means any wild animals, including amphibians, reptiles, mollusks, crustaceans or birds not found in a wild, free or unconfined status in Wyoming. This section also contains the management laws for delisted gray wolves that were repealed in 2012.
WY - Fur - Article 3. Miscellaneous Fees; Taxidermists; Trapping; Fur Dealers. W. S. 1977 §§ 23-2-301 to 307 This set of Wyoming laws sets forth the requirements and costs to obtain trapping and taxidermist licenses. Any trap or snare found in the field not bearing the name and address of the owner of the trap or snare or the identification number assigned by the department to the owner of the trap or snare may be confiscated by any employee of the department. Any landowner or his agent may inspect any trap or snare set on his property, may remove the trap or snare and may release or remove from the trap or snare any wildlife which has not been taken lawfully. However, it is a "low misdemeanor" to tamper with or remove any trap or snare set or maintained in compliance with this act or release a furbearer or predator found in a legal trap.
WY - Hunting - Article 4. Miscellaneous Acts Prohibited (hunter harassment) W. S. 1977 §§ 23-3-401 to 407 This section of Wyoming laws relates to miscellaneous prohibited hunting acts. Included is the state's hunter harassment law, which provides that no person shall with the intent to prevent or hinder the lawful taking of any wildlife. Violation is a "low misdemeanor." Article 4 also includes a 2009 law that prohibits remote hunting that allows a person not physically present to remotely control a weapon to kill wildlife.

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