Laws

Update to Virginia Code

As of July 1, 2020, the VA Code §3.2-6500 has been updated to include extra provisions for tethered/chained dogs.  Under the Adequate Shelter definition it now states that:

An animal cannot be chained/tethered under these 3 sets of conditions:

  1. unless the animal is safe from predators and well suited and well equipped to tolerate its environment; or
  2. during the effective period for a hurricane warning or tropical storm warning issued for the area by the National Weather Service; or
  3. (c)(1) during a heat advisory issued by a local or state authority, (2) when the actual or effective outdoor temperature is 85 degrees Fahrenheit or higher or 32 degrees Fahrenheit or lower, or (3) during the effective period for a severe weather warning issued for the area by the National Weather Service, including winter storm, tornado, or severe thunderstorm warning.

While there are exceptions within the Code for an Animal Control Officer or LEO to certify “the animal is safe from predators and well suited and well equipped to tolerate its environments,” this certification could allow for the officer, their agency, and the jurisdiction to be held liable if the animal was injured or dies after certification is made.  Due to the potential for liability, it is our opinion that it would be extremely rare that this certification would be made. read more

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Mexico Bans Dogfighting Nationwide

Mexico bans dogfighting nationwide

Humane Society International/Mexico

  • The proposed penalties are expected to be voted on and signed into law in the first half of this year. Meredith Lee/The HSUS

Animal advocates are celebrating the passage of a nationwide ban on dogfighting in Mexico.

Anton Aguilar, Humane Society International/Mexico director, said: “This reform is a big step in the right direction. We applaud both chambers of Congress for banning dogfighting nationwide. Dogfighting is terribly cruel, highly unpopular and strongly linked to organized crime. What is most important now is that the Senate passes a reform to the federal criminal code so that dogfighting is effectively penalized.” read more

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Herring Creates Nation’s First Attorney General’s Animal Law Unit

Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General

Mark Herring
Attorney General

900 East Main Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219

For media inquiries only, contact:
Michael Kelly, Director of Communications
Phone: (804)786-5874
Email: mkelly@oag.state.va.us

RICHMOND (January 22, 2015)– Attorney General Mark R. Herring today announced the designation of the nation’s first Attorney General’s “Animal Law” unit, a small group of current staff attorneys who will spend a portion of their time, as needed, serving as a resource for local law enforcement and state agencies on issues involving animal welfare and animal fighting or abuse. Because of the specialized and relatively infrequent nature of cases involving animal welfare, many prosecutors and law enforcement agencies seek assistance from the Office of Attorney General in effectively investigating and prosecuting these cases. The power to initiate an investigation or prosecution will remain with local agencies, but the Animal Law unit will be available to provide assistance or handle a case by request from a commonwealth’s attorney or law enforcement agency. read more

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Celebrating Three Huge Victories for Virginia Animals!

Hello Advocates!

This last legislative session in Virginia was a historical one for animals. We are thrilled to say that THREE bills are now signed into law that will provide critical and necessary protections for Virginia’s most vulnerable animals. Your contributions to Humane Dominion enabled us to tip the scales just enough to get these bills passed. This is a game-changing year for us at Humane Dominion, the legislature in Richmond, and for the future of animal welfare in Virginia. And this has all been possible because of YOU! read more

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Crackdown on Spectators at Animal Fights

Bipartisan legislation, S. 1947/H.R. 2492, has been introduced by U.S. Reps. Tom Marino, R-Pa., and Betty Sutton, D-Ohio, and by Senators Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Mark Kirk, R-Ill., Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and Scott Brown, R-Mass., that would prohibit knowing attendance at organized animal fights and impose additional penalties for causing a minor to attend such events.

Over the past decade, Congress has strengthened the penalties for and closed major loopholes in the federal animal fighting law, but has left the issue of spectators unaddressed. The legislation will correct this remaining gap in federal law to allow for a more comprehensive crackdown on this barbaric activity. read more

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Adoptables: Ernest

Ernest affectionately called Ernie did not have a great start to his short life.  This boy was taken from a rural shelter with such severe... more

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