McAuliffe signs shelter bill that PETA opposed


Gov. Terry McAuliffe has signed a bill that a lobbyist for PETA feared could shut down the group’s Norfolk shelter.

The bill was sponsored by Sen. Bill Stanley, R-Franklin County, who said he was upset by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ high euthanasia rate. The bill tweaks a state law that defines private animal shelters, clarifying that their purpose is to find permanent adoptive homes for animals. A lobbyist for PETA emailed lawmakers asking them to oppose it.

The bill passed each chamber with little opposition.

PETA issued a statement Wednesday saying its Norfolk shelter “has always operated to find adoptive homes and will continue to do so as stated in Senate Bill 1381.”

Stanley said he’s hopeful PETA will take steps to reduce its high kill rate. If it doesn’t, it could be considered noncompliant with the law and lose access to euthanasia drugs.

“Time is going to tell whether they change not only in attitude but in action,” he said.