Take Action — HB 2482 Weakens protection for animals

Under H.B. 2482 it would be more difficult to seize animals trapped in inhumane conditions by breeders, dealers or pet stores. Under the bill animals could only be seized if they are “(i) under a direct and immediate threat or (ii) the owner or custodian is unable to or does not provide adequate impoundment.” Otherwise, the breeder, dealer or pet shop could be ordered to impound animals under a directive or order. Yes, the abuser would “impound” their own abused or neglected animals. Regardless, upon conviction, the breeder, dealer or pet shop could obtain return of the animals “at the discretion of the court.”

Emergency veterinary care requirements for all owners and keepers would be limited under the bill. Emergency veterinary treatment would no longer include treatment to prevent further progression of a disease but only that necessary “to stabilize a life-threatening condition, alleviate suffering, or prevent further transmission of a serious disease”.

The bill would repeal provisions requiring owners to pay the costs associated with seizure of animals. Even if the animal is found to have been abandoned, cruelly treated, or deprived of adequate care, the court would not be obligated to require the owner to pay for costs of caring for the animal following seizure.

The bill would also allow courts to return animals to owners who are convicted of depriving them of adequate care and even if the animals were abandoned or cruelly treated.

This bill will repeal or weaken some hard won protections for animals. H.B. 2482 has been assigned to the Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources. Find committee members here and your Virginia legislators here. Call or write (faxes or letters are best) and urge them to vote NO on  H.B. 2482.