Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 18.2. Crimes and Offenses Generally
Chapter 4. Crimes Against the Person

§ 18.2-52.2. Animal attack resulting from owner's disregard for human life; penalty.

A. Any owner of an animal is guilty of a Class 6 felony if his willful act or omission in the care, control, or containment of such animal is so gross, wanton, and culpable as to show a reckless disregard for human life and is the proximate cause of such animal attacking and causing serious bodily injury to any person.

B. The provisions of subsection A shall not apply to any animal that at the time of the act complained of was responding to pain or injury, was protecting itself, its kennel, its offspring, a person, or its owner's property, or was a police dog engaged in the performance of its duties at the time of the attack.

C. The court may determine that a person convicted under this section shall be prohibited from owning, possessing, or residing on the same property with an animal of the type that led to such conviction.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 464.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.