Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 3.2. Agriculture, Animal Care, and Food
Chapter 65. Comprehensive Animal Care
11/30/2021

§ 3.2-6540.03. Violation of law by owner of dangerous dog; penalty.

A. If an owner of an animal previously found to be a dangerous dog pursuant to § 3.2-6540 is charged with a violation of § 3.2-6540, 3.2-6540.01, 3.2-6540.02, or 3.2-6540.04, the animal control officer shall confine the dangerous dog until such time as evidence shall be heard and a verdict rendered pursuant to § 3.2-6540. Unless good cause is determined by the court, such evidentiary hearing shall be held within 30 days of the issuance of the summons. The court, through its contempt powers, may compel the owner of the animal to produce the animal.

B. Upon conviction, the court may (i) order the dangerous dog to be disposed of by a local governing body pursuant to § 3.2-6562 or (ii) grant the owner up to 30 days to comply with the requirements of § 3.2-6540.01, during which time the dangerous dog shall remain in the custody of the animal control officer until compliance has been verified. If the owner fails to achieve compliance within the time specified by the court, the court shall order the dangerous dog to be disposed of by a local governing body pursuant to § 3.2-6562. The court may order the owner to pay all reasonable expenses incurred in caring and providing for such dangerous dog from the time the animal is taken into custody until such time that the animal is disposed of or returned to the owner.

C. Any owner of a dangerous dog who is charged with a violation pursuant to subsection A and is found to have willfully failed to comply with the requirements of § 3.2-6540, 3.2-6540.01, 3.2-6540.02, or 3.2-6540.04 is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. The court may determine that a person convicted under this subsection shall be prohibited from owning, possessing, or residing on the same property with a dog.

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

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