Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 18.2. Crimes and Offenses Generally
Chapter 8. Crimes Involving Morals and Decency

Article 8. Offenses Involving Animals.

§ 18.2-403.1. Offenses involving animals — Class 1 misdemeanors.

The following unlawful acts and offenses against animals shall constitute and be punished as a Class 1 misdemeanor:

1. Violation of subsection A of § 3.2-6570 pertaining to cruelty to animals, except as provided for second or subsequent violations in that section.

2. Violation of § 3.2-6508 pertaining to transporting animals under certain conditions.

3. Making a false claim or receiving money on a false claim under § 3.2-6553 pertaining to compensation for livestock and poultry killed by dogs.

4. Violation of § 3.2-6518 pertaining to boarding establishments and groomers as defined in § 3.2-6500.

5. Violation of § 3.2-6504 pertaining to the abandonment of animals.

6. Violation of subdivision B 3 of § 3.2-6587 pertaining to an animal confinement agreement or plan set forth in § 3.2-6562.1.

1984, c. 492; 1992, c. 177; 1993, c. 174; 1996, c. 249; 1999, c. 620; 2018, c. 416; 2020, c. 1183.

§ 18.2-403.2. Offenses involving animals — Class 3 misdemeanors.

The following unlawful acts and offenses against animals shall constitute and be punished as a Class 3 misdemeanor:

1. Violation of § 3.2-6511 pertaining to the failure of a shopkeeper or pet dealer to provide adequate care to animals.

2. Violation of § 3.2-6509 pertaining to the misrepresentation of an animal's condition by the shopkeeper or pet dealer.

3. Violation of § 3.2-6510 pertaining to the sale of baby fowl.

4. Violation of clause (iv) of subsection A of § 3.2-6570 pertaining to soring horses.

5. Violation of § 3.2-6519 pertaining to notice of consumer remedies required to be supplied by boarding establishments.

1984, c. 492; 1992, c. 177; 1993, c. 174; 1999, c. 620; 2003, c. 787; 2008, cc. 543, 707; 2018, c. 416; 2019, cc. 536, 537.

§ 18.2-403.3. Offenses involving animals — Class 4 misdemeanors.

The following unlawful acts and offenses against animals shall constitute and be punished as a Class 4 misdemeanor:

1. Violation of § 3.2-6566 pertaining to interference of agents charged with preventing cruelty to animals.

2. Violation of § 3.2-6573 pertaining to shooting pigeons.

3. Violation of § 3.2-6554 pertaining to disposing of the body of a dead companion animal.

4. Unless otherwise punishable under subsection B of § 3.2-6587, violation of ordinances passed pursuant to §§ 3.2-6522 and 3.2-6525 pertaining to rabid dogs and preventing the spread of rabies and the running at large of vicious dogs.

5. Violation of an ordinance passed pursuant to § 3.2-6539 requiring dogs to be on a leash.

6. Failure by any person to secure and exhibit the permits required by § 29.1-422 pertaining to field trails, night trails and foxhounds.

7. Diseased dogs. — For the owner of any dog with a contagious or infectious disease, other than rabies, to permit such dog to stray from his premises if such disease is known to the owner.

8. License application. — For any person to make a false statement in order to secure a dog or cat license to which he is not entitled.

9. License tax. — For any dog or cat owner to fail to pay any license tax required by subsection A or C of § 3.2-6530 within one month after the date when it is due. In addition, the court may order confiscation and the proper disposition of the dog or cat.

10. Concealing a dog or cat. — For any person to conceal or harbor any dog or cat on which any required license tax has not been paid.

11. Removing collar and tag. — For any person, except the owner or custodian, to remove a legally acquired license tag from a dog or cat without the permission of the owner or custodian.

12. Violation of § 3.2-6503 pertaining to care of animals by owner.

1984, c. 492; 1993, cc. 174, 817; 2017, cc. 559, 567; 2020, c. 1183.

§ 18.2-403.4. Unauthorized release of animals; penalty.

Any person who intentionally releases an animal, as defined in § 3.2-6500, lawfully confined for scientific, research, commercial, agricultural or educational purposes without the consent of the owner or custodian of the animal and with the intent to impede or obstruct any such lawful purpose shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

1992, c. 307.