Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 3.2. Agriculture, Animal Care, and Food
7/8/2020

Article 3. Transportation and Sale of Animals.

§ 3.2-6508. Transporting animals; requirements; penalty.

A. No owner, railroad or other common carrier when transporting any animal shall allow that animal to be confined in any type of conveyance more than 24 consecutive hours without being exercised, properly rested, fed and watered as necessary for that particular type and species of animal. A reasonable extension of this time shall be permitted when an accident, storm or other act of God causes a delay. Adequate space in the primary enclosure within any type of conveyance shall be provided each animal depending upon the particular type and species of animal.

B. No person shall import into the Commonwealth, nor export from the Commonwealth, for the purpose of sale or offering for sale any dog or cat under the age of eight weeks without its dam.

C. Violation of this section is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

1984, c. 492, § 29-213.39; 1987, c. 488, § 3.1-796.69; 1993, c. 174; 2008, c. 860.

§ 3.2-6508.1. Sale of dogs or cats prohibited in certain places.

A. It is unlawful for any person to sell, exchange, trade, barter, lease, or display for a commercial purpose any dog or cat on or in any roadside, public right-of-way, parkway, median, park, or recreation area; flea market or other outdoor market; or commercial parking lot, regardless of whether such act is authorized by the landowner.

B. This section shall not apply to:

1. The display of dogs or cats by or the adoption of dogs or cats from a humane society or private or public animal shelter as those terms are defined in § 3.2-6500;

2. The display of dogs or cats as part of a state or county fair exhibition, 4-H program, or similar exhibition or educational program;

3. The sale, exchange, or trade of dogs that are sold primarily for use in commonly-accepted hunting or livestock farming activities; or

4. A prearranged sale between a dog breeder and a specific individual purchaser. Such prearranged sale shall not take place at a regularly-occurring event such as a flea market or other organized trade venue.

2015, c. 679.

§ 3.2-6509. Misrepresentation of animal's condition; penalties.

No person shall misrepresent the physical condition of any animal at the animal's sale, trade, delivery, or other method of transfer. For the purpose of this section, misrepresentation shall include selling, trading, delivering or otherwise transferring an animal to another person with the knowledge that the animal has an infection, communicable disease, parasitic infestation, abnormality or other physical defect that is not made known to the person receiving the animal. The sale of an agricultural animal that has external or internal parasites that are not made known to the person receiving the animal shall not be a violation of this section unless the animal is clinically ill or debilitated due to such parasites at the time of sale, trade, delivery or transfer of the animal. Violation of this section is a Class 3 misdemeanor.

Any violation of this section by a pet dealer shall also constitute a prohibited practice under § 59.1-200 and shall be subject to the enforcement provisions of the Virginia Consumer Protection Act (§ 59.1-196 et seq.).

1984, c. 492, § 29-213.42; 1987, c. 488, § 3.1-796.72; 1998, c. 817; 2008, c. 860; 2019, c. 566.

§ 3.2-6509.1. Disclosure of animal bite history; penalties.

A. Any custodian of a releasing agency, animal control officer, law-enforcement officer, or humane investigator, upon taking custody of any dog or cat in the course of his official duties, shall ask and document whether, if known, the dog or cat has bitten a person or other animal and the circumstances and date of such bite. Any custodian of a releasing agency, animal control officer, law-enforcement officer, or humane investigator, upon release of a dog or cat for (i) adoption, (ii) return to a rightful owner, or (iii) transfer to another agency, shall disclose, if known, that the dog or cat has bitten a person or other animal and the circumstances and date of such bite.

B. Violation of this section is a Class 3 misdemeanor.

2018, c. 678.

§ 3.2-6510. Sale of unweaned or certain immature animals prohibited, vaccinations required for dogs and cats; penalty.

A. No person shall sell, raffle, give away, or offer for sale as pets or novelties, or offer or give as a prize, premium, or advertising device any living chicks, ducklings, or other fowl under two months old in quantities of less than six or any unweaned mammalian companion animal or any dog or cat under the age of seven weeks without its dam or queen. Dealers may offer immature fowl, unweaned mammalian companion animals, dogs or cats under the age of seven weeks for sale as pets or novelties with the requirement that prospective owners take possession of the animals only after fowl have reached two months of age, mammalian companion animals have been weaned, and dogs and cats are at least seven weeks of age. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the sale, gift, or transfer of an unweaned animal: (i) as food for other animals; (ii) with the lactating dam or queen or a lactating surrogate dam or queen that has accepted the animal; (iii) due to a concern for the health or safety of the unweaned animal; or (iv) to animal control, a public or private animal shelter, or a veterinarian.

B. Dealers shall provide all dogs and cats with current vaccinations against contagious and infectious diseases, as recommended in writing and considered appropriate for the animal's age and breed by a licensed veterinarian, or pursuant to written recommendations provided by the manufacturer of such vaccines at least five days before any new owner takes possession of the animal. For dogs, the vaccinations required by this subsection shall include at a minimum canine distemper, adenovirus type II parainfluenza, and parvovirus. For cats, the vaccinations required by this subsection shall include at a minimum rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and panleukopenia. Dealers shall provide the new owner with the dog's or cat's immunization history.

C. A violation of this section is a Class 3 misdemeanor.

1984, c. 492, § 29-213.40; 1987, c. 488, § 3.1-796.70; 1993, c. 174; 1995, c. 625; 2006, c. 503; 2008, c. 860; 2014, c. 148.

§ 3.2-6511. Failure of dealer or pet shop to provide adequate care; penalty.

Any dealer or pet shop that fails to adequately house, feed, water, exercise or care for animals in his or its possession or custody as provided for under this chapter is guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor. Such animals shall be subject to seizure and impoundment, and upon conviction of such person the animals may be sold, euthanized, or disposed of as provided by § 3.2-6546 for licensed, tagged, or tattooed animals. Such failure is also grounds for revocation of a permit or certificate of registration after public hearing. Any funds that result from such sale shall be used first to pay the costs of the local jurisdiction for the impoundment and disposition of the animals, and any funds remaining shall be paid to the owner, if known. If the owner is not found, the remaining funds shall be paid into the Literary Fund.

1984, c. 492, § 29-213.41; 1987, c. 488, § 3.1-796.71; 1993, c. 174; 2008, c. 860.

§ 3.2-6511.1. Pet shops; procurement of dogs; penalty.

A. A pet shop shall sell or offer for adoption a dog procured only from a humane society; a private or public animal shelter as those terms are defined in § 3.2-6500; or a person who has not received from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, pursuant to enforcement of the federal Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. § 2131 et seq.) or regulations adopted thereunder, (i) a citation for a direct or critical violation or citations for three or more indirect or noncritical violations for at least two years prior to the procurement of the dog or (ii) two consecutive citations for no access to the facility prior to the procurement of the dog and who has not knowingly obtained the dog directly or indirectly from a person with such citations.

B. It shall be unlawful for any dealer or commercial dog breeder who is not licensed or exempted from licensure by the U.S. Department of Agriculture pursuant to the federal Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. § 2131 et seq.) or regulations adopted thereunder to sell any dog to a pet shop.

C. A pet shop shall retain records verifying compliance with this section for a minimum of two years after the disposition of any dog.

D. Any person violating any provision of this section is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor for each dog sold or offered for sale.

2008, c. 852, § 3.1-796.71:1; 2015, c. 679; 2017, c. 399.

§ 3.2-6511.2. Dealers; importation and sale of dogs; penalty.

A. No dealer or commercial dog breeder shall import for sale, sell, or offer for sale any dog bred by a person who has received from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, pursuant to enforcement of the federal Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. § 2131 et seq.) or regulations adopted thereunder, (i) a citation for a direct or critical violation or citations for three or more indirect or noncritical violations for at least two years prior to the procurement of the dog or (ii) two consecutive citations for no access to the facility prior to the procurement of the dog.

B. Any person violating any provision of this section is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor for each dog imported, sold, or offered for sale.

2020, c. 569.

§ 3.2-6512. Sale without pet dealer's animal history certificate violation of Consumer Protection Act; contents of certificate.

It shall be a violation of the Virginia Consumer Protection Act (§ 59.1-196 et seq.) for any pet dealer to sell a dog or cat within the Commonwealth stating, promising, or representing that the animal is registered or capable of being registered with any animal pedigree registry organization, without providing the consumer with a pet dealer's animal history certificate at the time the consumer takes possession of the dog or cat. The pet dealer's animal history certificate shall be signed by the pet dealer or his agent or employee and shall contain the following information:

1. The animal's breed, sex, age, color, and birth date;

2. The name and address of the person from whom the pet dealer purchased the animal;

3. The breeder's name and address;

4. The name and registration number of the animal's parents;

5. If the animal has been so examined, the date on which the animal has been examined by a licensed veterinarian, the name and address of such veterinarian, and a brief statement of any findings made; and

6. A statement of all vaccinations administered to the animal, including the identity and quantity of the vaccine, and the name and address of the person or licensed veterinarian administering or supervising the vaccinations.

The information contained in the pet dealer's animal history certificate required herein shall be informative only, and the pet dealer shall not be responsible in any manner for the accuracy of such information unless he knows or has reason to know that such information is erroneous.

A copy of the pet dealer's animal history certificate signed by the consumer shall be maintained by the pet dealer for a period of two years following the date of sale.

A pet shop operating in the Commonwealth shall post in a conspicuous place on or near the cage of any dog or cat available for sale the breeder's name, city, state, and USDA license number. A pet shop or a USDA licensed dealer who advertises any dog or cat for sale in the Commonwealth, including by Internet advertisement, shall provide prior to the time of sale the breeder's name, city, state, and USDA license number.

1984, c. 492, § 29-213.48; 1987, c. 488, § 3.1-796.78; 2008, c. 860; 2014, c. 448; 2019, c. 566.

§ 3.2-6513. Inclusion of false or misleading statements in certificate violation of Consumer Protection Act.

It shall be a violation of the Virginia Consumer Protection Act (§ 59.1-196 et seq.) for a pet dealer to include in the pet dealer's animal history certificate provided for in § 3.2-6512 any false or misleading statement regarding the information to be contained therein.

1984, c. 492, § 29-213.49; 1987, c. 488, § 3.1-796.79; 2008, c. 860.

§ 3.2-6513.1. Pet shops; posting of information about dogs.

A. Any pet shop that sells dogs shall place a clear and conspicuous sign near the cages in the public sales area stating: "USDA APHIS Inspection Reports Available Prior to Purchase." The sign shall be no smaller than eight and one-half inches high by 11 inches wide, and the print shall be no smaller than one-half inch.

B. Any pet shop that sells dogs shall maintain for each dog in its possession a written record that includes the following information:

1. The breed, age, and date of birth of the dog, if known;

2. The sex, color, and any identifying markings of the dog;

3. Any additional identifying information, including a tag, tattoo, collar number, or microchip;

4. Documentation of all inoculations, worming treatments, and other medical treatments, if known, including the date of the medical treatment, the diagnosis, and the name and title of the treatment provider;

5. For a dog obtained from a breeder or dealer, (i) the state in which the breeder and, if applicable, the dealer are located; (ii) the U.S. Department of Agriculture license number of the breeder and, if applicable, the dealer; (iii) the final inspection reports for the breeder and, if applicable, the dealer, issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture from the two years immediately before the date the pet store received the dog; and (iv) the facility where the dog was born and the transporter or carrier of the dog, if any;

6. For a dog obtained from a public animal shelter, the name of the shelter; and

7. For a dog obtained from a private animal shelter or humane society, the name of the shelter or organization and the locality in which it is located.

C. Any pet shop that sells dogs shall maintain a copy of the written record required by subsection B for at least two years after the date of sale of the dog and shall make such record available to the Office of the State Veterinarian upon reasonable notice, to any bona fide prospective purchaser upon request, and to the purchaser at the time of sale. Any such pet shop shall transmit the information required by subdivisions B 5, 6, and 7 to the local animal control officer upon request.

D. Any violation of this section, except for a violation of the requirement of subsection C to make records available to the Office of the State Veterinarian or transmit information to the local animal control officer, shall also constitute a prohibited practice under § 59.1-200 and shall be subject to the enforcement provisions of the Virginia Consumer Protection Act (§ 59.1-196 et seq.).

2018, c. 780; 2020, c. 412.

§ 3.2-6513.2. (Effective January 1, 2021) Rental or lease of dog or cat prohibited; civil penalty.

A. As used in this section, "covered person" means any pet shop, commercial dog breeder, pet dealer, firm, or other pet selling business.

B. The rental or leasing of a dog or cat to a Virginia consumer, including by a purported sale of the animal in such a manner as to vest less than full equity in the consumer at the time of the purported sale, is prohibited.

C. No covered person shall offer in Virginia an agreement for the transfer or sale of a dog or cat to the consumer in which the animal is subject to repossession in any manner upon default of the agreement by the consumer.

D. No financial institution, as defined in § 6.2-100, shall offer in Virginia a loan or financing agreement for the rental, lease, or sale of a dog or cat where the animal is subject to repossession upon default under the terms of the financing agreement.

E. Any violation of this section shall also constitute a prohibited practice under § 59.1-200 and shall be subject to the enforcement provisions of the Virginia Consumer Protection Act (§ 59.1-196 et seq.). In addition, any covered person that violates any provision of this section may have its business license, retail license, or local pet shop permit issued pursuant to § 3.2-6537 suspended or revoked after a hearing by the issuing authority. The court may also suspend or revoke the retail license of any business found to be in violation of this section.

F. The provisions of this section shall not apply to the temporary rental or lease of any of the following animals, so long as the animal is used in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local animal protection laws:

1. A purebred dog that is rented for the express purpose of breeding pursuant to a written lease that sets out a specific time period, contains a firm end date, and is recorded with a national purebred dog registry;

2. A dog or cat that is used in spectator events, shows, exhibitions, motion pictures, or other entertainment, including animal exhibitions, racing events, field trials, polo matches, rodeo events, or any audiovisual media; or

3. A service dog as defined in § 51.5-40.1, guide or leader dog as defined in § 3.2-6588, security dog, police or law-enforcement dog, military working dog, or certified facility dog as defined in § 18.2-67.9:1.

2020, c. 630.

§ 3.2-6514. Consumer remedies for receipt of diseased animal upon certification by veterinarian.

A. If, at any time within 10 days following receipt of an animal, a licensed veterinarian certifies such animal to be unfit for purchase due to illness, a congenital defect deleterious to the health of the animal, or the presence of symptoms of a contagious or infectious disease other than parvovirus, or if at any time within 14 days following the receipt of an animal a licensed veterinarian certifies such animal to be unfit for purchase due to being infected with parvovirus, the pet dealer shall afford the consumer the right to choose one of the following options:

1. The right to return the animal or, in the case of an animal that has died, to present the veterinary certification, within three business days of certification and receive a refund of the purchase price including sales tax; or

2. The right to return the animal or, in the case of an animal that has died, to present the veterinary certification, within three business days of certification and to receive an exchange animal of equivalent value from the dealer, subject to the choice of the consumer; or

3. In the case of an animal purchased from a pet shop or a USDA licensed dealer, the right to retain the animal and to receive the reimbursement of veterinary fees in an amount up to the purchase price of the animal, including sales tax and the cost of the veterinary certification, incurred up to the time the consumer notifies the pet dealer of the intent to keep the animal. Such notification shall occur within three business days of certification. Veterinary costs incurred by the consumer after such notification shall be the responsibility of the consumer.

B. The refund or reimbursement required by subsection A shall be made by the pet dealer not later than 10 business days following receipt of a signed veterinary certification as provided in § 3.2-6515.

C. Any violation of this section shall also constitute a prohibited practice under § 59.1-200 and shall be subject to the enforcement provisions of the Virginia Consumer Protection Act (§ 59.1-196 et seq.).

1984, c. 492, § 29-213.50; 1987, c. 488, § 3.1-796.80; 2008, c. 860; 2014, c. 448; 2020, c. 412.

§ 3.2-6515. Written notice of consumer remedies required to be supplied by pet dealers.

A. A pet dealer shall give the notice hereinafter set forth in writing to a consumer prior to the delivery of a dog or cat. Such notice shall be embodied in a written contract, the pet dealer's animal history certificate, or a separate document and shall state in ten-point boldface type the following:

"NOTICE

The sale of dogs and cats is subject to the provisions of the Virginia Consumer Protection Act (§ 59.1-196 et seq.). In the event that a licensed veterinarian certifies your animal to be unfit for purchase within 10 days following receipt of your animal, or within 14 days following receipt if the animal is infected with parvovirus, you may choose: (i) to return your animal, or in the case of an animal that has died, the veterinary certification, and receive a refund of the purchase price including sales tax; or (ii) to return the animal and receive an exchange animal of your choice of equivalent value. In the case of an animal purchased from a pet shop or a USDA licensed dealer, you also may choose to retain the animal and receive reimbursement of the cost of veterinary certification and veterinary fees in an amount up to the purchase price of the animal.

In order to exercise these rights you must present a written veterinary certification that the animal is unfit to the pet dealer within three business days after receiving such certification.

If the pet dealer has promised to register your animal or to provide the papers necessary therefor and fails to do so within 120 days following the date of contract, you are entitled to return the animal and receive a refund of the purchase price or to retain the animal and receive a refund of an amount not to exceed 50 percent of the purchase price."

B. Any violation of this section shall also constitute a prohibited practice under § 59.1-200 and shall be subject to the enforcement provisions of the Virginia Consumer Protection Act (§ 59.1-196 et seq.).

1984, c. 492, § 29-213.51; 1987, c. 488, § 3.1-796.81; 2008, c. 860; 2014, c. 448; 2020, c. 412.

§ 3.2-6516. Failure of pet dealer to effect registration after promise; violation of Consumer Protection Act; remedies; veterinary certification; finding of intestinal parasites; illness subsequent to sale.

A. It shall be a violation of the Virginia Consumer Protection Act (§ 59.1-196 et seq.) for a pet dealer to state, promise, or represent that a dog or cat is registered or capable of being registered with any animal pedigree registry organization if the pet dealer shall then fail to either effect such registration or provide the consumer with the documents necessary therefor within 120 days following the date of sale of such animal. In the event that a pet dealer fails to effect registration or to provide the necessary documents therefor within 120 days following the date of sale, the consumer shall be entitled to choose one of the following options:

1. To return the animal and to receive a refund of the purchase price plus sales tax; or

2. To retain the animal and to receive a refund of an amount not to exceed 50 percent of the purchase price and sales tax.

B. The veterinary certification and statement required herein shall be presented to the pet dealer not later than three business days following receipt thereof by the consumer and shall contain the following information:

1. The name of the owner;

2. The date or dates of the examination;

3. The breed, color, sex, and age of the animal;

4. A description of the veterinarian's findings;

5. A statement that the veterinarian certifies the animal to be unfit for purchase; and

6. The name and address of the certifying veterinarian and the date of the certification.

C. A veterinary finding of intestinal parasites shall not be grounds for declaring the animal unfit for purchase unless the animal is clinically ill due to such condition. An animal may not be found unfit for purchase on account of an injury sustained or illness contracted subsequent to the consumer taking possession thereof.

1984, c. 492, § 29-213.52; 1987, c. 488, § 3.1-796.82; 2008, c. 860.

§ 3.2-6517. Remedies cumulative.

The remedies provided for pursuant to this article are cumulative and not exclusive and shall be in addition to any other remedy provided for by law.

1984, c. 492, § 29-213.53; 1987, c. 488, § 3.1-796.83; 2008, c. 860.

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