2006 Code of Virginia § 3.1-796.104:1 - Training of animal control officers

3.1-796.104:1. Training of animal control officers.

A. After April 1, 1999, every locality appointing animal control officersshall require that every animal control officer and deputy animal controlofficer completes the following training:

1. Within two years after appointment, a basic animal control course that hasbeen approved by the State Veterinarian, who may consult with the Departmentof Criminal Justice Services, Department of Social Services, Virginia FarmBureau Federation, Virginia Animal Control Association, Virginia VeterinaryMedical Association, Virginia Association of Counties, Virginia MunicipalLeague, Virginia Federation of Humane Societies, or other appropriateagencies and sportsmen advocacy groups. The basic animal control course shallinclude training in recognizing suspected child abuse and neglect andinformation on how complaints may be filed and shall be approved andimplemented by July 1, 2005; and

2. Every three years, additional training approved by the State Veterinarian,15 hours of which shall be training in animal control and protection.

The State Veterinarian shall develop criteria to be used in approvingtraining courses and shall provide an opportunity for public comment onproposed criteria before the final criteria are adopted.

Subdivision 1 shall not apply to animal control officers or deputy animalcontrol officers appointed before July 1, 1998. The State Veterinarian maygrant exemptions from the requirements of subdivision 1 to animal controlofficers appointed on or after July 1, 1998, based on the animal controlofficer's previous training.

The State Veterinarian shall work to ensure the availability of thesetraining courses through regional criminal justice training academies orother entities as approved by him. Based on information provided byauthorized training entities, the State Veterinarian shall maintain thetraining records for all animal control officers for the purpose ofdocumenting and ensuring that they are in compliance with this subsection.

B. Upon cause shown by a locality, the State Veterinarian may grantadditional time during which the training required by subsection A may becompleted by an animal control officer in such locality.

C. Any animal control officer that fails to complete the training required bysubsection A shall be removed from office, unless the State Veterinarian hasgranted additional time as provided in subsection B.

(1998, c. 817; 2002, c. 418; 2004, c. 181.)

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