2006 Code of Virginia § 3.1-796.66 - Definitions

3.1-796.66. Definitions.

The following words as used in this chapter shall have the following meanings:

"Abandon" means to desert, forsake, or absolutely give up an animal withouthaving secured another owner or custodian for the animal or by failing toprovide the elements of basic care as set forth in 3.1-796.68 for a periodof five consecutive days.

"Adequate care" or "care" means the responsible practice of good animalhusbandry, handling, production, management, confinement, feeding, watering,protection, shelter, transportation, treatment, and, when necessary,euthanasia, appropriate for the age, species, condition, size and type of theanimal and the provision of veterinary care when needed to prevent sufferingor impairment of health.

"Adequate exercise" or "exercise" means the opportunity for the animal tomove sufficiently to maintain normal muscle tone and mass for the age,species, size, and condition of the animal.

"Adequate feed" means access to and the provision of food that is ofsufficient quantity and nutritive value to maintain each animal in goodhealth; is accessible to each animal; is prepared so as to permit ease ofconsumption for the age, species, condition, size and type of each animal; isprovided in a clean and sanitary manner; is placed so as to minimizecontamination by excrement and pests; and is provided at suitable intervalsfor the species, age, and condition of the animal, but at least once daily,except as prescribed by a veterinarian or as dictated by naturally occurringstates of hibernation or fasting normal for the species.

"Adequate shelter" means provision of and access to shelter that issuitable for the species, age, condition, size, and type of each animal;provides adequate space for each animal; is safe and protects each animalfrom injury, rain, sleet, snow, hail, direct sunlight, the adverse effects ofheat or cold, physical suffering, and impairment of health; is properlylighted; is properly cleaned; enables each animal to be clean and dry, exceptwhen detrimental to the species; and, for dogs and cats, provides a solidsurface, resting platform, pad, floormat, or similar device that is largeenough for the animal to lie on in a normal manner and can be maintained in asanitary manner. Under this chapter, shelters whose wire, grid, or slatfloors (i) permit the animals' feet to pass through the openings, (ii) sagunder the animals' weight, or (iii) otherwise do not protect the animals'feet or toes from injury are not adequate shelter.

"Adequate space" means sufficient space to allow each animal to (i) easilystand, sit, lie, turn about, and make all other normal body movements in acomfortable, normal position for the animal and (ii) interact safely withother animals in the enclosure. When an animal is tethered, "adequatespace" means a tether that permits the above actions and is appropriate tothe age and size of the animal; is attached to the animal by a properlyapplied collar, halter, or harness configured so as to protect the animalfrom injury and prevent the animal or tether from becoming entangled withother objects or animals, or from extending over an object or edge that couldresult in the strangulation or injury of the animal; and is at least threetimes the length of the animal, as measured from the tip of its nose to thebase of its tail, except when the animal is being walked on a leash or isattached by a tether to a lead line. When freedom of movement would endangerthe animal, temporarily and appropriately restricting movement of the animalaccording to professionally accepted standards for the species is consideredprovision of adequate space.

"Adequate water" means provision of and access to clean, fresh, potablewater of a drinkable temperature that is provided in a suitable manner, insufficient volume, and at suitable intervals, but at least once every 12hours, to maintain normal hydration for the age, species, condition, size andtype of each animal, except as prescribed by a veterinarian or as dictated bynaturally occurring states of hibernation or fasting normal for the species;and is provided in clean, durable receptacles that are accessible to eachanimal and are placed so as to minimize contamination of the water byexcrement and pests or an alternative source of hydration consistent withgenerally accepted husbandry practices.

"Adoption" means the transfer of ownership of a dog or a cat, or any othercompanion animal, from a releasing agency to an individual.

"Agricultural animals" means all livestock and poultry.

"Ambient temperature" means the temperature surrounding the animal.

"Animal" means any nonhuman vertebrate species except fish. For thepurposes of 3.1-796.98, animal means any species susceptible to rabies. Forthe purposes of 3.1-796.122, animal means any nonhuman vertebrate speciesincluding fish except those fish captured and killed or disposed of in areasonable and customary manner.

"Animal control officer" means a person appointed as an animal controlofficer or deputy animal control officer as provided in 3.1-796.104.

"Animal shelter" means a facility, other than a private residentialdwelling and its surrounding grounds, that is used to house or containanimals and that is owned, operated, or maintained by a nongovernmentalentity including, but not limited to, a humane society, animal welfareorganization, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, or any otherorganization operating for the purpose of finding permanent adoptive homesfor animals.

"Board" means the Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

"Boarding establishment" means a place or establishment other than a poundor animal shelter where companion animals not owned by the proprietor aresheltered, fed, and watered in exchange for a fee.

"Collar" means a well-fitted device, appropriate to the age and size of theanimal, attached to the animal's neck in such a way as to prevent trauma orinjury to the animal.

"Companion animal" means any domestic or feral dog, domestic or feral cat,nonhuman primate, guinea pig, hamster, rabbit not raised for human food orfiber, exotic or native animal, reptile, exotic or native bird, or any feralanimal or any animal under the care, custody, or ownership of a person or anyanimal that is bought, sold, traded, or bartered by any person. Agriculturalanimals, game species, or any animals regulated under federal law as researchanimals shall not be considered companion animals for the purposes of thischapter.

"Consumer" means any natural person purchasing an animal from a dealer orpet shop or hiring the services of a boarding establishment. The term"consumer" shall not include a business or corporation engaged in sales orservices.

"Dealer" means any person who in the regular course of business forcompensation or profit buys, sells, transfers, exchanges, or barterscompanion animals. The following shall not be considered dealers: (i) anyperson who transports companion animals in the regular course of business asa common carrier, or (ii) any person or organization whose primary purpose isto find permanent adoptive homes for companion animals.

"Direct and immediate threat" means any clear and imminent danger to ananimal's health, safety or life.

"Dump" means to knowingly desert, forsake, or absolutely give up withouthaving secured another owner or custodian any dog, cat or other companionanimal in any public place including the right-of-way of any public highway,road or street or on the property of another.

"Emergency veterinary treatment" means veterinary treatment to stabilize alife-threatening condition, alleviate suffering, prevent further diseasetransmission, or prevent further disease progression.

"Enclosure" means a structure used to house or restrict animals fromrunning at large.

"Euthanasia" means the humane destruction of an animal accomplished by amethod that involves instantaneous unconsciousness and immediate death or bya method that involves anesthesia, produced by an agent that causes painlessloss of consciousness, and death during such loss of consciousness.

"Exhibitor" means any person who has animals for or on public display,excluding an exhibitor licensed by the United States Department ofAgriculture.

"Facility" means a building, other than a private residential dwelling andits surrounding grounds, that is used to contain a primary enclosure orenclosures in which animals are housed or kept.

"Foster care provider" means an individual who provides care orrehabilitation for companion animals through an affiliation with a pound,animal shelter, or other releasing agency.

"Foster home" means a private residential dwelling and its surroundinggrounds at which site through an affiliation with a pound, animal shelter, orother releasing agency care or rehabilitation is provided for companionanimals.

"Groomer" means any person who, for a fee, cleans, trims, brushes, makesneat, manicures, or treats for external parasites any animal.

"Home-based rescue" means any person or organization that accepts (i) morethan 12 companion animals or (ii) more than nine companion animals and morethan three unweaned litters of companion animals in a calendar year for thepurpose of finding permanent adoptive homes for the companion animals andhouses the companion animals in a private residential dwelling or uses asystem of housing companion animals in private residential foster homes.

"Humane" means any action taken in consideration of and with the intent toprovide for the animal's health and well-being.

"Humane investigator" means a person who has been appointed by a circuitcourt as a humane investigator as provided in 3.1-796.106.

"Humane society" means any incorporated, nonprofit organization that isorganized for the purposes of preventing cruelty to animals and promotinghumane care and treatment or adoptions of animals.

"Kennel" means any establishment in which five or more canines, felines, orhybrids of either are kept for the purpose of breeding, hunting, training,renting, buying, boarding, selling, or showing.

"Law-enforcement officer" means any person who is a full-time or part-timeemployee of a police department or sheriff's office that is part of oradministered by the Commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof and whois responsible for the prevention and detection of crime and the enforcementof the penal, traffic or highway laws of the Commonwealth. Part-timeemployees are compensated officers who are not full-time employees as definedby the employing police department or sheriff's office.

"Livestock" includes all domestic or domesticated: bovine animals; equineanimals; ovine animals; porcine animals; cervidae animals; capradae animals;animals of the genus Lama; ratites; fish or shellfish in aquaculturefacilities, as defined in 3.1-73.6; enclosed domesticated rabbits or haresraised for human food or fiber; or any other individual animal specificallyraised for food or fiber, except companion animals.

"Local ordinance" means any law, rule, regulation, or ordinance promulgatedby the governing body of any county, city, or town.

"Locality" or "local government" means a county, city, or town, as thecontext may require.

"New owner" means an individual who is legally competent to enter into abinding agreement pursuant to subdivision B 2 of 3.1-796.126:1, and whoadopts or receives a dog or cat from a releasing agency.

"Other officer" includes all other persons employed or elected by thepeople of Virginia, or by any municipality, county, or incorporated townthereof, whose duty it is to preserve the peace, to make arrests, or toenforce the law.

"Owner" means any person who: (i) has a right of property in an animal,(ii) keeps or harbors an animal, (iii) has an animal in his care, or (iv)acts as a custodian of an animal.

"Person" means any individual, partnership, firm, joint-stock company,corporation, association, trust, estate, or other legal entity.

"Pet shop" means an establishment where companion animals are bought, sold,exchanged, or offered for sale or exchange to the general public.

"Poultry" includes all domestic fowl and game birds raised in captivity.

"Pound" means a facility operated by the Commonwealth, or any locality, forthe purpose of impounding or harboring seized, stray, homeless, abandoned, orunwanted animals; or a facility operated for the same purpose under acontract with any county, city, town, or incorporated society for theprevention of cruelty to animals.

"Primary enclosure" means any structure used to immediately restrict ananimal or animals to a limited amount of space, such as a room, pen, cage,compartment, or hutch. For tethered animals, the term includes the shelterand the area within reach of the tether.

"Properly cleaned" means that carcasses, debris, food waste and excrementare removed from the primary enclosure with sufficient frequency to minimizethe animals' contact with the above-mentioned contaminants; the primaryenclosure is sanitized with sufficient frequency to minimize odors and thehazards of disease; and the primary enclosure is cleaned so as to prevent theanimals confined therein from being directly or indirectly sprayed with thestream of water, or directly or indirectly exposed to hazardous chemicals ordisinfectants.

"Properly lighted" when referring to a facility means sufficientillumination to permit routine inspections, maintenance, cleaning, andhousekeeping of the facility, and observation of the animals; to provideregular diurnal lighting cycles of either natural or artificial light,uniformly diffused throughout the facility; and to promote the well-being ofthe animals. "Properly lighted" when referring to a private residentialdwelling and its surrounding grounds means sufficient illumination to permitroutine maintenance and cleaning thereof, and observation of the companionanimals; and to provide regular diurnal lighting cycles of either natural orartificial light to promote the well-being of the animals.

"Releasing agency" means a pound, animal shelter, humane society, animalwelfare organization, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, orother similar entity or home-based rescue, that releases companion animalsfor adoption.

"Research facility" means any place, laboratory, or institution licensed bythe U.S. Department of Agriculture at which scientific tests, experiments, orinvestigations involving the use of living animals are carried out,conducted, or attempted.

"Sanitize" means to make physically clean and to remove and destroy, to apractical minimum, agents injurious to health.

"Sore" means, when referring to an equine, that an irritating or blisteringagent has been applied, internally or externally, by a person to any limb orfoot of an equine; any burn, cut, or laceration that has been inflicted by aperson to any limb or foot of an equine; any tack, nail, screw, or chemicalagent that has been injected by a person into or used by a person on any limbor foot of an equine; any other substance or device that has been used by aperson on any limb or foot of an equine; or a person has engaged in apractice involving an equine, and as a result of such application,infliction, injection, use, or practice, such equine suffers, or canreasonably be expected to suffer, physical pain or distress, inflammation, orlameness when walking, trotting, or otherwise moving, except that such termdoes not include such an application, infliction, injection, use, or practicein connection with the therapeutic treatment of an equine by or under thesupervision of a licensed veterinarian. Notwithstanding anything containedherein to the contrary, nothing shall preclude the shoeing, use of pads, anduse of action devices as permitted by 9 C.F.R. Part 11.2.

"State Veterinarian" means the veterinarian employed by the Commissioner ofAgriculture and Consumer Services as provided in 3.1-723.

"State Veterinarian's representative" means an employee of the Departmentof Agriculture and Consumer Services who is under the direction of the StateVeterinarian.

"Sterilize" or "sterilization" means a surgical or chemical procedureperformed by a licensed veterinarian that renders a dog or cat permanentlyincapable of reproducing.

"Treasurer" includes the treasurer and his assistants of each county orcity or other officer designated by law to collect taxes in such county orcity.

"Treatment" or "adequate treatment" means the responsible handling ortransportation of animals in the person's ownership, custody or charge,appropriate for the age, species, condition, size and type of the animal.

"Veterinary treatment" means treatment by or on the order of a dulylicensed veterinarian.

"Weaned" means that an animal is capable of and physiologically accustomedto ingestion of solid food or food customary for the adult of the species,and has ingested such food, without nursing, for a period of at least fivedays.

(1984, c. 492, 29-213.36; 1987, c. 488; 1988, c. 538; 1991, c. 348; 1993,cc. 174, 959; 1995, c. 610; 1998, c. 817; 2002, cc. 351, 500, 787; 2003, c.1007.)

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