2006 Code of Virginia § 3.1-796.96:2 - Animal shelters; confinement and disposition of animals; affiliation with foster care providers; pe...

3.1-796.96:2. Animal shelters; confinement and disposition of animals;affiliation with foster care providers; penalties; injunctive relief.

A. An animal shelter may confine and dispose of animals in accordance withthe provisions of subsections B through F of 3.1-796.96.

B. Each animal shelter shall obtain a signed statement from each of itsdirectors, operators, staff, and animal caregivers specifying that theindividual has never been convicted of animal cruelty, neglect, orabandonment, and each animal shelter shall update such statement as changesoccur.

C. The State Veterinarian or his designee shall inspect an animal shelterprior to the animal shelter confining or disposing of animals pursuant tothis section. The animal shelter shall meet the requirements of all laws withregard to confinement and disposition of animals before the animal shelter isapproved to receive animals and provide a reasonable and comfortable climateappropriate for the age, species, condition, size, and type of animal.

D. An animal shelter that confines an animal that has not been received fromits owner shall, pursuant to this section, transmit a description of theanimal including at least species, color, breed, size, sex, and otheridentification or markings and where the animal was found, and its contactinformation, including its name, address, and telephone number, to the poundin the county or city where the animal was found within 48 hours of theanimal shelter receiving the animal. An animal shelter that confines anddisposes of animals pursuant to this subsection shall be accessible to thepublic at reasonable hours, shall have its telephone number and addresslisted in a telephone directory, and shall post its contact information,including at least its name, address, and telephone number, in the pound inthe locality where the animal shelter is located.

E. For purposes of recordkeeping, release of an animal by an animal shelterto a pound, animal shelter or other releasing agency shall be considered atransfer and not an adoption. If the animal is not first sterilized, theresponsibility for sterilizing the animal transfers to the receiving entity.

F. No animal shelter shall place a companion animal in a foster home with afoster care provider unless the foster care provider has read and signed astatement specifying that he has never been convicted of animal cruelty,neglect, or abandonment, and the animal shelter shall update the statement aschanges occur. The animal shelter shall maintain the original statement andany updates to such statement in accordance with this chapter and for atleast so long as the animal shelter has an affiliation with the foster careprovider.

G. An animal shelter that places a companion animal in a foster home with afoster care provider shall ensure that the foster care provider complies with 3.1-796.68.

H. If an animal shelter finds a direct and immediate threat to a companionanimal placed with a foster care provider, it shall report its findings tothe animal control agency in the locality where the foster care provider islocated.

I. No animal shelter shall be operated in violation of any local zoningordinance.

J. An animal shelter that confines and disposes of animals pursuant to thissection shall be operated in accordance with this chapter. If this chapter isviolated, the animal shelter may be assessed a civil penalty by the Board orits designee in an amount that does not exceed $1,000 per violation. Each dayof the violation shall constitute a separate offense. In determining theamount of any civil penalty, the Board or its designee shall consider (i) thehistory of previous violations at the animal shelter; (ii) whether theviolation has caused injury to, death or suffering of, an animal; and (iii)the demonstrated good faith of the animal shelter to achieve compliance afternotification of the violation. All civil penalties assessed under thissection shall be recovered in a civil action brought by the Attorney Generalin the name of the Commonwealth. Such civil penalties shall be paid into aspecial fund in the state treasury to the credit of the Department to be usedin carrying out the purposes of this chapter.

K. If this chapter or any laws governing animal shelters are violated, theCommissioner may bring an action to enjoin the violation or threatenedviolation of this chapter or the regulations pursuant thereto regardinganimal shelters, in the circuit court where the animal shelter is located.The Commissioner may request the Attorney General to bring such an action,when appropriate.

(2001, c. 727; 2002, cc. 53, 208, 787; 2003, cc. 770, 1007.)

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