2006 Code of Virginia § 3.1-796.98 - Rabid animals

3.1-796.98. Rabid animals.

When there is sufficient reason to believe that a rabid animal is at large,the governing body of any county, city or town shall have the power to passan emergency ordinance that shall become effective immediately upon passage,requiring owners of all dogs and cats therein to keep the same confined ontheir premises unless leashed under restraint of the owner in such a mannerthat persons or animals will not be subject to the danger of being bitten bythe rabid animal. Any such emergency ordinance enacted pursuant to theprovisions of this section shall be operative for a period not to exceed 30days unless renewed by the governing body of such county, city or town. Thegoverning body of any county, city or town shall also have the power andauthority to pass ordinances restricting the running at large in theirrespective jurisdiction of dogs and cats which have not been inoculated orvaccinated against rabies and to provide penalties for the violation thereof.

Dogs or cats showing active signs of rabies or suspected of having rabiesshall be confined under competent observation for such a time as may benecessary to determine a diagnosis. If confinement is impossible orimpracticable, such dog or cat shall be euthanized by one of the methodsapproved by the State Veterinarian as provided in 3.1-796.96.

Every person having knowledge of the existence of an animal apparentlyafflicted with rabies shall report immediately to the local health departmentthe existence of such animal, the place where seen, the owner's name, ifknown, and the symptoms suggesting rabies.

Any dog or cat, for which no proof of current rabies vaccination isavailable, and which is exposed to rabies through a bite, or through salivaor central nervous system tissue, in a fresh open wound or mucous membrane,by an animal believed to be afflicted with rabies, shall be confined in apound, kennel or enclosure approved by the health department for a period notto exceed six months at the expense of the owner; however, if this is notfeasible, the dog or cat shall be euthanized by one of the methods approvedby the State Veterinarian as provided in 3.1-796.96. A rabies vaccinationshall be administered prior to release. Inactivated rabies vaccine may beadministered at the beginning of confinement. Any dog or cat so bitten, orexposed to rabies through saliva or central nervous system tissue, in a freshopen wound or mucous membrane with proof of a valid rabies vaccination, shallbe revaccinated immediately following the bite and shall be confined to thepremises of the owner, or other site as may be approved by the local healthdepartment, for a period of 45 days.

At the discretion of the director of a local health department, any animalthat has bitten a person shall be confined under competent observation for 10days, unless the animal develops active symptoms of rabies or expires beforethat time. A seriously injured or sick animal may be humanely euthanized asprovided in 3.1-796.96, and its head sent to the Division of ConsolidatedLaboratory Services of the Department of General Services, or the localhealth department, for evaluation.

When any potentially rabid animal, other than a dog or cat, exposes or mayhave exposed a person to rabies through a bite, or through saliva or centralnervous system tissue, in a fresh open wound or mucous membrane, that animalshall be confined at the discretion of a local health director in a mannerapproved by the health department or humanely euthanized as provided in 3.1-796.96 and its head sent to the Division of Consolidated LaboratoryServices of the Department of General Services or the local health departmentfor evaluation.

When any animal, other than a dog or cat, is exposed to rabies through abite, or through saliva or central nervous system tissue, in a fresh openwound or mucous membrane, by an animal believed to be afflicted with rabies,that newly exposed animal shall be confined at the discretion of a localhealth director in a manner approved by the health department or humanelyeuthanized as provided in 3.1-796.96.

(1984, cc. 492, 527, 29-213.68; 1987, c. 488; 1988, c. 538; 1991, c. 380;2003, c. 479.)

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