VIRGINIA CODE 1966
CHAPTER 19. AGRICULTURE.
ARTICLE 20. DOGS AND CATS.
19-20-12 Dogs, other animals and reptiles protected by law; unlawful killing thereof;
aggrieved owner's remedy; penalties; penalties for unlawful stealing of pets.
Any dog which is registered, kept and controlled as provided in this article or
any dog, cat, other animal or any reptile which is owned, kept and maintained
as a pet by any person, irrespective of age, shall be protected by law; and any
person who shall intentionally and unlawfully kill, injure or poison any such
dog, cat, other animal or any reptile as specified above, or shall, in any other
manner, intentionally and unlawfully cause the death or injury of any such dog,
cat, other animal or any reptile shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction
thereof, shall be ordered to provide public service for not less than thirty nor
more than ninety days, or fined not more than three hundred dollars, or both.
Any person whose dog, cat, other animal or reptile as specified herein shall be
killed or injured wrongfully or unlawfully by any other person shall have a right
of action against the person who shall so kill or injure such dog, cat, animal
or reptile but in no case involving a dog can recovery be had in excess of the
assessed value of such dog.
(b) Any person who shall intentionally and unlawfully
steal a dog, cat, other animal or reptile as specified in subsection (a) of this
section, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall
be ordered to provide public service for not less than thirty nor more than ninety
days or fined not less than three hundred nor more than five hundred dollars,
or both. Any person violating the provisions of this subsection shall, for the
second or subsequent offense, be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction
thereof, shall be confined in the county jail for a period of not less than ninety
days nor more than six months, or shall be ordered to provide public service for
not more than one year, and fined not less than five hundred nor more than one
thousand dollars. In no case can any action or prosecution relating to a dog under
the provisions of this section be maintained if the dog concerned shall not have
been duly registered pursuant to the provisions of this article or owned and kept
pursuant to the provisions of this section or owned and kept pursuant to the provisions
of this section at the time the cause of action shall have arisen.
commissioner of agriculture is hereby authorized to designate such reasonable
number of his present employees as may be necessary to investigate alleged incidents
of the unlawful stealing of dogs, other domestic animals or reptiles, alleged
incidents of cruelty to such animals or reptiles and the alleged incidents of
the unlawful stealing of such animals or reptiles for the purpose of sale to medical
or other research companies. Such deputies shall make the results of their investigations
known to any law-enforcement officers who have authority to enforce the provisions
of this article.
(d) It shall be the duty of all members of the department of public
safety, sheriffs and police officers to aid in the enforcement of
the provisions of this article, and, for services rendered in the
enforcement thereof, such persons shall be entitled to fees in the
amounts set forth in section eight [s 19-20-8]. Such fees shall
be paid by the county commission from the dog and kennel fund.
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