“Law Enforcement Officer” means any person who is a full-time or part-time employee of a police service or sheriff`s office, who is part of or administered by the Commonwealth or any of its political subdivisions, and who is responsible for the prevention, detection and enforcement of crime and the enforcement of criminal laws, Commonwealth roads or highways. Part-time employees are compensation officers who are not full-time employees within the meaning of the police department or sheriff`s office that employs them. As of July 1, 2020, it is ILLEGAL to tie a dog outdoors if: Owning a dog brings great joy, but also great responsibility. It`s rare for an owner to want to acknowledge that their pet has the potential to harm someone. Many states have adopted national laws on an owner`s responsibility to control their dog. These laws are commonly referred to as “leash laws.”  Virginia has a two-part system. § 3.2-5901 State veterinarian and representative The Commissioner employs and directs a veterinarian called a State Veterinarian, whose duty is to administer the laws of the Commonwealth and the regulations of the Council and the Commissioner. The State Veterinarian and his representatives shall be empowered to carry out all lawful orders of the Council or the Commissioner. Most local jurisdictions in Virginia have passed a kind of “leash law.”  Usually, these laws require you to keep your dog under control over your property. This means that your dog is confined to the home, in a stable, on a secure leash or usually under immediate voice control. When you remove the dog from your property, the law generally requires that you keep your dog on a leash or under immediate vocal control. It is advisable to keep the dog on a leash.
Laws and regulations apply to other types of pets, from spiders to livestock. The codes are not statewide, but county-wide and are still subject to zoning laws. For example, cats are not subject to leash laws and feral cats can roam freely. But even with this freedom, laws are proposed that allow public and private animal shelters to capture, sterilize and return feral cats to their original “territory.” This helps reduce overcrowding in and outside emergency shelters. The Commissioner employs and manages at least two certified veterinary technicians, each of whom is designated as the State Animal Welfare Inspector (the Inspector) responsible for carrying out the duties assigned to him or her under Chapter 65 (§ 3.2-6500 et seq.). The inspector has the power to enforce the laws of the Commonwealth and the regulations of the Council and the Commissioner. B. Provisions for investigating alleged violations of this chapter and other animal-related laws are contained in § 3.2-6564. The provisions relating to obtaining an arrest warrant and the power to search violations of animal cruelty laws are contained in § 3.2-6568. CreditsActs 2008, c. 860, entered into force October 1, 2008; Statutes of 2008, c.
9; Statutes of 2008, c. 127; Acts 2008, c. 852, entered into force on January 1, 2009. Amended by Act 2011, c. 754; Statutes of 2011, c. 886; Statutes of 2014, c. 148; Statutes of 2015, c. 492; Statutes 2018, c. 416; Statutes 2018, c. 599; Statutes 2018, c. 780; Statutes 2019, c. 258; Statutes 2019, c.
532; Statutes 2019, c. 848; Statutes 2020, c. 954; Statutes 2020, c. 955; Statutes 2020, c. 1284. The second part of the Virginia system is a statewide law that regulates “dangerous dogs.”  If a dog has ever bitten a person or another dog, the dog is considered a “dangerous dog” in certain circumstances. There is a registry of dangerous dogs. However, this national law is relatively ineffective due to the large number of exceptions. For example, if the dog`s bite is classified as not “serious” by a veterinarian, the law does not apply. If the bite takes place on the property of the dog owner, the laws do not apply.
And there are many more exceptions. CreditsAdded by Acts 2018, c. 780. Amended by Act 2020, c. 412. The owner shall arrange for the local animal welfare officer to be informed immediately of (i) the names, addresses and telephone numbers of all owners; (ii) all necessary means to locate the owner and the dog at all times; (iii) complaints or incidents of dog attacks on a person, cat or dog; (iv) any claim or action brought as a result of an attack; (v) information relating to the identification of the chip; (vi) proof of insurance or guarantee; and (vii) the death of the dog.  Aside from the fact that all dogs are domestic wild animals at best, Virginia law states that a dog owner is not responsible for a bite by his dog unless the dog owner knows that the dog is aggressive and susceptible to bite. (Some other states have laws that still hold a dog owner liable for damage caused by their dog, based on the idea that it`s in the dogs` nature to bite, so a dog bite is never a surprise to the owner.) “We`re advocating for more humane treatment and laws for chained dogs because we see a lot of suffering there,” Hawk said.