Lead Animal Control Officer
Assistant Animal Control Officer
11 Range Road
Monday - Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Click here to view the full County Code Chapter 10 - Animals. Sections of the code are provided below.
Sec. 10-31. Enforcement of the comprehensive animal laws.
The enforcement of the comprehensive animal laws of the county shall be vested in the animal control officer.
(Code 1990, § 3-8)
State law references: Animal control officer, Code of Virginia, § 3.1-796.104.
Sec. 10-32. Code provisions applicable.
All other provisions of Code of Virginia, § 3.1-796.66 et seq., shall apply mutatis mutandis to the animal control officer of the county
Sec. 10-33. Running at large prohibited during certain months; penalty.
a) It shall be unlawful for the owner or custodian to allow any dog to run at large in the county during the period of March 1 to November 1 inclusive of each year. Any person who permits his dog to run at large or remain unconfined, unrestricted or not penned up during the period specified shall be deemed to have violated the provisions of this section.
b) Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a class 4 misdemeanor and shall be subject to punishment as provided in Code of Virginia, §§ 3.1-796.93, 3.1-796.128.
(Code 1990, §§ 3-10, 3-12, 3-15; Ord. of 3-13-1996)
State law references: Authority for above section, Code of Virginia, § 3.1-796.93.
Secs. 10-34--10-50. Reserved.
Sec. 10-51. Amount of license.
It shall be unlawful for any person to own a dog four months old or over in the county unless such dog is licensed as required by this article. Dog licenses shall run by the calendar year, namely, from January 1 to December 31, inclusive; and this license tax shall be payable at the office of the treasurer and shall be as follows:
(1) For any single dog, regardless of sex, $4.00.
(2) For a kennel of one to ten dogs, $30.00.
(3) For a kennel of 11 to 20 dogs, $40.00.
(4) For a kennel of 21 to 50 dogs, $50.00.
(b) No license tax shall be levied on any dog that is trained and serves as a guide dog for a blind person, that is trained and serves as a hearing dog for a deaf or hearing impaired person, or that is trained and serves as a service dog for a mobility-impaired person.
(Code 1990, § 3-1)
State law references: Amount of license tax, Code of Virginia, § 3.1-796.87.
Sec. 10-52. Evidence showing inoculation for rabies prerequisite to obtaining dog license.
No license tag shall be issued for any dog unless there is presented, to the treasurer at the time application for license is made, the amount of license tax and a current certificate of vaccination as required by Code of Virginia, § 3.1-796.84 et seq. No kennel license shall be issued unless a rabies vaccination certificate is presented for each dog in the kennel.
(Code 1990, § 3-2)
State law references: How to obtain license, Code of Virginia, § 3.1-796.86.
Sec. 10-53. When license tax payable.
License taxes on dogs shall be due and payable as follows:
1) On or before January 1 and not later than January 31 of each year, the owner of any dog four months old or older shall pay a license tax as prescribed in section 10-52.
2) If a dog shall become four months of age or come into the possession of any person between January 1 and November 1 of any year, the license tax for the current calendar year shall be paid forthwith by the owner.
3) If a dog shall become four months of age or come into the possession of any person between October 31 and December 31 of any year, the license for the succeeding calendar year shall be paid forthwith by the owner; and such license shall be valid from the date the license is purchased.
(Code 1990, § 3-3)
State law references: When license tax payable, Code of Virginia, § 3.1-796.88.
Sec. 10-54. Duplicate license tags.
If a dog license tag is lost, destroyed or stolen, the owner or custodian shall at once apply to the treasurer or his agent who issued the original license for a duplicate license tag, presenting the original license receipt. Upon affidavit of the owner or custodian before the treasurer or his agent that the original license tag has been lost, destroyed or stolen, he shall issue a duplicate license tag which the owner or custodian shall immediately affix to the collar of the dog. The treasurer or his agent shall endorse the number of the duplicate and the date issued on the face of the original license receipt. The fee for a duplicate tag for any dog shall be $1.00.
(Code 1990, § 3-4)
State law references: Duplicate license tags, Code of Virginia, § 3.1-796.91.
Sec. 10-55. Sale to begin November 1.
Dog tags for each calendar year shall be sold in serial and numerical order, beginning November 1 of the prior year and shall remain on sale until October 31 of the calendar year covered by such tags.
(Code 1990, § 3-5)
Sec. 10-56. Disposition of funds.
All funds collected by the treasurer pursuant to this division shall be paid into the general revenue fund of the county. All expenses incurred in administering this article shall be paid out of the general revenue fund of the county.
(Code 1990, § 3-6)
Sec. 10-57. Penalties for violation.
Any person violating any of the provisions of this division shall be guilty of a class 4 misdemeanor and shall be subject to punishment as provided in Code of Virginia, § 3.1-796.128.
(Code 1990, § 3-7)
Dangerous and Vicious Dogs
*Cross references: Environment, ch. 34.
State law references: Authority to control dangerous or vicious dogs, Code of Virginia, § 3.1-796.93:1.
Sec. 10-81. Regulation.
All dangerous and vicious dogs in the county shall be subject to the following regulations:
1) Any animal control officer who has reason to believe that a canine or canine crossbreed within the county is a dangerous dog or vicious dog shall apply to a magistrate of the county for the issuance of a summons requiring the owner or custodian, if known, to appear before the county general district court at a specified time. The summons shall advise the owner of the nature of the proceeding and the matters at issue. The animal control officer or owner shall confine the animal until such time as evidence shall be heard and a verdict rendered. The court, through its contempt powers, may compel the owner, custodian or harborer of the animal to produce the animal. If after hearing the evidence the court finds that the animal is a dangerous dog, the court shall order the animal's owner to comply with the provisions of this division. If, after hearing the evidence, the court finds that the animal is a vicious dog, the court shall order the animal euthanized in accordance with the provisions of Code of Virginia, § 3.1-796.119. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this subsection, any animal control officer may determine, after investigation, whether a dog is a dangerous dog. If the animal control officer determines that a dog is a dangerous dog, he may order the animal's owner to comply with the provisions of this article. If the animal's owner disagrees with the animal control officers determination, he may appeal the determination to the general district court for a trial on the merits.
2) No canine or canine crossbreed shall be found to be a dangerous dog or vicious dog solely because it is a particular breed. No animal shall be found to be a dangerous dog or vicious dog if the threat, injury or damage was sustained by a person who was:
a) Committing, at the time, a crime upon the premises occupied by the animal's owner or custodian;
b) Committing, at the time, a willful trespass or other tort upon the premises occupied by the animal's owner or custodian; or
c) Provoking, tormenting or physically abusing the animal, or can be shown to have repeatedly provoked, tormented, abused or assaulted the animal at other times.
No police dog which was engaged in the performance of its duties as such at the time of the acts complained of shall be found to be a dangerous dog or a vicious dog. No animal which, at the time of the acts complained of, was responding to pain or injury, or was protecting itself, its kennel, its offspring, or its owner or owner's property, shall be found to be a dangerous dog or a vicious dog.
3) The owner of any animal found to be a dangerous dog shall, within ten days of such finding, obtain a dangerous dog registration certificate from the animal control officer for a fee of $200.00 in addition to other fees that may be authorized by law. The animal control officer shall also provide the owner with a uniformly designed tag which identifies the animal as a dangerous dog. The owner shall affix the tag to the animal's collar and ensure that the animal wears the collar and tag at all times. All certificates obtained pursuant to this subsection shall be renewed annually for the same fee and in the same manner as the initial certificate was obtained.
4) All certificates or renewals required to be obtained under this division shall only be issued to persons 18 years of age or older who present satisfactory evidence of the animal's current rabies vaccination, if applicable, and that the animal is and will be confined in a proper enclosure or is and will be confined inside the owner's residence or is and will be muzzled and confined in the owner's fenced-in yard until the proper enclosure is constructed. In addition, owners who apply for certificates or renewals under this section shall not be issued a certificate or renewal unless they present satisfactory evidence that their residence is and will continue to be posted with clearly visible signs warning both minors and adults of the presence of a dangerous dog on the property and the animal has been permanently identified by means of a tattoo on the inside thigh or by electronic implantation.
5) While on the property of its owner, an animal found to be a dangerous dog shall be confined indoors or in a securely enclosed and locked structure of sufficient height and design to prevent its escape or direct contact with or entry by minors, adults or other animals. The structure shall be designed to provide the animal with shelter from the elements of nature. When off its owner's property, an animal found to be a dangerous dog shall be kept on a leash and muzzled in such a manner as not to cause injury to the animal or interfere with the animal's vision or respiration, but so as to prevent it from biting a person or another animal.
6) If the owner of an animal found to be a dangerous dog is a minor, the custodial parent or legal guardian shall be responsible for complying with all requirements of this division.
7) After an animal has been found to be a dangerous dog, the animal's owner shall immediately, upon learning of the dog's status, notify the animal control officer if the animal:
a) Is loose or unconfined;
b) Bites a person or attacks another animal;
c) Is sold, given away or dies; or
d) Has been moved to a different address.
8) The owner of any animal which has been found to be a dangerous dog who willfully fails to comply with the requirements of this division shall be guilty of a class 1 misdemeanor.
9) All fees collected pursuant to this article, less the costs incurred by the county in producing and distributing the certificates and tags required by this article, shall be paid into a special dedicated fund in the treasury of the county for the purpose of paying the expenses of any training course required under Code of Virginia, § 3.1-796.105.
10) All certificates or renewals required to be obtained under this division shall only be issued to persons 18 years of age or older who present satisfactory evidence that the animal has been neutered or spayed.
11) All certificates or renewals required to be obtained under this division shall only be issued to persons who present satisfactory evidence that the owner has liability insurance coverage, to the value of at least $100,000.00 that covers animal bites.
12) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1) of this section, the animal control officer, in his discretion, may determine, after investigation, whether a dog is a dangerous dog. If the animal control officer determines that a dog is a dangerous dog, he may order the animal's owner to comply with the provisions of this article. If the animal's owner disagrees with the animal control officers determination, he may appeal the determination to the general district court for a trial on the merits.