Animal Laws & Regulations

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In Virginia, both state law and local ordinances govern animal health and welfare.  General information on state law, and the local ordinances for the City of Roanoke, Roanoke County, Botetourt County, and the Town of Vinton are set forth below.  Links to the relevant laws and regulations are also set forth below.


Virginia
State Law

Most of the laws in Virginia related to animal health and welfare are included in Title 3.2, Chapter 65 (“Comprehensive Animal Care”), of the Code of Virginia.  These laws, among other things, proscribe the standard of care that an owner must provide to his or her companion animal; regulate the operation pet shops, breeders, boarding establishments and groomers; sets forth the authority of local governing bodies to adopt ordinances regulating companion animals and the operation of a pound such as the Regional Center; and defining and setting for penalties for animal cruelty.  Click on this link to view a copy of Virginia’s Comprehensive Animal Care law

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs, through its Division of Animal Food and Industry Services, is responsible for administering Virginia’s Comprehensive Animal Care law.  You can learn more about the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs by visiting its website:  http://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/index.shtml.

Local Ordinances

Roanoke City, Roanoke County, Botetourt County, and the Town of Vinton have each adopted ordinances which deal with animals.  You can view these ordinances by clicking on the following links:

Roanoke City:                                       Chapter 6, Roanoke City Code
Roanoke County:                                  Chapter 5, Roanoke County Code
Botetourt County:                                 Chapter 4, Botetourt County Code
Town of Vinton:                                     Chapter 10, Town of Vinton Code

These ordinances deal with a variety of topics, including licensing, limitations on the number of animals that an owner can have, dangerous dogs, running at large, and nuisances.  Information on licensing is set forth elsewhere on this site. For other information, please refer to the appropriate ordinances.