Bill Text: VA SB1058 | 2019 | Regular Session | Prefiled

Bill Title: Companion animals; care, local ordinances.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-02-06 - Left in Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources [SB1058 Detail]

Download: Virginia-2019-SB1058-Prefiled.html
Offered January 9, 2019
Prefiled December 6, 2018
A BILL to amend and reenact §3.2-6543 of the Code of Virginia, relating to companion animal care; local ordinances.
Patron-- Favola
Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That §3.2-6543 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:

§3.2-6543. Governing body of any locality may adopt certain ordinances.

A. The governing body of any locality of the Commonwealth may adopt, and make more stringent, ordinances that parallel §§ 3.2-6503, 3.2-6521 through 3.2-6539, 3.2-6546 through 3.2-6555, 3.2-6562, 3.2-6569, 3.2-6570, 3.2-6574 through 3.2-6580, and 3.2-6585 through 3.2-6590. Any town may choose to adopt by reference any ordinance of the surrounding county adopted under this section to be applied within its town limits, in lieu of adopting an ordinance of its own.

Any funds collected pursuant to the enforcement of ordinances adopted pursuant to the provisions of this section may be used for the purpose of defraying the costs of local animal control, including efforts to promote sterilization of cats and dogs.

B. Any locality may, by ordinance, establish uniform schedules of civil penalties for violations of specific provisions of ordinances adopted pursuant to this section. Civil penalties may shall not be imposed for violations of ordinances that parallel §3.2-6570. Designation of a particular violation for a civil penalty shall be in lieu of criminal sanctions and preclude prosecution of such violation as a criminal misdemeanor. The schedule for civil penalties shall be uniform for each type of specified violation and the penalty for any one violation shall not be more than $150. Imposition of civil penalties shall not preclude an action for injunctive, declaratory or other equitable relief. Moneys raised pursuant to this subsection shall be placed in the locality's general fund.

An animal control officer or law-enforcement officer may issue a summons for a violation. Any person summoned or issued a ticket for a scheduled violation may make an appearance in person or in writing by mail to the department of finance or the treasurer of the locality issuing the summons or ticket prior to the date fixed for trial in court. Any person so appearing may enter a waiver of trial, admit liability, and pay the civil penalty established for the offense charged.