Animal Control Help, Gloucester, VA

We have started this section to help you navigate and understand Gloucester County's animal control ordinances.  We are going to start with one of the most confusing areas of the code.  Section 3-15.  What we have done is added in the definitions from the state law to correspond with the local ordinance to make it more understandable.


Sec. 3-15.  Care of companion animals by owner; penalty. Based on VA Law 3.2-
6503

(a) Each owner or custodian of an animal shall provide for each of his
companion animals all the following as defined in section 3.2-6500 of

(1) Adequate feed;

Definition from VA law 3.2-6500:  “Adequate feed” means access to and the provision of food that is of sufficient quantity and nutritive value to maintain each animal in good health; is accessible to each animal; is prepared so as to permit ease of consumption for the age, species, condition, size and type of each animal; is provided in a clean and sanitary manner; is placed so as to minimize contamination by excrement and pests; and is provided at suitable intervals for the species, age, and condition of the animal, but at least once daily, except as prescribed by a veterinarian or as dictated by naturally occurring states of hibernation or fasting normal for the species.

(2) Adequate water;

Definition From VA Law 3.2-6500: “Adequate water” means provision of and access to clean, fresh, potable water of a drinkable temperature that is provided in a suitable manner, in sufficient volume, and at suitable intervals appropriate for the weather and temperature, to maintain normal hydration for the age, species, condition, size and type of each animal, except as prescribed by a veterinarian or as dictated by naturally occurring states of hibernation or fasting normal for the species; and is provided in clean, durable receptacles that are accessible to each animal and are placed so as to minimize contamination of the water by excrement and pests or an alternative source of hydration consistent with generally accepted husbandry practices.

(3) Adequate shelter that is properly cleaned.

Definition from VA Law 3.2-6500: “Adequate shelter” means provision of and access to shelter that is suitable for the species, age, condition, size, and type of each animal; provides adequate space for each animal; is safe and protects each animal from injury, rain, sleet, snow, hail, direct sunlight, the adverse effects of heat or cold, physical suffering, and impairment of health; is properly lighted; is properly cleaned; enables each animal to be clean and dry, except when detrimental to the species; and, for dogs and cats, provides a solid surface, resting platform, pad, floor mat, or similar device that is large enough for the animal to lie on in a normal manner and can be maintained in a sanitary manner. Under this chapter, shelters whose wire, grid, or slat floors: (i) permit the animals’ feet to pass through the openings; (ii) sag under the animals’ weight; or (iii) otherwise do not protect the animals’ feet or toes from injury are not adequate shelter.

“Properly cleaned” means that carcasses, debris, food waste, and excrement are removed from the primary
enclosure with sufficient frequency to minimize the animals’ contact with the above-mentioned contaminants;
the primary enclosure is sanitized with sufficient frequency to minimize odors and the hazards of disease; and
the primary enclosure is cleaned so as to prevent the animals confined therein from being directly or indirectly
sprayed with the stream of water, or directly or indirectly exposed to hazardous chemicals or disinfectants,“Sanitize” means to make physically clean and to remove and destroy, to a practical minimum, agents injurious to health.

“Enclosure” means a structure used to house or restrict animals from running at large.

(4) Adequate space in the primary enclosure for the particular type of animal depending upon its age, size, species, and weight;

Definition from VA Law 3.2-6500: “Adequate space” means sufficient space to allow each animal to: (i) easily stand, sit, lie, turn about, and make all other normal body movements in a comfortable, normal position for the animal; and (ii) interact safely with other animals in the enclosure. When an animal is tethered, 

“adequate space” means a tether that permits the above actions and is appropriate to the age and size of the animal; is attached to the animal by a properly applied collar, halter, or harness configured so as to protect the animal from injury and prevent the animal or tether from becoming entangled with other objects or animals, or from extending over an object or edge that could result in the strangulation or injury of the animal; and is at least three times the length of the animal, as measured from the tip of its nose to the base of its tail, except when the animal is being walked on a leash or is attached by a tether to a lead line. When freedom of movement would endanger the animal, temporarily and appropriately restricting movement of the animal according to professionally accepted standards for the species is considered provision of adequate space.

(5) Adequate exercise;

Definition of VA Law 3.2-6500:  “Adequate exercise” or “exercise” means the opportunity for the animal to move sufficiently to maintain normal muscle tone and mass for the age, species, size, and condition of the animal.

(6) Adequate care, treatment and transportation; 

Definition of VA Law 3.2-6500:  “Treatment” or “adequate treatment” means the responsible handling or
transportation of animals in the person’s ownership, custody or charge, appropriate for the age, species,
condition, size and type of the animal.

Veterinary treatment” means treatment by or on the order of a duly licensed veterinarian.

(7) Veterinary care when needed for disease control or to
prevent suffering or disease transmission.

Definition of VA Law 3.2-6500:  “Adequate care” or “care” means the responsible practice of good animal
husbandry, handling, production, management, confinement, feeding, watering, protection, shelter,
transportation, treatment, and, when necessary, euthanasia, appropriate for the age, species, condition, size and type of the animal and the provision of veterinary care when needed to prevent suffering or impairment of health.

“Emergency veterinary treatment” means veterinary treatment to stabilize a life-threatening condition, alleviate
suffering, prevent further disease transmission, or prevent further disease progression.

“Euthanasia” means the humane destruction of an animal accomplished by a method that involves instantaneous unconsciousness and immediate death or by a method that involves anesthesia, produced by an agent that causes painless loss of consciousness, and death during such loss of consciousness. The provisions of this section shall also apply to every pound, animal shelter, or other releasing agency, and every foster care provider, dealer, pet shop, exhibitor, kennel, groomer, and boarding establishment. This section shall not require that animals used as food for other animals be euthanized.

(c) Violation of this section is a Class 4 misdemeanor. A second or
subsequent violation of section 3-15 (a)(1), (2), (3) or (7) is a class 2
misdemeanor; and a second or subsequent violation of section 3-15
(a)(4), (5) or (6) is a class 3 misdemeanor.


Sec. 3-15.1. Care of agricultural animals; penalty. Based on VA Law 3.2-6503.1

(a)  Each owner or custodian shall provide for each of his
agricultural animals:

Definition from VA Law 3.2-6500: “Agricultural animals” means all livestock and poultry.

(1) Feed to prevent malnourishment;

Definition from VA Law 3.2-6500: “Adequate feed” means access to and the provision of food that is of sufficient quantity and nutritive value to maintain each animal in good health; is accessible to each animal; is prepared so as to permit ease of consumption for the age, species, condition, size and type of each animal; is provided in a clean and sanitary manner; is placed so as to minimize contamination by excrement and pests; and is provided at suitable intervals for the species, age, and condition of the animal, but at least once daily, except as prescribed by a veterinarian or as dictated by naturally occurring states of hibernation or fasting normal for the species.

(2) Water to prevent dehydration; and

Definition from VA Law 3.2-6500: “Adequate water” means provision of and access to clean, fresh, potable water of a drinkable temperature that is provided in a suitable manner, in sufficient volume, and at suitable intervals appropriate for the weather and temperature, to maintain normal hydration for the age, species, condition, size and type of each animal, except as prescribed by a veterinarian or as dictated by naturally occurring states of hibernation or fasting normal for the species; and is provided in clean, durable receptacles that are accessible to each animal and are placed so as to minimize contamination of the water by excrement and pests or an alternative source of hydration consistent with generally accepted husbandry practices.

(3) Veterinary treatment as needed to address impairment of
health or bodily function when such impairment cannot be
otherwise addressed through animal husbandry, including
humane destruction.

Definition from VA Law 3.2-6500:  “Veterinary treatment” means treatment by or on the order of a duly licensed veterinarian.

(b) The provisions of this section shall not require an owner to
provide feed or water when such is customarily withheld, restricted,
or apportioned pursuant to a farming activity or if otherwise
prescribed by a veterinarian.

(c) There shall be a rebuttable presumption that there has been
no violation of this section if an owner is unable to provide feed,
water, or veterinary treatment due to an act of God.

(d) The provisions of this section shall not apply to agricultural
animals used for bona fide medical or scientific experimentation.

(e) A violation of this section is a class 4 misdemeanor.


Now for section 3.3 of the new Animal Control Ordinance.

Sec. 3-3.  Duties and authority of animal control officers.
(a) By authority of the board of supervisors, the county shall employ an 
animal control officer and one (1) or more deputy animal control officers who 
shall have the power to enforce this entire chapter and all state laws enacted for 
animal control and protection.

It's section F that we want to deal with here.

(f) No individual shall interfere with an animal control officer in the legal 
performance of his or her duties. This includes, but is not limited to, striking or 
attempting to strike the animal control officer; providing the animal control officer 
with false information; taking or attempting to take any animal from an animal 
control officer in the legal performance of his or her duties; taking or attempting to 
take any animal from any property owned or controlled by the county without 
proper authority or taking or damaging any county property used in conjunction 
with the animal control officer's duties.

Note:  Never lie to an animal control officer.  Instead, refuse to answer any questions they may have without the presence of an attorney.  You are being investigated, know your rights.  Never answer their questions without the presence of legal council.  Record any and all conversations with them.  Video is best, audio is next best.  You do have the right to remain silent.  View the animal control officer the same as any police officer.  They can not charge you for not answering them.  You have the legal right to remain silent.


WHEN ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICERS GET OUT OF HAND!

There have been many reports that Animal Control officers get out of hand and are very abusive to those whom they are speaking with.  We have a plan to help curtail that.  It's the complaint form that the county should provide but does not.  Animal Control employees are county employees and as such are subject to county employment guidelines.  They are not allowed to be abusive towards you at any time for any reason.  Our complaint form is not an official county form but is based on county guidelines.  Since they will not offer the service, we shall do it for them.  You can download a copy of this form and use it any way you want.


http://www.gloucestercounty-va.com/2013/01/gloucester-va-filing-complaints-animal.html  this link will bring you to a post on this site that shows you how and where to file the complaint form as well as another copy of the form.  
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