|Action||Promulgate regulation required by Chapter 1284 of the 2020 Acts of Assembly|
|Comment Period||Ends 12/23/2022|
I've worked in animal sheltering in Virginia for more than a decade. Nonprofit shelters in the Commonwealth are held to high legal and regulatory standards - as they should be. They are responsible for housing dogs, cats, and other animals who depend on them for proper care. Current requirements for shelters ensure the safety and wellbeing of those animals as well as the health and safety of potential adopters and the public at large. There is absolutely no reason that pet stores should escape such high standards. If Virginia is going to allow these for-profit businesses to make money from selling puppies and kittens like trinkets, the businesses should at least be held to the same health and safety standards required for shelters. If they are unable or unwilling to do basic things like engage a veterinarian to develop protocols for the proper care of animals in their custody, perhaps they should consider switching to a business model that sells only pet supplies rather than living, breathing animals who feel pain and carry contagious diseases.