|Action||Promulgate regulation required by Chapter 1284 of the 2020 Acts of Assembly|
|Comment Period||Ends 12/23/2022|
As an Arlington County resident, I support many of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ proposed pet store regulations, including requiring unannounced inspections of all pet shops, but I believe more must be included to protect animal welfare. At minimum, for-profit pet shops should be subject to animal welfare requirements at least as stringent as those currently in place for Virginia’s animal shelters.
A pet shop whose permit is revoked should not be allowed to reapply immediately. VDACS should also be able to bring civil penalties for regulatory violations, just as it can when enforcing animal shelter regulations. And most importantly, if a pet shop operator is found to have committed cruelty to animals, the regulations should explicitly prohibit them from obtaining another permit.
Pet shops should be required to engage a licensed veterinarian to develop protocols for veterinary care, medications, presale exams, age-appropriate tests, and vaccinations. This is already required of our private and public animal shelters, and it would prevent needless suffering due to lack of veterinary care, in addition to protecting public health.
Thank you for your consideration.