The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Animal care inspector" means the animal welfare inspector employed pursuant to § 3.2-5901.1 of the Code of Virginia, or as designated by the State Veterinarian.
"Department" means the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
"Pet shop" means any retail, commercial, private, for-profit establishment that sells dogs or cats to the public and shall not include breeders, dealers, public or private animal shelters, home-based rescues, or residential establishments. Each location will constitute a separate pet shop.
A. Each existing pet shop shall register and pay a $250 registration fee with the department annually by July 1. A new pet shop that will sell dogs or cats shall register prior to offering dogs or cats for sale, and that registration shall be valid until July 1 of the following calendar year. A pet shop shall apply for a registration using a format developed by the State Veterinarian. A pet shop shall display its registration in a location visible to the public.
B. A pet shop that fails to register with or submit the registration fee to the department shall, upon written warning from the department, have a probationary period of 30 calendar days within which it must register with the department. If the pet shop fails to register with the department by the conclusion of the probationary period, the pet shop shall not sell dogs or cats in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
No pet shop shall offer dogs or cats for sale to any research facility, as defined in § 3.2-6500 of the Code of Virginia.
A. Each pet shop shall be kept in a clean, dry, and sanitary condition. Each pet shop shall provide enclosures that (i) can safely house dogs and cats and (ii) allow for adequate separation of animals of different sexes, ages, and temperaments. Each pet shop shall maintain dogs and cats in a manner that protects the animals against theft, injury, escape, and exposure to harmful substances.
B. Each pet shop shall ensure that all enclosures provide adequate shelter that is properly ventilated and that can be maintained at a comfortable temperature for the dogs and cats confined therein. An enclosure shall not be cleaned when occupied by a dog or cat unless the dog or cat can be further confined in a portion of the enclosure that precludes exposure to any cleaning agent, including water. The enclosure shall be thoroughly dry before it is returned to use. An enclosure shall be cleaned with a disinfectant or germicidal agent.
C. Each pet shop shall reasonably endeavor to ensure that drinking water is available to each dog or cat at all times unless otherwise ordered by a licensed veterinarian. Drinking water receptacles or bowls shall be secured to the enclosure in a fixed position or otherwise be of a design that cannot be tipped over by an animal and shall be maintained in sanitary condition.
D. Each pet shop shall ensure that dogs and cats are adequately and appropriately fed according to their age, and feed shall be stored in a manner that prevents spoilage, infestation, and contamination. All feed delivery utensils and receptacles shall be properly cleaned between uses.
E. Each pet shop shall ensure that each dog or cat is provided access to a resting platform or bedding as appropriate to its species, age, and condition.
F. Each pet shop shall provide adequate care to all dogs and cats offered for sale, including adequate exercise, adequate feed, adequate shelter, adequate space, treatment, adequate water, proper lighting, and proper cleaning, as these terms are defined in § 3.2-6500 of the Code of Virginia.
A. Each pet shop is subject to at least one unannounced annual inspection of dogs and cats during normal department business hours conducted by the animal care inspector.
B. The animal care inspector shall be granted access to the entire pet shop facility and any requested records.
C. Each pet shop shall be inspected for compliance with this chapter and Chapter 65 (§ 3.2-6500 et seq.) of Title 3.2 of the Code of Virginia.
A. A pet shop shall immediately correct any noncompliance that the animal care inspector identifies during an inspection. If the pet shop is not able to correct a noncompliance during the inspection, then a probationary period shall commence. If the animal care inspector identifies a noncompliance, the animal care inspector will provide the pet shop written notification within a reasonable time after the inspection. The notification will include a copy of the inspection report and an explanation of the cited noncompliance, including the relevant section of the Code of Virginia or Virginia Administrative Code. The pet shop shall correct the noncompliance to the satisfaction of the animal care inspector.
B. Upon gross, repeated violations or any noncompliance not corrected during a probationary period, the department may revoke a pet shop's registration following reasonable notice to the registration holder and an opportunity for an informal fact finding proceeding pursuant to § 2.2-4019 of the Code of Virginia. If the department revokes a pet shop's registration, the pet shop shall not sell dogs or cats in the Commonwealth of Virginia and must post publicly visible signage provided by the department. The revocation of registration shall remain in effect until the pet shop corrects the noncompliance to the satisfaction of the animal care inspector.
C. The department may immediately temporarily suspend a pet shop's registration whenever the department has reason to believe that an animal health hazard exists or is imminent or when a pet shop willfully refuses to permit authorized inspection. If the department suspends a pet shop's registration, the pet shop shall not sell dogs or cats in the Commonwealth of Virginia and must post publicly visible signage provided by the department. The revocation of registration shall remain in effect until the pet shop corrects the noncompliance to the satisfaction of the animal care inspector.