|Action||Promulgate regulation required by Chapter 1284 of the 2020 Acts of Assembly|
|Comment Period||Ends 12/23/2022|
I am writing to ask that VDACS strengthen its proposed standards of care for pet shops.
As a resident of Vinton, VA, I support many of the of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ (VDACS) proposed pet store regulations, including requiring unannounced inspections of all pet shops. However, I believe more must be included in these regulations to ensure the welfare of puppies and kittens kept at pet shops.
There should be substantive consequences for failing to comply with the standards of care. A pet shop whose permit is revoked should not be permitted to immediately reapply, especially for repeated and egregious violations. VDACS should also be able to bring civil penalties, just like it can when enforcing animal shelter regulations. And most importantly, if a pet shop operator is found to have committed an act of cruelty, the regulations should explicitly prohibit them from obtaining another permit.
Pet shops should also be required to engage a licensed veterinarian to develop protocols around veterinary care, medications, pre-sale exams, age-appropriate tests and vaccinations. Not only is this something our private and public animal shelters are required to do, but it will also prevent needless suffering due to a lack of veterinary care and protect public health from potential zoonotic diseases.