|Action||Promulgate regulation required by Chapter 1284 of the 2020 Acts of Assembly|
|Comment Period||Ends 12/23/2022|
The Virginia Alliance for Animal Shelters (VAAS), representing shelters and animal control officers from across the Commonwealth, has long advocated for the strengthening of regulations pertaining to pet stores. Shelters, both public and private, are heavily regulated and inspected with significant fines and other penalties if found in violation. Animal owners are regulated and can be punished with criminal penalties if they do not provide adequate care to their pets. With more than 30 years in animal welfare, the first hand examples that I and others have witnessed of cruel and unsanitary conditions in pet stores is unconscionable. In many cases, our Animal Control Officers find pet stores are not compliant with existing statutes as the regulations have no real penalty. A lot has been accomplished in Virginia related to insuring the care, safety and welfare of domestic animals but pet stores remain an outlier. It's time we insured that all animals sold and living in pet stores receive adequate and humane care, including veterinary care, with significant penalties if the store fails to comply.
Sharon Quillen Adams, VAAS Chair