City of Hampton, Virginia
Ordinance - Coded
22 Lincoln Street
Hampton, VA 23669
Enactment Number: 08-0014
AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND CHAPTER 5,
SECTIONS 5-2, 5-42, 5-77 AND 5-88 OF THE CODE OF THE CITY OF HAMPTON, VIRGINIA, ENTITLED "ANIMALS."
Sec. 5-2. Definitions.
Unless otherwise expressly stated or the content
clearly indicates a different intention, the following words and terms shall,
for the purposes of this chapter, have the meaning indicated in this section:
Abandon means to desert, forsake, or
absolutely give up an animal without having secured another owner or custodian
for the animal or by failing to provide the elements of basic care as set forth
in Virginia Code 3.1-796.68 for a period of five (5) consecutive days.
Adequate care or care
means the responsible practice of good animal husbandry, handling, production,
management, confinement, feeding, watering, protection, shelter,
transportation, treatment, and, when necessary, euthanasia, appropriate for the
age, species, condition, size and type of the animal and the provision of
veterinary care when needed to prevent suffering or impairment of health.
Adequate exercise or exercise
means the opportunity for the animal to move sufficiently to maintain normal
muscle tone and mass for the age, species, size, and condition of the
or feed means access to and the provision of food that is of
sufficient quantity and nutritive value to maintain each animal in good health;
is accessible to each animal; is prepared so as to permit ease of consumption
for the age, species, condition, size and type of each animal; is provided in a
clean and sanitary manner; is placed so as to minimize contamination by
excrement and pests; and is provided at suitable intervals for the species, age,
and condition of the animal, but at least once daily, except as prescribed by a
veterinarian or as dictated by naturally occurring states of hibernation or
fasting normal for the species.
means provision of and access to shelter that is suitable for the species, age,
condition, size, and type of each animal; provides adequate space for each
animal; is safe and protects each animal from injury, rain, sleet, snow, hail,
direct sunlight, the adverse effects of heat or cold, physical suffering, and
impairment of health; is properly lighted; is properly cleaned; enables each
animal to be clean and dry, except when detrimental to the species; and, for
dogs and cats, provides a solid surface, resting platform, pad, floormat, or
similar device that is large enough for the animal to lie on in a normal manner
and can be maintained in a sanitary manner. Under this chapter, shelters whose
wire, grid, or slat floors (i) permit the animals' feet to pass through the
openings, (ii) sag under the animals' weight, or (iii) otherwise do not protect
the animals' feet or toes from injury are not adequate shelter.
Adequate space means
sufficient space to allow each animal to (i) easily stand, sit, lie, turn
about, and make all other normal body movements in a comfortable, normal
position for the animal and (ii) interact safely with other animals in the
enclosure. When an animal is tethered, adequate space means a tether that
permits the above actions and is appropriate to the age and size of the animal;
is attached to the animal by a properly applied collar, halter, or harness
configured so as to protect the animal from injury and prevent the animal or
tether from becoming entangled with other objects or animals, or from extending
over an object or edge that could result in the strangulation or injury of the
animal; and is at least three (3) times the length of the animal, as measured
from the tip of its nose to the base of its tail, except when the animal is
being walked on a leash or is attached by a tether to a lead line. When freedom
of movement would endanger the animal, temporarily and appropriately
restricting movement of the animal according to professionally accepted
standards for the species is considered provision of adequate space.
Adequate water means
provision of and access to clean, fresh, potable water of a drinkable
temperature that is provided in a suitable manner, in sufficient volume, and at
suitable intervals appropriate for the weather and temperature, to maintain normal hydration for the age,
species, condition, size and type of each animal, except as prescribed by a
veterinarian or as dictated by naturally occurring states of hibernation or
fasting normal for the species; and is provided in clean, durable receptacles
that are accessible to each animal and are placed so as to minimize
contamination of the water by excrement and pests or an alternative source of
hydration consistent with generally accepted husbandry practices.
Adoption means the
transfer of ownership of a dog or a cat, or any other companion animal, from a
releasing agency to an individual.
means all livestock and poultry.
means the temperature surrounding the animal.
Animal means any
nonhuman vertebrate species except fish. For the purposes of section 5-77 of
the Hampton City Code, animal means any species susceptible to rabies. For the
purposes of Article VI of the Hampton City Code, animal means any nonhuman
vertebrate species including fish except those fish captured and killed or
disposed of in a reasonable and customary manner.
Animal control officer
means a person appointed as an animal control officer or deputy animal control
officer as provided in Va. Code 3.1-796.104.
Animal shelter means a
facility, other than a private residential dwelling and its surrounding
grounds, which is used to house or contain animals and which is owned,
operated, or maintained by a nongovernmental entity including, but not limited
to, a humane society, animal welfare organization, society for the prevention
of cruelty to animals, or any other organization operating for the purpose of
finding permanent adoptive homes for animals.
At large shall mean
roaming, running or self-hunting off the property of its owner or custodian and
not under its owner's or custodian's immediate control, except that a dog shall
not be considered at large if it is on a bona fide hunt in the city in the
company of the hunter.
Boarding kennel or
establishment means a place or establishment, other than a pound
or shelter, where companion animals not owned by the proprietor are sheltered,
fed and watered in exchange for a fee, but shall not include training or show
Collar means a
well-fitted device, appropriate to the age and size of the animal, attached to
the animal's neck in such a way as to prevent trauma or injury to the
means dogs, both domestic and feral; cats, both domestic and feral; monkey and
all members of the monkey family or other nonhuman primates; guinea pigs;
hamsters; rabbits not raised for human food or fiber; exotic or native animals;
reptile; exotic and native birds; or any feral animal or any animal under the
care, custody, or ownership of a person or any animal that is bought, sold,
traded, or bartered by any person. Agricultural animals, game species, or any
animals regulated under federal law as research animals shall not be considered
companion animals for the purpose of this chapter.
Dealer means any
person who, in the regular course of business for compensation or profit, buys,
sells, transfers, exchanges or barters companion animals. The following shall
not be considered dealers: (i) any person who transports companion animals in
the regular course of business as a common carrier or (ii) any person or
organization whose primary purpose is to find permanent adoptive homes for
Direct and immediate threat
means any clear and imminent danger to an animal's health, safety or
treatment means veterinary treatment to stabilize a life-threatening
condition, alleviate suffering, prevent further disease transmission, or
prevent further disease progression.
Enclosure means a
structure used to house or restrict animals from running at large.
Euthanasia means the
humane destruction of an animal accomplished by a method that involves
instantaneous unconsciousness and immediate death or by a method that involves
anesthesia, produced by an agent which causes painless loss of consciousness,
and death during such loss of consciousness.
Exotic bird means any
bird that is not a species native to the United States.
Feral animal means
any domesticated animal that was formerly owned or has been abandoned and is no
longer socialized, or any animal born outdoors that has not been
Foster care provider
means an individual who provides care or rehabilitation for companion animals
through an affiliation with a pound, animal shelter, or other releasing
Foster home means a
private residential dwelling and its surrounding grounds at which site through
an affiliation with a pound, animal shelter, or other releasing agency care or
rehabilitation is provided for companion animals.
Home-based rescue or
animal rescue organizations means any person or organization that
accepts (i) more than twelve (12) companion animals or (ii) more than nine (9)
companion animals and more than three (3) unweaned litters of companion animals
in a calendar year for the purpose of finding permanent adoptive homes for the
companion animals and houses the companion animals in a private residential
dwelling or uses a system of housing companion animals in private residential
Housing facility or
facility means a building, other than a private residential
dwelling and its surrounding grounds, used to contain a primary enclosure or
enclosures in which animals are housed or kept.
Humane means any
action taken in consideration of and with the intent to provide for the
animal's health and well-being.
Humane care and treatment
shall include, but not be limited to, the protection of animals from direct sun
rays in the summer and freezing cold in the winter and the maintenance of food
and water bowls in a separate and clean manner. The bowls shall be sufficiently
secured so that they cannot be easily overturned.
means a person who has been appointed by a circuit court as a humane
investigator as provided in Virginia Code 3.1-796.106.
Humane society means
any incorporated, nonprofit organization that is organized for the purposes of
preventing cruelty to animals and promoting humane care and treatment or
adoptions of animals.
Kennel means any
establishment in which five (5) or more canines, felines, or hybrids of either
are kept for the purpose of breeding, hunting, training, renting, buying,
boarding, selling, or showing.
Law enforcement officer
means any person who is a full-time or part-time employee of a police
department or sheriff's office that is part of or administered by the
commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof and who is responsible for
the prevention and detection of crime and the enforcement of the penal, traffic
or highway laws of the commonwealth. Part-time employees are compensated
officers who are not full-time employees as defined by the employing police
department or sheriff's office.
all domestic or domesticated: bovine animals; equine animals; ovine animals;
porcine animals; cervidae animals; capradae animals; animals of the genus Lama;
ratites; fish or shellfish in aquaculture facilities, as defined in Virginia
Code 3.1-73.6 enclosed domesticated rabbits or hares raised for human food or
fiber; or any other individual animal specifically raised for food or fiber,
except companion animals.
Local ordinance means
any law, rule, regulation, or ordinance promulgated by the governing body of
any county, city, or town.
Locality or local
government means a county, city, or town, as the context may
Nuisance pertaining to dogs
means excessive, continuous or untimely barking, howling, molesting of
passersby, chasing vehicles, attacking other domestic animals, or unwelcome
trespassing upon school grounds, private or public property. Nuisance
pertaining to cats means excessive, continuous or untimely caterwauling, a
sound made during courtship, and/or destructive trespassing on the property of
includes all other persons employed or elected by the people of Virginia or by
any municipality, county, or incorporated town thereof, whose duty it is to
preserve the peace, to make arrests or to enforce the law.
Owner means any
person who has a right of property in an animal, keeps or harbors an animal,
has an animal in his care or acts as custodian of an animal.
Person means any
individual, partnership, firm, joint-stock company, corporation, association,
trust, estate or other legal entity.
Pet shop means an
establishment where companion animals are bought, sold, exchanged or offered
for sale or exchange to the general public.
Poultry includes all
domestic fowl and game birds raised in captivity.
Pound means a
facility operated by the commonwealth or any locality for the purpose of
impounding or harboring seized, stray, homeless, abandoned or unwanted animals,
or a facility operated for the same purpose under a contract with any county,
city, town, or incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to
means any structure used to immediately restrict an animal or animals to a
limited amount of space, such as a room, pen, cage, compartment or hutch. For
tethered animals, the term includes the shelter and the area within reach of
means any place, laboratory or institution licensed by the U.S. Department of
Agriculture at which scientific tests, experiments or investigations involving
the use of living animals are carried out, conducted or attempted.
Sanitize means to
make physically clean and to remove and destroy, to a practical minimum, agents
injurious to health.
Treasurer means the
city treasurer and his assistants or other officer designated by law to collect
taxes in the city.
Treatment or adequate
treatment means the responsible handling or transportation of animals
in the person's ownership, custody or charge, appropriate for the age, species,
condition, size and type of the animal.
or treatment means treatment by or on the order of a duly
licensed veterinarian and shall include, but not be limited to, immunization of
animals against distemper, hepatitis, leptospira (DHL), rabies and parvo virus,
and a periodic check for tape, round, hook, whip and heart worms.
(Ord. No. 735, 4-2, 11-10-82; Ord. No. 1385, 10-13-04;
Ord. No. 1437, 11-15-06)
State law references: Similar definitions, Code
of Virginia, 3.1-796.66.
Sec. 5-42. Control of dangerous and vicious dogs;
(a) As used in
"Dangerous dog" means a canine or canine
crossbreed that has bitten, attacked, or inflicted injury on a person or
companion animal that is a dog or cat or killed a companion animal that is a
dog or cat. However, when a dog attacks or bites a companion animal that is a
dog or cat, the attacking or biting dog shall not be deemed dangerous (i) if no
serious physical injury as determined by a licensed veterinarian has occurred
to the dog or cat as a result of the attack or bite, (ii) both animals are
owned by the same person, (iii) if such attack occurs on the property of the
attacking or biting dog's owner or custodian, or (iv) for other good cause as
determined by the court. No dog shall be found to be a dangerous dog as a
result of biting, attacking or inflicting injury on another dog or cat while
engaged with an owner or custodian as part of lawful hunting or participating
in an organized, lawful dog handling event. No dog that has bitten, attacked,
or inflicted injury on a person shall be found to be a dangerous dog if the
court determines, based on the totality of the evidence before it, that the dog
is not dangerous or a threat to the community.
"Vicious dog" means a canine or canine
crossbreed that has (i) killed a person; (ii) inflicted serious injury to a
person, including multiple bites, serious disfigurement, serious impairment of
health, or serious impairment of a bodily function; or (iii) continued to
exhibit the behavior which resulted in a previous finding by a court or, on or
before July 1, 2006, by an animal control officer as authorized by local
ordinance, that it is a dangerous dog, provided that its owner has been given
notice of that finding.
(b) Any law
enforcement officer or animal control officer who has reason to believe that a
canine or canine crossbreed within his jurisdiction is a dangerous dog or
vicious dog shall apply to a magistrate of the jurisdiction for the issuance of
a summons requiring the owner or custodian, if known, to appear before a
general district court at a specified time. The summons shall advise the owner
of the nature of the proceeding and the matters at issue. If a law-enforcement
officer successfully makes an application for the issuance of a summons, he
shall contact a local animal control officer and inform him of the location of
the dog and the relevant facts pertaining to his belief that the dog is
dangerous or vicious. The animal control officer shall confine the animal until
such time as evidence shall be heard and a verdict rendered. If the animal
control officer determines that the owner or custodian can confine the animal
in a manner that protects the public safety, he may permit the owner or
custodian to confine the animal until such time as evidence shall be heard and
a verdict rendered. The court, through its contempt powers, may compel the
owner, custodian or harborer of the animal to produce the animal. If, after
hearing the evidence, the court finds that the animal is a dangerous dog, the
court shall order the animal's owner to comply with the provisions of this
section. If, after hearing the evidence, the court finds that the animal is a
vicious dog, the court shall order the animal euthanized in accordance with the
provisions of Virginia Code, 3.1-796.119. The procedure for appeal and trial
shall be the same as provided by law for misdemeanors. Trial by jury shall be
as provided in Article 4 ( 19.2-260 et seq.) of Chapter 15 of Title 19.2. The
burden of proof shall be beyond a reasonable doubt.
(c) No canine or
canine crossbreed shall be found to be a dangerous dog or vicious dog solely
because it is a particular breed. No animal shall be found to be a dangerous
dog or vicious dog if the threat, injury or damage was sustained by a person
who was (i) committing, at the time, a crime upon the premises occupied by the
animal's owner or custodian, (ii) committing, at the time, a willful trespass
upon the premises occupied by the animal's owner or custodian or (iii)
provoking, tormenting, or physically abusing the animal, or can be shown to
have repeatedly provoked, tormented, abused, or assaulted the animal at other
times. No police dog that was engaged in the performance of its duties as such
at the time of the acts complained of shall be found to be a dangerous dog or a
vicious dog. No animal that, at the time of the acts complained of, was
responding to pain or injury, or was protecting itself, its kennel, its
offspring, a person, or its owner's or custodian's property, shall be found to
be a dangerous dog or vicious dog.
(d) If the owner
of an animal found to be a dangerous dog is a minor, the custodial parent or
legal guardian shall be responsible for complying with all requirements of this
(e) The owner of
any animal found to be a dangerous dog shall, within ten (10) days of such
finding, obtain a dangerous dog registration certificate from the local animal
control officer for a fee of fifty dollars ($50.00) in addition to other fees
that may be authorized by law. The local animal control officer shall also
provide the owner with a uniformly designed tag that identifies the animal as a
dangerous dog. The owner shall affix the tag to the animal's collar and ensure
that the animal wears the collar and tag at all times. All certificates
obtained pursuant to this subsection shall be renewed annually for the same fee
and in the same manner as the initial certificate was obtained. The animal
control officer shall provide a copy of the dangerous dog registration
certificate and verification of compliance to the state veterinarian.
(f) All dangerous
dog registration certificates or renewals thereof required to be obtained under
this section shall only be issued to persons eighteen (18) years of age or
older who present satisfactory evidence (i) of the animal's current rabies
vaccination, if applicable, (ii) that the animal has been neutered or spayed,
and (iii) that the animal is and will be confined in a proper enclosure or is
and will be confined inside the owner's residence or is and will be muzzled and
confined in the owner's fenced-in yard until the proper enclosure is
constructed. In addition, owners who apply for certificates or renewals thereof
under this section shall not be issued a certificate or renewal thereof unless
they present satisfactory evidence that (i) their residence is and will
continue to be posted clearly visible signs warning both minors and adults of the
presence of a dangerous dog on the property and (ii) the animal has been
permanently identified by means of a tattoo on the inside thigh or by
electronic implantation. All certificates or renewals thereof required to be
obtained under this section shall only be issued to persons who present
satisfactory evidence that the owner has liability insurance coverage, to the
value of at least one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000.00), that covers
animal bites. The owner may obtain and maintain a bond in surety, in lieu of
liability insurance, to the value of at least one hundred thousand dollars
(g) While on the
property of its owner, an animal found by a court to be a dangerous dog shall
be confined indoors or in a securely enclosed and locked structure of
sufficient height and design to prevent its escape or direct contact with or
entry by minors, adults, or other animals. The structure shall be designed to
provide the animal with shelter from the elements of nature. When off its
owner's property, an animal found to be a dangerous dog shall be kept on a
leash and muzzled in such a manner as not to cause injury to the animal or
interfere with the animal's vision or respiration, but so as to prevent it from
biting a person or another animal.
(h) The owner of
any dog found to be dangerous shall register the animal with the Commonwealth of Virginia Dangerous Dog Registry, within forty-five (45) day of such a
finding by a court of competent jurisdiction.
The owner shall also cause the local animal control officer
to be promptly notified of (i) the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of
all owners; (ii) all of the means necessary to locate the owner and the dog at
any time; (iii) any complaints or incidents of attack by the dog upon any
person or cat or dog; (iv) any claims made or lawsuits brought as a result of
any attack; (v) tattoo or chip identification information or both; (vi) proof
of insurance or surety bond; and (vii) the death of the dog.
(i) After an
animal has been found to be a dangerous dog, the animal's owner shall
immediately, upon learning of same, cause the local animal control authority to
be notified if the animal (i) is loose or unconfined; (ii) bites a person or
attacks another animal; or (iii) is sold, given away, or dies. Any owner of a
dangerous dog who relocates to a new address shall, within ten (10) days of
relocating, provide written notice to the appropriate local animal control
authority for the old address from which the animal has moved and the new
address to which the animal has been moved.
(j) Any owner or
custodian of a canine or canine crossbreed or other animal is guilty of a:
(1) Class 2
misdemeanor if the canine or canine crossbreed previously declared a dangerous
dog pursuant to this section, when such declaration arose out of a separate and
distinct incident, attacks and injures or kills a cat or dog that is a
companion animal belonging to another person;
(2) Class 1
misdemeanor if the canine or canine crossbreed previously declared a dangerous
dog pursuant to this section, when such declaration arose out of a separate and
distinct incident, bites a human being or attacks a human being causing bodily
The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to any
animal that, at the time of the acts complained of, was responding to pain or
injury, or was protecting itself, its kennel, its offspring, a person, or its
owner's or custodian's property, or when the animal is a police dog that is
engaged in the performance of its duties at the time of the attack.
(k) The owner of
any animal that has been found to be a dangerous dog who willfully fails to
comply with the requirements of this section shall be guilty of a Class 1
(l) All fees
collected pursuant to this section, less the costs incurred by the animal
control authority in producing and distributing the certificates and tags
required by this section, shall be paid into a special dedicated fund in the
treasury of the city for the purpose of paying the expenses of any training
course required under Virginia Code 3.1-796.104:1.
(m) This section
is enacted pursuant to Virginia Code 3.1-796.93:1(M).
(Ord. No. 1437, 11-15-06; Ord. No. 1476, 5-24-07; Ord. No.
Sec. 5-77. Cruelty to animals generally.
person who (i) overrides, overdrives, overloads, tortures, ill-treats,
abandons, willfully inflicts inhumane injury or pain not connected with bona
fide scientific or medical experimentation, or cruelly or unnecessarily beats,
maims, mutilates, or kills any animal, whether belonging to himself or another;
(ii) deprives any animal of necessary food, drink, shelter or emergency veterinary
treatment; (iii) sores any equine for any purpose or administers drugs or
medications to alter or mask such soring for the purpose of sale, show, or
exhibition of any kind, unless such administration of drugs or medications is
within the context of a veterinary client-patient relationship and solely for
therapeutic purposes; (iv) willfully sets on foot, instigates, engages in, or
in any way furthers any act of cruelty to any animal; (v) carries or causes to
be carried in or upon any vehicle, vessel or otherwise any animal in a cruel,
brutal, or inhumane manner, so as to produce torture or unnecessary suffering;
or (vi) causes any of the above things, or being the owner of such animal
permits such acts to be done by another, shall be guilty of a Class 1
B. In addition to the penalties provided in
subsection A, the court may, in its discretion, require any person convicted of
a violation of subsection A to attend an anger management or other appropriate
treatment program or obtain psychiatric or psychological counseling. The court
may impose the costs of such a program or counseling upon the person convicted.
C. Any person convicted of violating this section
may be prohibited by the court from possession or ownership of companion
Sec. 5-88. Procedure after impoundment under
for hearing; notice to owner. When an animal is impounded pursuant to
section 5-87, the person who seized the animal or an animal control officer
shall forthwith petition a judge of the general district court of the city for
a hearing, which shall be not more than ten business days from the date of the
seizure of the animal, to determine
whether the owner, if known, is able to adequately provide for such animal and
is a fit person to own such animal. Such petitioner shall cause to be served
upon the owner, if known and residing within the city, written notice, at least
five (5) days prior to such hearing, of the time and place of such hearing. If
the owner is known but residing out of the city, written notice by any method
shall be given. If the owner is not known, the petitioner shall cause to be
published in a newspaper of general circulation in the city notice of such
hearing at least one (1) time prior to the hearing and shall further cause
notice of the hearing to be posted, at least five (5) days prior to the
hearing, at the place provided for such public notices at the City Hall or
Courthouse wherein such hearing shall be had.
for animals pending adjudication of owner's fitness; authority to sell or
destroy. The person who seized the animal or the an animal control
officer may provide for such animal until the owner is adjudged by the court
able to adequately provide for the animal and a fit person to own the animal,
in which case the animal shall be forthwith returned to such owner, but if the
owner is adjudged by the court unable to adequately provide for the animal or
not a fit person to own the animal, the court shall order that the animal be
sold at public auction, placed for adoption in a suitable home or humanely
destroyed, as deemed proper by the court, but in no case shall the person
adjudged unable to adequately provide for such animal or adjudged an unfit
person to own such animal be allowed to purchase such animal at such
of owner's past record. The court, in determining under this section
whether the owner is able to adequately provide for such animal or is a fit
person to own such animal, may take into consideration, among other things, the
owner's past record of convictions under this article or one similar thereto
prohibiting cruelty to animals and the owner's mental and physical
of proceeds. The proceeds from the sale of an animal under this
section shall first be applied to the costs of the sale then to the expenses
for the care and provision of such animal and the remaining proceeds, if any,
shall be paid over to the owner of such animal. If the owner of such animal
cannot be found, the proceeds remaining shall be paid into the Literary Fund of
the State Treasury.
of critically injured or ill animals. Nothing in this section shall
be construed to prohibit the destruction of a critically injured or ill animal
for humane purposes.
(Ord. No. 735, 4-44, 11-10-82; Ord. No. 1437, 11-15-06)
the regular meeting of the City Council of the City of Hampton, Virginia held
on August 20, 2008.
Signed by ____________________________ Date
Molly Joseph Ward, Mayor
Attested by ____________________________ Date _________________
Katherine K. Glass
Clerk of the Council