Virginia Herp Regulations

 

Virginia State Regulations:

4VAC15-20-50. Definitions; "wild animal," "native animal," "naturalized animal," "nonnative (exotic) animal" and "domestic animal."
http://law.lis.virginia.gov/admincode/title4/agency15/chapter20/section50

4VAC15-30-10. Possession, importation, sale, etc., of wild animals.
http://law.lis.virginia.gov/admincode/title4/agency15/chapter30/section10

4VAC15-360-10. Taking aquatic invertebrates, amphibians, reptiles, and nongame fish for private use.
http://law.lis.virginia.gov/admincode/title4/agency15/chapter360/section10

4VAC15-20-130. Endangered and threatened species; adoption of federal list; additional species enumerated.
http://law.lis.virginia.gov/admincode/title4/agency15/chapter20/section130

4VAC15-30-20. Permit required to import, liberate or possess predatory or undesirable animals or birds.
http://law.lis.virginia.gov/admincode/title4/agency15/chapter30/section20

4VAC15-360-50. Propagation and sale of certain amphibians and reptiles.
http://law.lis.virginia.gov/admincode/title4/agency15/chapter360/section50

4VAC15-30-40. Importation requirements, possession and sale of nonnative (exotic) animals.
http://law.lis.virginia.gov/admincode/title4/agency15/chapter30/section40

Educators and Virginia's Wildlife Laws
http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/education/wildlife-laws-educators.pdf

County/City Restrictions:

Accomack – Ordinance Chapter 10-2c The keeping of poisonous animals is prohibited. Any poisonous animal being kept in violation of this section shall be confiscated and destroyed by the animal warden.

Alexandria – Title 5, Chapter 6, Section 33 of the Code of Alexandria places limits on animal ownership; namely, exotic or poisonous animals are prohibited from running at large. Violators are liable for a fee.

Altavista – Ordinance Chapter 18, Article II, Division 1, Section 88 disallows owners of exotic or poisonous animals from letting the animals run at large.

Arlington - Ordinance Chapter 2, Section 2-18 & 2-19 prohibit county residents from owning any poisonous reptile (defined as any reptile, including snakes, which is venomous). The prohibition does not apply to zoological or educational exhibitions, circuses, wildlife rehabilitators, scientific researchers, animals shelters or veterinary clinics which are properly permitted by the Federal Government or the State of Virginia. Poisonous reptiles that are kept lawfully may not be exhibited or displayed so that others, besides their handler, may come in direct physical contact.

Bedford – Ordinance Chapter 4, Article III, Section 49 requires licenses for hybrid canines, wolves or coyotes.

Blacksburg – Ordinance Chapter 5, Article I, Section 106 requires registration of dangerous animals annually. The section reads: No person shall own a dangerous animal in this town unless and until that person first registers the animal with the town manager and obtains a permit therefor from the town manager. Every person shall annually, each January, re- register the dangerous animal with the town manager, and apply for a renewal of the permit therefor.

The fee for the initial and each subsequent registration and permit shall be five dollars ($5.00) to defray part of the town's cost in administering this program.

The registration shall include the name, address, and telephone number of the owner or owners; the kind of dangerous animal owned; the location of this animal; the measures utilized to secure the animal on the owner's premises; and the measures utilized to maintain the means of restraint and to care for the dangerous animal. The adequacy or not of these measures shall be determined by the town manager, using these standards: strength, durability, efficacy, and any proven success of such measures.

At the time of the initial registration, and at each subsequent January, the owner shall provide to the town manager a certificate of insurance, which shall show that the owner currently maintains liability insurance with respect to the dangerous animal and its ownership. The liability insurance shall be obtained through a firm authorized to conduct insurance business in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The insurance shall afford the owner protection in the amounts of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000.00 each occurrence and three hundred thousand dollars ($300,000.00) annual aggregate, against liability for injury, death, or property damage that may be caused in the town by the dangerous animal.

Nothing in this section shall be deemed to sanction or legitimize the keeping of an animal where this practice contravenes the general law of this state or federal law.

Blacksburg has defined a dangerous animal as: Alligator, Ape, Badger, Bear, Birds (predatory), Bobcat, Cheetah, Chimpanzee, Cougar, Coyote, Crocodile, Feral member of the cat family, Gibbon, Hyena, Jaguar, Leopard, Lion, Lynx, Lizard, with a length of greater than three (3) feet or with a weight of over ten (10) pounds, Mongoose, Monkey, Ocelot, Orangutan, Ostrich, Snake, constrictor, with a length of greater than three (3) feet or with a weight of over fifteen (15) pounds, Snake, poisonous, Skunk, Tiger, Warthog, Wildcat, Wolverine.

Charles City County – Ordinance Chapter 5, Article I, Section 4 - No person shall suffer or permit any animal belonging to him or under his control, and known to be dangerous or reasonably suspected of being dangerous, to go at large within the county. If the owner or the person having control, upon notice that such animal is at large, fails to take it into custody forthwith, and its running at large creates a danger to the public or to any person or property, the animal shall be killed forthwith by order of the animal control officer, when deemed necessary for public safety.

Chesterfield – Ordinance Chapter 4, Article I, Section 3. A wild or exotic animal means any (i) live monkey (nonhuman primate), raccoon, skunk, wolf, squirrel, fox, leopard, panther, tiger, lion, lynx or any other warm-blooded mammal, (ii) poisonous snake, (iii) tarantula, (iv) other poisonous animal normally found in the wild, or (v) any member of the crocodilian family including, but not limited to, alligators, crocodiles, caimans, and gavials. Nonpoisonous snakes, ferrets, rabbits, laboratory rats, gerbils, hamsters and other similar small mammals, and other domesticated animals which have been bred in captivity are not wild or exotic animals. No person shall keep or permit to be kept on his premises any wild or exotic animal as a pet, for display, or for exhibition purposes, whether gratuitously or for a fee. This prohibition shall not apply to performing animal exhibitions, circuses, veterinary clinics, or indoor/outdoor recreational facilities which have proper zoning and licenses from the government; provided however, that no person shall exhibit or display any wild or exotic animal in a manner so that persons other than their handlers can pet, fondle or come in direct physical contact with them. The owner of any exotic or poisonous animal found to be running at large off of the owner's property shall reimburse the county for its actual costs incurred, including without limitation the actual cost of the time expended by the animal warden, deputy animal warden or other county personnel, in locating and capturing or otherwise disposing of the animal. Nature centers, refuges or parks owned or operated by the federal, state or local government are exempt from this section.

City of Chesapeake – Ordinance Chapter 10, Article II, Section 10-49. "Wild or exotic animals" shall mean any live monkey (non-human primate), raccoon, skunk, wolf, wolf-canine hybrid, squirrel, fox, leopard, tiger, lion, panther, ratite, or any other warm blooded animal, poisonous reptile, nonpoisonous apodal reptile eight feet or longer in length or nonpoisonous quadrupedal reptile five feet or longer in length which can normally be found in the wild state or any other member of the crocodilian family, including but not limited to alligators, crocodiles, caimans, and gavials. Ferrets, birds which are normally purchased through a pet store (with the exception of ratites), nonpoisonous apodal reptiles less than eight feet in length, nonpoisonous quadrupedal reptiles less than five feet in length, domestic rabbits and domestic rodents which have been bred in captivity and which have never known the wild shall be excluded from this definition. It shall be unlawful for any person to keep or permit to be kept upon his or her premises within the City limits any wild or exotic animal or any poisonous animal as a pet or for exhibition purposes, whether gratuitously or for a fee, without a permit from the Animal Services Unit. This section shall not apply to zoological parks, circuses, performing animal exhibitions, veterinary clinics, medical or educational facilities which are properly licensed by the federal government and/or the Commonwealth. In no case, however, shall any such wild, exotic, and/or poisonous animal(s) be exhibited, displayed, or kept in such a manner as to permit the animal(s) to escape, run at large, or otherwise come in direct physical contact with any person unless under the direct care and control of the owner, caretaker, or handler. A violation of this subsection shall constitute a Class 2 misdemeanor. In addition to any other penalties, the owner of any wild, exotic or poisonous animal found running at large shall pay to the locality a fee equal to the locality's actual cost in locating and capturing or otherwise disposing of the animal. Prior to issuing the permit, the owner is subject to an inspection from an animal control officer. The permit is initially $10 and must be renewed annually at a cost of $5.

Colonial Beach – Ordinance Chapter 3, Article V, Section 54. It shall be unlawful for any person to bring into or keep within the town any dangerous or wild animal. Upon conviction, the court shall order the animal from the town or euthanized in accordance with section 3.1-796.119 of the Code of Virginia (1950), as amended. For purposes of this section, the term "dangerous animal" shall mean capable of inflicting deadly or serious bodily harm on any person; or which has killed or seriously injured a companion animal or has chased, confronted, or approached a person in a menacing fashion such as would put a reasonable person in fear of death or serious bodily harm. For purposes of this section, the term "wild animal" shall mean any raccoon, skunk, wolf, wolf hybrid, squirrel, fox, prairie dog, hedgehog, or other similar warm-blooded animal susceptible to rabies. This section shall not apply to animals kept or enclosed in the town as part of a duly licensed and lawfully operated circus, carnival, zoo or similar business.

Emporia – Ordinance Chapter 10, Article I, Section 2 It shall be unlawful for any person to keep on his premises any animal known to him individually or by repute to be dangerous or vicious, unless suitable precautions are taken to prevent harm therefrom to children, or to unsuspecting persons who might lawfully be on the premises, or to persons on adjacent public or private property.

City of Fairfax – Chapter 6, Article V deals with the keeping of wild, exotic or vicious animals. Excerpts below. Definitions Vicious animal means any animal or animals that constitute a physical threat to human beings or other animals, but not including guard dogs.

Wild or exotic animal means any live monkey (nonhuman primate), raccoon, skunk, wolf, squirrel, fox, leopard, panther, tiger, lion, lynx or other warm-blooded animal, poisonous snake, constrictor snake in excess of six feet in length, tarantula, crocodile or alligator which can normally be found in the wild state or any other member of crocodilian, including, but not limited to, alligators, crocodiles, caimans and gavials. Ferrets, rabbits and laboratory rats which have been bred in captivity and which have never known the wild and any animal specifically trained to assist a handicapped person shall be excluded from this definition.

Display No person shall keep or permit to be kept on his premises any wild, exotic or vicious animal for display or for exhibition purposes, whether gratuitously or for a fee. This section shall not be construed to apply to zoological parks, performing animals, exhibitions, circuses or veterinary clinics which are properly licensed by the federal government or the commonwealth. In no case, however, shall such wild or exotic animals be exhibited or displayed in such a manner that persons other than their handlers come in direct physical contact with such animals. No person shall keep or permit to be kept any wild, exotic or vicious animal as a pet.

Fairfax County – Ordinance Chapter 41.1, Article 4 No person shall keep or permit to be kept any wild, exotic or vicious animal, as those terms are defined in Section 41.1-1-1 , for any purposes, except that this prohibition shall not apply to a single certified service animal in a household, zoological parks, traveling animal exhibitions, circuses or veterinary clinics that are properly licensed by the Federal Government or Commonwealth of Virginia. The wild or exotic animals of such licensed establishments shall not be exhibited or displayed in such a manner that persons other than their handlers can pet, fondle, or otherwise come in direct physical contact with such animals; however this prohibition shall not apply to the riding of elephants by persons other than the elephants' handlers while under the direct supervision of the elephants' handlers where such elephants are performing in zoological parks, animal exhibitions or circuses which are properly licensed by the Federal Government or the Commonwealth of Virginia and Fairfax County.

Falls Church – Ordinance Chapter 4, Article I, Section 3. Prohibition; exception. No person shall keep or permit to be kept on the premises of such person any live wild or exotic animal. This section shall not be construed to apply to zoological parks, performing animal exhibitions, circuses or veterinary clinics which are properly licensed by the federal government or Commonwealth of Virginia. In no case, however, shall such wild or exotic animals be exhibited or displayed in such a manner that persons other than the handler of such animal can pet, fondle or otherwise come in direct physical contact with such animals. Applicability. The term "wild or exotic animals" means any animal except: Dogs, cats, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, ferrets, and birds which are normally purchased through a pet store; Gold fish and aquarium fish; Nonpoisonous snakes, less than eight feet in length; and Domestic rabbits, mice and rats which have been bred in captivity and which never have known the wild.

Fauquier County – Ordinance Chapter 4, Article III. Notable excerpts below. No person shall keep or permit to be kept any wild or exotic animal(s) as a pet or for display or exhibition purposes, whether gratuitously or for a fee, without first registering the animal with the animal warden pursuant to section 4- 30 of this article. This section shall not apply to veterinary clinics, itinerant circuses, temporary performing animal exhibitions, or educational programs which are properly licensed by the federal government or Commonwealth of Virginia. The animal warden shall develop and implement a registration system for the keeping, care, and protection of wild or exotic animals as defined in section 4-1 of this chapter. The animal warden is authorized to charge a fee of twenty dollars ($20.00) per registrant to defray the cost of registration.

Town of Franklin – Ordinance Chapter 5, Article I, Section 4. It shall be unlawful for any person to bring into or keep in the city any dangerous animal. This section shall not apply to canines or canine cross-breeds or to animals kept or brought in the city in cages or other confinement in such manner as to not constitute a danger to the public at large as a part of a circus, carnival or zoo that is operated in compliance with applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations. If the owner of any animal known or reasonably suspected of being dangerous fails to take it into custody after being notified to do so by the animal control officer or any police officer or if the owner of such animal cannot be determined or located within a reasonable time, such animal may be killed by the animal control officer or any police officer, if it is deemed by such officer necessary for the safety of the public.

Franklin County – Ordinance Chapter 4, Article I, Section 3. No person shall suffer or permit any animal belonging to him or under his control, and known to be dangerous or reasonably suspected of being dangerous, to go at large within the county. If the owner or such person having control, upon notice that such animal is at large, fails to take it into custody forthwith, and its running at large

creates a danger to the public or to any person or property, the animal shall be killed forthwith by order of the sheriff, when deemed necessary for public safety. A violation of this section shall constitute a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Gloucester – Ordinance Chapter 3, Article I, Section 8. Excerpts below. It shall be unlawful for any person to keep, exhibit, or permit to be kept or exhibited upon any property within the county limits, any wild, exotic, venomous, or poisonous animal without a permit from an animal control officer. In no case, however, shall any such wild, exotic, venomous, or poisonous animal(s) be exhibited, displayed, or kept in such a manner so as to permit said animal(s) to escape, be at large, or to otherwise come in direct physical contact with any person unless under the direct care and control of the handler. The provisions of this section shall not apply to: Institutions accredited by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA). Registered nonprofit humane societies. Animal control officers or law enforcement officers acting under the authority of this article. Veterinary hospitals or clinics. Any wildlife rehabilitator licensed by the state. Any wildlife sanctuary. Any licensed or accredited research or medical institution. Any licensed or accredited educational institution. Any circus, rodeo or tradeshow. A person temporarily transporting an exotic animal through the county if the transit time is not more than ninety-six (96) hours and the animal is at all times maintained within a confinement sufficient to prevent the exotic animal from escaping.

The owner or custodian of any wild, exotic, venomous, or poisonous animal shall apply to the animal control department within ten (10) working days of obtaining an address within the county or in the case of an exhibition, ten (10) working days prior to the exhibition, for a permit authorizing the keeping of said animal within the county limits. Each applicant for a wild, exotic, venomous, or poisonous animal permit shall, by affidavit and/or supporting written documentation, provide the following: Name and street address of each owner(s)/custodian(s), eighteen (18) years of age or older; Location of animal(s) storage facility; The common and scientific name of the subject animal(s); The date of acquisition of each animal; The source of acquisition of each animal; The sex, age, height and/or length of each animal; Any identifying marks or numbers unique to each animal; A statement of understanding signed by the owner(s)/custodian(s) concerning human exposures in relation to the current state and local laws involving rabies control; Verifiable documentation that the animal was brought into the country legally. Proof the animal was purchased from a reputable dealer or pet store may constitute sufficient proof. The animal control officer has final authority in determining what constitutes sufficient proof; A current veterinarian's certificate confirming the animal is disease free; The current phone number and street address of owner(s)/custodians(s) and animal(s), if storage location differs from residence of owner(s)/custodian(s); At least one (1) emergency phone number where owner(s)/custodian(s) can be contacted in case of emergency; Proof the owner has a secure pen, cage or enclosure of sufficient size and strength to provide adequate shelter for the animal and to reasonably protect the public; and Where required by section 29.1-542 of the Code of Virginia, a copy of the special permit from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

The permit shall not be transferable and shall be valid through December 31 of the year of issue and shall be renewed by January 31 of each subsequent year. Permits for temporary exhibit shall be valid for the time period specified in the permit. One (1) permit per address will be required within the County of Gloucester. On the permit shall be listed each animal held within the county limits as identified in subsection (b). The County of Gloucester's wild, exotic, venomous, or poisonous animal permit shall be required in addition to any required federal or state permits. Information supplied on such permit shall be provided to relevant county departments as notification for public health and safety purposes. No permit for an exotic animal will be issued by the animal control department unless all required special permits from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries for wolves, coyotes, or birds or animals otherwise classified by the commission as predatory or undesirable have been obtained by the owner or custodian of the exotic

animal. It shall be the responsibility of the owner or custodian of the exotic animal to provide a valid copy of the special permit to the animal control department at the time the request for local exotic animal permit is made.

It shall be unlawful to release, or permit to be released, any wild, exotic, venomous, or poisonous animal(s) into the wild.

The animal control officer or his designee may reject an application for a wild, exotic, venomous, or poisonous animal permit, renewal of a permit, or the addition of an animal to an existing permit for any of the following reasons: Failure to comply with or supply any information required in subsection (b);

Falsification of any information required in subsection (b); Previous or current violations of any provisions of this section; Previous or current violations of any local, state, or federal law relating to animals; or The history or demonstration of a vicious or dangerous nature of an animal.

The animal control officer, or his designee, may revoke a wild, exotic, venomous, or poisonous animal permit and impound the animal(s) for any of the following reasons: Failure to comply with the terms of this section; Falsification of any information required in subsection (b); or

Violation of any local, state or federal law applicable to animals. The permittee shall post a placard provided by the animal control officer in an area of public view on any premises, building or structure where the wild, exotic, venomous, or poisonous animal is kept or housed. Failure to post the placard shall be a violation of this section.

Hanover – Ordinance Chapter 4, Article III. Excerpt below. No person shall keep or permit to be kept on his premises any wild, exotic or vicious animal, unless that person shall have previously obtained a permit from the county for such animal, except that persons holding a category I, II, or III wildlife rehabilitation permit issued by the state department of game and inland fisheries may possess native wild animals for the purpose of rehabilitation pursuant to the conditions of their wildlife rehabilitation permit.

Application for a wild or exotic animal permit or a vicious animal permit, and any amendments thereto, shall be made to the chief animal control officer on an application form prescribed by the chief animal control officer. The chief animal control officer has the authority to issue or deny permits for wild or exotic animals. A decision by the chief animal control officer to deny a permit may be appealed to the board of supervisors.

The board of supervisors has the authority to issue or deny permits for vicious animals. Prior to deciding whether to issue or deny a permit for a vicious animal, the board of supervisors shall advertise and conduct a public hearing. For no less than two (2) weeks prior to the public hearing, the applicant for such a permit shall post a sign, provided by the chief animal control officer, on the premises where the animal(s) is proposed to be kept, providing notice of the application and the time, date and place of the public hearing. In addition, the applicant shall send the same information by certified mail to the owners of record of each adjacent property.

No permit shall be approved by the chief animal control officer or the board of supervisors unless the applicant has demonstrated in the application: That the wild, exotic or vicious animal(s) will be securely enclosed at all times in a manner that is appropriate for the character of the animal;

That the animal(s) will be provided with an appropriate habitat and be properly fed, cared for and handled; That the keeping of such animal(s) on the premises is consistent with the nature and character of the neighborhood; That the owner has obtained any federal or state permits required for possession of that particular species of animal(s); and That, for vicious animals, the owner has obtained a surety bond or liability insurance or bond in the amount of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000.00) which covers incidents or occurrences involving the vicious animal.

The permit shall be nontransferable and subject to such conditions as are deemed necessary to assure the public safety and welfare and appropriate care of the animal(s). The permit shall list, by species and quantity, each wild, exotic, or vicious animal permitted to be kept on the premises, and shall authorize the applicant to keep only the animals identified in the application at the address listed in the application. Any permitted animal that dies or is sold or relocated out of the county may be replaced by an animal of the same species. Any additions, as a result of breeding of permitted animals or acquisition of additional wild, exotic, or vicious animals, shall require an amendment to the permit. No animal may be moved to another location within the county without prior issuance of a permit for the new location.

Applications for vicious animal permits shall be accompanied by a permit application fee of three hundred dollars ($300.00). Upon notice and an opportunity to be heard, any permit shall be subject to revocation by the approving authority for any of the following reasons:

Failure to comply with the terms of this section or the conditions of the permit; Falsification of any information on the permit application; or Violation of any local, state or federal laws applicable to animals.

It shall be unlawful for the owner of any wild, exotic or vicious animal to allow such wild, exotic or vicious animal to run at large in the county. It shall be the duty of the animal control officer or other officer who finds any wild, exotic or vicious animal running at large in violation of this section to take such wild, exotic or vicious animal into custody.

James City County – Ordinance Chapter 3, Article I, Section 3-4. It shall be unlawful for any person to bring or keep any wild animals within the county; provided, however, that wild animals shall be permitted to be brought into and kept within the county for purposes of exhibit or as a part of a permanent animal show when the wild animals are located within a thematic park situated in the county. As used in this section, “wild animals” means any animal which by nature or disposition is untamed. Exotic or poisonous animals shall not run at large in the county. For purposes of this section, “at large” shall mean roaming, running, or self-hunting off the premises of the owner or custodian and not under the immediate control of the owner or his agent. Any exotic or poisonous animal observed or captured while unlawfully running at large shall be disposed of in accordance with sections 3-45 through 3-47. For any exotic or poisonous animal identified as to ownership, if such exotic or poisonous animal is captured and confined by the animal control officer or other officer appointed under the provisions of this chapter, the owner shall be charged with the county’s actual expenses incurred in locating, capturing, and impounding or otherwise disposing of the animal.

King George – Ordinance Chapter 3, Article V. Excerpt below. Wild or exotic animals shall mean any live monkey (nonhuman primate), raccoon, skunk, wolf, squirrel, fox, leopard, panther, tiger, lion, lynx, or any other warm-blooded animal, poisonous snake, tarantula, crocodile or alligator which can normally be found in the wild state or any other member of the crocodilian, including but not limited to alligators, crocodiles, caimans, and gavials. Ferrets, non-poisonous snakes, rabbits and laboratory rats which have been bred in captivity and which never have known the wild shall be excluded from this definition. No person shall keep or permit to be kept on his/her premises any wild or exotic animal for display or for exhibition purposes, whether gratuitously or for a fee. This section shall not be construed to apply to zoological parks, performing animal exhibitions, circuses or veterinary clinics which are properly licensed by the federal government or Commonwealth of Virginia. In no case, however, shall such wild or exotic animals be exhibited or displayed in such a manner that persons other than their handlers can pet, fondle or otherwise come in direct physical contact with such animals. No persons shall keep or permit to be kept any wild or exotic animal as a pet.

Leesburg – Ordinance Chapter 4, Article 1 Section 4-1.1. No persons shall keep or permit to be kept any wild or exotic animal as a pet. Section 4-6. It shall be unlawful for any person to display, exhibit, handle or use any poisonous or dangerous snake or reptile in such a manner as to endanger the life or health of any person. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. Section 4-7. It shall be unlawful for the owner of any wild, exotic or vicious animal to allow such wild, exotic or vicious animal to run at large in the town. It shall be the duty of the animal control officer who finds any wild, exotic or vicious animal running at large to take such wild, exotic or vicious animal into custody.

Town of Louisa - Ordinance Chapter 40, Article II. Excerpted below. It shall be unlawful for any person to keep, exhibit, or permit to be kept or exhibited upon any property within the Town limits any wild, exotic, venomous, or poisonous animal as defined in Section 40-8 without a permit from the Town Manager. In no case, however, shall any such wild, exotic, venomous, or poisonous animal(s) be exhibited, displayed, or kept in such a manner so as to permit said animal(s) to escape, be at large, or to otherwise come in direct physical contact with any person unless under the direct care and control of the handler. The provisions of this section do not apply to AZA accredited facilities, veterinary hospitals, wildlife sanctuaries, research or medical institutions, circuses, or rodeos. Permits are valid for one year, require a veterinarian’s certificate stating the animal is disease free, proof of a secure shelter for the animal, and cost $50 initially. Any person applying for a wild, exotic, venomous, or poisonous animal permit shall provide evidence of surety bond or liability insurance or bond in

the amount of $50,000 which covers incidences or occurrences involving the wild, exotic, venomous, or poisonous animals.

Manassas – Ordinance Chapter 18, Article V. Excerpted below. Wild or exotic animal means any animal except a dog, cat, hamster, gerbil, guinea pig, mouse, ferret, turtle, nonpoisonous snake less than seven feet in length, nonpoisonous lizards and iguanas less than seven feet in length, domesticated rabbit, laboratory rat, bird, fish, horse, mule, cow, swine, sheep or goat. Prohibited; exceptions. No person shall keep or permit to be kept on his premises any live wild or exotic animal. This section shall not be construed to apply to zoological parks, performing animal exhibitions, circuses or veterinary clinics which are properly licensed by the federal government or the Commonwealth. In no case, however, shall such wild or exotic animals be exhibited or displayed in such a manner that persons other than their handlers can pet, fondle or otherwise come in direct physical contact with such animals. Endangered or threatened animals. No person shall keep any endangered or threatened animal, live or dead, or any part thereof, except pursuant to an exemption or permit provided for in 16 USC ch. 35, or in regulations under that chapter. Disposition of illegal animals. Any person who keeps a wild or exotic animal in contravention of this article shall dispose of the animal by removal of the animal from the city, by giving or selling the animal to a zoological park or by releasing the animal to the animal control officer. The animal control officer is authorized to release the animal to the wild, to a zoological park or to a responsible adult who shall remove the animal from the city or dispose of the animal in some humane manner. The animal control officer is not authorized to release the animal to any person who intends to use the animal for research purposes.

Manassas Park – Ordinance Chapter 5, Article VI. Excerpted below. Wild or exotic animal shall mean any live monkey (nonhuman primate), raccoon, skunk, wolf, wolf hybrid, squirrel, fox, leopard, panther, tiger, lion, lynx or any other warm-blooded animal, poisonous snake or tarantula which can normally be found in the wild state or any other member of crocodilian, including but not limited to alligators, crocodiles, caimans, and gavials. Ferrets, nonpoisonous snakes less than six (6) feet in length, rabbits and laboratory rats which have been bred in captivity and which never have known the wild shall be excluded from this definition. No person shall keep or permit to be kept on his premises any wild or exotic or vicious animal for display for exhibition purposes, whether gratuitously or for a fee. This section shall not be construed to apply to zoological parks, performing animal exhibitions, circuses or veterinary clinics that are properly licensed by the federal government or Commonwealth of Virginia. In no case, however, shall such wild or exotic animal be exhibited or displayed in such a manner that persons other than their handlers can pet, fondle or otherwise come in direct physical contact with such animals. No person shall keep or permit to be kept any wild or exotic animal, or non-poisonous snakes six (6) feet or longer in length as a pet.

City of Norfolk – Ordinance Chapter 6.1, Article I, Section 10. It shall be unlawful for any person to keep or exhibit or permit to be kept or exhibited upon any property within the city limits any wild, exotic, and/or poisonous animal without a permit from the animal control officer. In no case, however, shall any such wild, exotic, and/or poisonous animal(s) be exhibited, displayed, or kept in such a manner so as to permit said animal(s) to escape, be at large, or to otherwise come in direct physical contact with any person unless under the direct care and control of the handler.

The owner or custodian of any wild, exotic and/or poisonous animal shall apply to the animal control officer within ten (10) working days of acquisition of said animal, within ten (10) working days of becoming a new resident of Norfolk, within ten (10) working days of changing address within the city, or in the case of an exhibition (10) working days prior to the exhibition, for a permit authorizing the keeping of said animal within the city limits. Each applicant for a wild, exotic or poisonous animal permit shall by affidavit provide the following:

Name and street address of each owner(s)/custodian(s); Location of animal(s) storage facility; The common and scientific name of the subject animal(s); The date of acquisition of each animal;

The source of acquisition of each animal; The sex, age, height and/or length of each animal; Any identifying marks or numbers unique to each animal; A statement of understanding signed by the owner(s)/custodian(s) concerning human exposures in relation to the current state and local laws involving rabies control; The current phone number and street address of owner(s)/custodian(s) and animal(s), if storage location differs from residence of owner(s)/custodian(s).

At least one emergency phone number where owner(s)/custodian(s) can be contacted in case of emergency.

The permit shall not be transferable and shall be valid through December 31 of the year of issue and shall be renewed by January 31 of each subsequent year. Permits for temporary exhibit shall be valid for the time period specified in the permit. One permit per address will be required within the Norfolk City limits. On the permit shall be listed each animal held within the city limits as identified in subsection (b). The City of Norfolk's wild, exotic and/or poisonous animal permit shall be required in addition to any required federal or state permits. Information supplied on such permit shall be provided to relevant city departments as notification for public health and safety purposes. It shall be unlawful to release any wild, exotic, and/or poisonous animal(s) into the wild. The initial fee to cover the cost of the permit administration shall be twenty-five dollars ($25.00) per address. A charge of fifteen dollars ($15.00) will be collected for annual permit renewal, the adding of additional animals to an existing permit, or the duplication of an existing permit. It shall be unlawful for any person to furnish false information for the purpose of obtaining a permit pursuant to subsection (b). Any permit obtained under fraudulent pretenses shall be null and void with any animals named thereon subject to impoundment by the animal control officer pending a determination by a court of competent jurisdiction as to the appropriate disposition of said animal(s). Any person applying for a wild, exotic or poisonous animal permit shall provide evidence of surety bond or liability insurance in the amount of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000.00) which covers incidences or occurrences involving the wild, exotic or poisonous animals.

The animal control officer or his designee may reject an application for a wild, exotic or poisonous animal permit, renewal of a permit, or the addition of an animal to an existing permit for any of the following reasons: Failure to comply with or supply any information required in subsection (b); or Falsification of any information required in subsection (b); or

Previous or current violations of any provisions of this section; or Previous or current violations of any local, state, or federal law relating to animals; or The history or demonstration of a vicious or dangerous nature of an animal. Any person whose application is rejected pursuant to this subsection may appeal this decision to the animal welfare board of review as set forth in article VII. The animal control officer or his designee may revoke a wild, exotic or poisonous animal permit and impound the animals for any of the following reasons: Failure to comply with the terms of this section; or Falsification of any information required in subsection (b); or Violation of any local, state or federal law applicable to animals. Any person whose permit is revoked pursuant to this subsection may appeal this decision to the animal welfare board of review as set forth in article VII.

The permittee shall post a placard provided by the animal control officer in an area of public view on any premises, building or structure where the wild, exotic or poisonous animal is kept or housed. Failure to post the placard shall be a violation of this section.

Petersburg – Ordinance Chapter 18, Article I, Section 6. Excerpted below. Wild animal means any raccoon, skunk, fox, poisonous snake, leopard, panther, tiger, lion, lynx or any other warm- blooded animal which can normally be found in the wild state. Zoological park means any facility, other than a pet shop or kennel, displaying or exhibiting one or more species of non-domesticated animals operated by a person, partnership, corporation or government agency.

No person shall keep or permit to be kept on his premises any wild animal, for display or for exhibition purposes, whether gratuitously or for a fee. This subsection shall not be construed to apply to zoological parks, performing animal exhibitions or circuses.

No person shall keep or permit to be kept on his premises any wild animal as a pet. If a person was keeping an adult wild animal prior to October 21, 1975, having raised it from infancy, this subsection shall not apply to that person and that animal; provided, however, that such person and animal shall be subject to the provisions of article V of this chapter.

The animal control officer may issue a temporary permit for the keeping, care and protection of an infant wild animal, which is native to this area and which has been deemed to be homeless. The animal control officer shall

have the power to release or order the release of any infant animal so kept, when such animal is deemed capable of survival.

No person shall keep within the limits of the city any animal which is known to be vicious or which has evidenced a disposition to attack human beings or other animals without provocation. Upon the report of an unprovoked attack by an animal upon a human being or other animal, or where the animal control officer has a reasonable belief that an animal is vicious, the animal control officer may forthwith take up and impound such animal. Any animal impounded under this subsection shall be kept at the animal shelter or other place as designated by the animal control officer pending a determination by a court of competent jurisdiction regarding the animal's return to the owner. Such hearing is to be conducted after serving notice to the owner by delivering a copy thereof in writing to the owner in person pursuant to Code of Virginia, § 8.01-296(1); or by delivering a copy of such notice by any method of substituted service as designated by Code of Virginia, § 8.01-296(2)(a), (b) and (c), or if service cannot be effected as heretofore outlined in this section, then by order of publication in appropriate cases under the provisions of Code of Virginia, §§ 8.01-316—8.01-320. The factors to be considered by the court in any prosecution under this subsection shall include, but not be limited to the following:

The nature of the attack. The severity of the injuries. The safety of the citizens of the city.

The history of the animal and its owner as it reasonably relates to the vicious propensities of the animal. Any person owning or harboring any vicious animal or an animal alleged to be vicious shall be summoned before the general district court of this city to show cause why such animal should not be disposed of, and upon proof that the animal is vicious, it shall be disposed of as such court shall order. In addition to the disposition enumerated in this subsection, all costs related to the impoundment, care and shelter for the subject animal shall be borne by the owner or any person having in his possession or under his control such animal. No animal shall be declared vicious if the threat, injury or damage was sustained by a person, who, at the time, was committing a willful trespass or other tort upon the premises occupied by the owner or keeper of the animal or was teasing, tormenting, abusing or assaulting the animal or has, in the past, been observed or reported to have teased, tormented, abused or assaulted the animal or was committing or attempting to commit a crime. No animal shall be declared vicious or dangerous if it attacks other animals which are trespassing on the premises occupied by the owner or keeper of the animal.

No person shall refuse to turn over to the animal control officer any animal that the animal control officer has reason to believe is vicious, or shall sell, remove, destroy, or secrete an animal with the intent to defeat impoundment of such animal.

A violation of any provision of this section shall constitute a class 1 misdemeanor.

Portsmouth – Ordinance Chapter 4, Article I, Section 11. It shall be unlawful for any person to keep within this city an elephant, bear, leopard, lion, tiger, panther, bobcat, wolf, raccoon, skunk, fox, opossum or any dangerous or carnivorous wild animal, or dangerous or poisonous reptiles or serpents. A "wild animal" is defined as one that is incapable of being completely domesticated and requires the exercise of art, force or skill to keep it in subjection.

Prince William – Ordinance Chapter 4, Article VI. Excerpted below. Wild or exotic animal shall mean any live monkey (nonhuman primate), raccoon, skunk, wolf, squirrel, fox, leopard, panther, tiger, lion, lynx or any other warm-blooded animal, poisonous snake or tarantula which can normally be found in the wild state or any other member of crocodilian, including but not limited to alligators, crocodiles, caimans, and gavials. Ferrets, nonpoisonous snakes, rabbits and laboratory rats which have been bred in captivity and which never have known the wild shall be excluded from this definition. No person shall keep or permit to be kept on his premises any wild or exotic or vicious animal for display or for exhibition purposes, whether gratuitously or for a fee. This section shall not be constructed to apply to zoological parks, performing animal exhibitions, circuses or veterinary clinics which are properly licensed by the federal government or Commonwealth of Virginia. In no case, however, shall such wild or exotic animals be exhibited or displayed in such a manner that persons other than their handlers can pet, fondle or otherwise come in direct physical contact with such animals. No person shall keep or permit to be kept any wild, exotic or vicious animal as a pet.

Purcellville – Ordinance Chapter 10, Article I, Section 5. 160 It shall be unlawful for any person to display, exhibit, handle or use any poisonous or dangerous snake or reptile in such a manner as to endanger the life or health of any person. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a class 4 misdemeanor.

Salem – Ordinance Chapter 14, Article VII. Excerpted below. Wild or exotic animal shall mean any live monkey (nonhuman primate), raccoon, skunk, wolf, squirrel, fox, leopard, panther, tiger, lion, lynx or any other warm-blooded animal, poisonous snake or tarantula which can normally be found in the wild state or any other member of crocodilian, including, but not limited to, alligators, crocodiles, caimans, and gavials. Ferrets, guinea pigs, nonpoisonous snakes, rabbits, and laboratory rats which have been bred in captivity and which have never known the wild shall be excluded from this definition. No person shall keep or permit to be kept on his premises any wild, exotic or vicious animal or display or for exhibition purposes, whether gratuitously or for a fee. This section shall not be construed to apply to zoological parks, performing animal exhibitions, circuses, or veterinary clinics which are properly licensed by the federal government or commonwealth of Virginia. In no case, however, shall such wild or exotic animals be exhibited or displayed in such a manner that persons other than their handlers can pet, fondle or otherwise come in direct physical contact with such animals. No person shall keep or permit to be kept any wild, exotic, or vicious animal as a pet.

Smithfield – Ordinance Chapter 18, Article IV. Prohibited; exceptions. No person shall keep or permit or to be kept on his premises any live wild or exotic animal. This section shall not be construed to apply to zoological parks, performing animal exhibitions, circuses or veterinary clinics which are properly licensed by the federal government or the commonwealth. In no case, however, shall such wild or exotic animals be exhibited or displayed in such a manner that persons other than their handlers can pet, fondle or otherwise come in a direct physical contact with such animals. Endangered or threatened animals. No person shall keep any endangered or threatened animal, live or dead, or any part thereof, except pursuant to an exemption or permit provided for in 16 USC 35, or in regulation under that chapter. Disposition of illegal animals. Any person who keeps a wild or exotic animal in contravention of this article shall dispose of the animal by removal of the animal from the town by giving or selling the animal to a zoological park or by releasing the animal to the wild animal control officer. The animal control officer is authorized to release the animal to the wild, to a zoological park or to a responsible adult who shall remove the animal from the town or dispose of the animal in some humane manner. The animal control officer is not authorized to release the animal to any person who intends to use the animal for research purposes.

South Hill – Ordinance Chapter 18, Article I, Section 3. It shall be unlawful for any person to keep or raise in the town certain animals generally not considered domestic or household pets, including, but not limited to, alpacas, chickens, cows, emus, goats, hogs, horses, pigs, ponies, sheep, or any other creature that may reasonably be considered a farm animal or livestock. Further, it shall be unlawful for any person to keep or raise in the town exotic animals or animals that typically live in the wild, including, but not limited to, alligators, apes, bears, chimpanzees, foxes, lions, monkeys, raccoons, reptiles, snakes, squirrels, tigers, wolves or any other creature that is generally not considered a domestic pet.

Spotsylvania – Ordinance Chapter 4, Article VI. Excerpted below. Wild or exotic animal means any live monkey (nonhuman primate), raccoon, skunk, wolf, squirrel, fox, leopard, panther, tiger, lion, lynx or any other warm-blooded animal, poisonous snake or tarantula which can normally be found in the wild state or any other member of crocodilian, including but not limited to alligators, crocodiles, caimans and gavials. Ferrets, nonpoisonous snakes, rabbits and laboratory rats which have been bred in captivity and which never have known the wild shall be excluded [from] this definition. No person shall keep or permit to be kept on his premises any wild or exotic animal for display or for exhibition purposes, whether gratuitously or for a fee. This section shall not be construed to apply to zoological parks, performing animal exhibitions, circuses or veterinary clinics which are properly licensed by the federal government or Commonwealth of Virginia. In no case, however, shall such wild or exotic animals be exhibited or displayed in such a manner that persons other than their handlers can pet, fondle or otherwise come in direct physical contact with such animals. No person shall keep or permit to be kept any wild or exotic animal as a pet.

Stafford – Ordinance Chapter 5, Article VI. Excerpted below. Wild or exotic animal shall mean any live monkey (nonhuman primate), raccoon, skunk, wolf, squirrel, fox, leopard, panther, tiger, lion, lynx or any other warm-blooded animal, venomous reptile, amphibian, or invertebrate which can normally be found in the wild state, or any other member of crocodilian, including but not limited to alligators,

crocodiles, caimans, and gavials. Ferrets, nonvenomous reptiles, rabbits and laboratory rats which have been bred in captivity and which never have known the wild shall be excluded from this definition. No person shall keep or permit to be kept on his premises any wild or exotic animal for display or for exhibition purposes, or for the purpose to sell, offer to be sold or any other exchange, whether gratuitously or for a fee. This section shall not be construed to apply to zoological parks, performing animal exhibitions, circuses, a licensed rehabilitator, or veterinary clinics which are properly licensed by the federal government or Commonwealth of Virginia. In no case, however, shall such wild or exotic animal be exhibited or displayed in such a manner that persons other than their handlers can pet, fondle or otherwise come in direct physical contact or in any way be "at large" with such animals.

It shall be unlawful for the owner or custodian of any animal (as defined in section 5-74) or nonvenomous reptile to permit said animal or nonvenomous reptile to run at large in the county at any time. Any owner or custodian who permits his animal or nonvenomous reptile to run at large shall, in addition to any penalty provided under this article, be liable for the expenses to cover the costs incurred by the county in locating and capturing, or otherwise disposing of, the animal or nonvenomous reptile.

No person shall keep or permit to be kept any wild or exotic animal as a pet. Any person who keeps a wild or exotic animal in contravention of this article may dispose of the animal by removal of the animal from the county, by giving or selling the animal to a zoological park, or by releasing the animal to the animal control officer. The animal control officer is authorized to release the animal to the wild, to a zoological park, to a responsible adult, or euthanize the animal, if the circumstances warrant. This article shall be effective immediately; provided that any person currently keeping any wild or exotic animals in the county shall dispose of same within five (5) years of the date of adoption of this article; and provided further, that such a wild animal shall be registered with the animal control officer within sixty (60) days from the date of adoption of this article.

City of Staunton – Ordinance Title 6, Chapter 6.15. Excerpted below. “Wild or exotic animal” shall mean any live monkey (nonhuman primate), raccoon, skunk, wolf, squirrel, fox, leopard, panther, tiger, lion, lynx or any other warm-blooded animal, poisonous snake or tarantula which can normally be found in the wild state or any other member of crocodilian, including, but not limited to, alligators, crocodiles, caimans, and gavials. Ferrets, guinea pigs, nonpoisonous snakes, rabbits, and laboratory rats which have been bred in captivity and which have never known the wild shall be excluded from this definition. No person shall keep or permit to be kept on his premises any wild, exotic or vicious animal for display or for exhibition purposes, whether gratuitously or for a fee. This section shall not be construed to apply to zoological parks, performing animal exhibitions, circuses, or veterinary clinics which are properly licensed by the federal government or commonwealth of Virginia. In no case, however, shall such wild or exotic animals be exhibited or displayed in such a manner that persons other than their handlers can pet, fondle or otherwise come in direct physical contact with such animals. No person shall keep or permit to be kept any wild, exotic, or vicious animal as a pet.

Warrenton – Ordinance Chapter 3, Article II. Excerpted below. Wild or exotic animal shall mean any live monkey (non-human primate), raccoon, skunk, wolf, squirrel, fox, leopard, panther, tiger, lion, lynx or any other warm-blooded animal, poisonous snake, constricting snake greater than three (3) feet in length, or tarantula which can normally be found in the wild state or any other member of crocodilian, including but not limited to alligators, crocodiles, caymans, and gavials. Ferrets, rabbits, and laboratory rats which have been bred in captivity and which have never known the wild shall be excluded from the definition. No person shall keep or permit to be kept any wild or exotic animal(s) as a pet or for display or exhibition purposes, whether gratuitously or for a fee, without first registering the animal with the animal warden pursuant to section 3- 17 of this article. This section shall not apply to veterinary clinics, itinerant circuses, temporary performing animal exhibitions, or educational programs which are properly licensed by the Federal Government or Commonwealth of Virginia.

* Please Note: Regulations are dynamic and can change often. This list does not include restrictions that my be imposed by homeowner associations and other governing bodies. Check with your local county or city government for local ordinances on the possession of reptiles and amphibians.

Last update: 03-Sep-15


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