ORANGE COUNTY, VIRGINIA

CODE OF ORDINANCES

 
112 W. Main Street
Orange, Virginia 22960

Article III - Dogs

Division 1. - Generally


Sec. 6-91. - Disposal of dead dogs.

The owner of any dog which has died from disease or other cause shall forthwith cremate or bury and dispose of the dog. If after notice any owner fails to do so, the animal control officer or other officer shall bury or cremate the dog; and he may recover on behalf of the county from the owner the cost of his service.

(Ord. of 12-8-2009)


Secs. 6-92--6-110. - Reserved.


Division 2. - License Tax


Sec. 6-111. - Unlicensed dogs prohibited.

It shall be unlawful for any person to own a dog four months or older unless such dog is licensed as required by the provisions of Code of Virginia, § 3.2-6524, and this division. Any person violating this section shall be guilty of a class 4 misdemeanor and, upon their first offense of this section, shall pay a fine of $50.00.

(Ord. of 12-8-2009)


Sec. 6-112. - How to obtain license.

Dogs shall be licensed as provided by Code of Virginia, § 3.2-6527, by reference, which section is adopted and made a part of this chapter by reference as fully as though set forth at length in this section.

(Ord. of 12-8-2009)


Sec. 6-113. - Amount of license tax.

(a) Pursuant to the authority of Code of Virginia, § 3.2-6528, any person licensing a dog in the county shall pay an annual license tax on the ownership of the dog according to the following schedule:

Spayed or neutered:

(1) 1 yr. licenses .....$ 5.00

(2) 2 yr. licenses .....10.00

(3) 3 yr. licenses .....15.00

Not spayed or neutered:

(1) 1 yr. licenses .....10.00

(2) 2 yr. licenses .....20.00

(3) 3 yr. licenses .....30.00

(b) No license tax shall be levied on a guide dog for a blind person, service dog or dogs under four months of age.

(Ord. of 12-8-2009; Res. of 3-22-2011)



Sec. 6-114. - Kennel license tax.

The tax for a licensed kennel as defined in section 14-31, shall be according to the following schedule:

1--10 dogs .....$25.00

11--20 dogs .....35.00

21--30 dogs .....45.00

Over 30 dogs .....50.00

(Ord. of 12-8-2009)


Sec. 6-115. - When license tax payable.

The license tax imposed by this division shall be payable to the treasurer of the county, as required by Code of Virginia, § 3.2-6530, which section is adopted and made a part of this chapter as fully as though set forth at length in this section.

(Ord. of 12-8-2009)


Sec. 6-116. - Effect of dog not wearing collar as evidence.

Any dog not wearing a collar bearing a license tag of the proper calendar year shall prima facie be deemed to be unlicensed and a stray; and in any proceedings under this division, the burden of proof of the fact that such dog has been licensed or is otherwise not required to bear a tag at the time shall be on the owner of the dog.

(Ord. of 12-8-2009)


Sec. 6-117. - What dog license shall consist of.

The county dog license shall consist of a license receipt and a metal tag. The tag shall be stamped or otherwise permanently marked to show the jurisdiction issuing the license, the sex of the dog and the calendar year for which issued, and shall bear a serial number.

(Ord. of 12-8-2009)

 

Sec. 6-118. - Duplicate license tags.

Duplicate license tags shall be obtained by the owner of a dog as provided by Code of Virginia, § 3.2-6532, which section is adopted by reference and made a part of this chapter as if fully set forth in this section.

(Ord. of 12-8-2009)


Sec. 6-119. - Displaying receipts; dogs to wear tags.

Dog license receipts shall be displayed and dog license tags shall be worn as required by Code of Virginia, § 3.2-6531.

(Ord. of 12-8-2009)


Secs. 6-120--6-140. - Reserved.



Division 3. - Rabies Control


Sec. 6-141. - Rabies vaccination required for companion animals.

It shall be unlawful for any person to own a dog or cat, age four months or older, unless such dog or cat has been inoculated or vaccinated against rabies by a duly licensed veterinarian or licensed veterinary technician who is under the immediate and direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian on the premises. No license tags shall be issued for any dog unless there is presented to the treasurer or other officer of the locality, at the time application for license, satisfactory evidence, that such dog has been inoculated or vaccinated against rabies by a duly licensed veterinarian or licensed veterinary technician who is under the immediate and direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian on the premises, and that such inoculation or vaccination remains valid for the time application for license is made. Any person violating this section shall be guilty of a class 4 misdemeanor and, upon their first offense of this section, shall pay a fine of $50.00.

(Ord. of 12-8-2009; Ord. of 6-28-2011(2))


Sec. 6-142. - Rabies clinic authorized.

The board of supervisors finding that the number of resident veterinarians is inadequate to meet the need, the county health department shall provide a rabies clinic at least once per year.

(Ord. of 12-8-2009)


Sec. 6-143. - Quarantine authorized.

When the board of supervisors finds that there is sufficient reason to believe that a rabid animal is at large, the board shall have the power to pass an emergency ordinance requiring all owners of all dogs in the county to keep the dogs confined on their premises, and may further adopt such ordinances, regulations or other measures as it may deem reasonably necessary to prevent the spread within the county of the disease of rabies.

(Ord. of 12-8-2009)


Secs. 6-144--6-165. - Reserved.



Division 4. - Running at Large


Sec. 6-166. - Running At Large Prohibited.

(a) The running at large of dogs within the entire county, not incorporated, is prohibited beginning in July 1, 1999. For the purpose of this division, a dog shall be deemed to be running at large while roaming, running or self-hunting off the property of its owner or custodian and not under the owner's or custodians' immediate control. After having been notified by any animal control officer or other officer of the law that any dog in the possession or control of the owner or custodian is running at large, such owner or custodian of any dog or dogs thereafter found running at large in the county shall be in violation of this section.

(b) The running at large of dogs within the incorporated limits of any town in the county is prohibited during such periods of time as may be designated from time to time by ordinance of the appropriate town council.

(c) This section shall not apply to any person or persons while engaging in the following activities:


(1) Lawful hunting with a dog or dogs;

(2) Law enforcement or search and rescue activity;

(3) A supervised formal obedience training class or show;

(4) Formally sanctioned field trials; or

(5) Bona fide hunting or field trial dog training.

(d) A violation of this section shall constitute a class 4 misdemeanor for the first offense and the owner or custodian of the dog shall pay a fine of $50.00; however, if the dog is subsequently determined to be a dangerous or vicious dog, a violation of this section shall constitute a class 1 misdemeanor.

(e) A second violation of this section within one year of a conviction of the first violation shall constitute a class 2 misdemeanor; provided, however, if the dog is subsequently determined to be a dangerous or vicious dog, a violation of this section shall constitute a class 1 misdemeanor.

(f) A third or subsequent violation of this section within two years of conviction of the second or subsequent violation shall constitute a class 1 misdemeanor.

(Ord. of 12-8-2009)


Sec. 6-167. - Enforcement of town ordinances by county.

The running at large of dogs within the incorporated limits of any town in the county is prohibited during such periods of time as may be designated by ordinance of the appropriate town council; however, should the appropriate town council by ordinance prohibit the running at large of dogs within the limits of the incorporated town, the town shall reimburse the county for the cost of enforcing this provision within the limits of the incorporated town during the time the town council ordinance is in effect, the amount of such reimbursement to be determined by agreement of the town and the county; however, should the town and the county not be able to agree upon such reimbursement, the amount of such reimbursement shall be established by a panel of three impartial arbitrators, one to be selected by the town, one to be selected by the county and the third to be selected by the two so selected. Such reimbursement shall be established prior to the enforcement of this section by the county within the town.

(Ord. of 12-8-2009)

 

Sec. 6-168. - Reserved.

 

Sec. 6-169. - Unlicensed dogs prohibited.

The running at large of dogs not duly licensed and displaying tags pursuant to the provisions of this article is prohibited.

(Ord. of 12-8-2009)


Sec. 6-170. - Reserved.

 

Sec. 6-171. - Dogs required to be kept restrained or under control in certain areas.

All dogs shall be kept restrained or otherwise under control while located in any subdivision or mobile home park in the county. For purposes of this section, the terms "subdivision" and "mobile home park" shall include developments of more than 20 homes or mobile homes, regardless of zoning designation. This section does not apply to dogs located on the property of their owners or of those in whose care the owner has placed the animal. In addition, this section does not apply in the case of any of the exceptions set forth in subsection 6-166(c).

(Ord. of 12-8-2009)


Sec. 6-172. - Dogs constituting public nuisance.

(a) No owner or custodian shall fail to exercise proper care and control of his or her dog to prevent it from becoming a public nuisance. Acts deemed nuisances shall include but are not limited to the following:

(1) Chasing vehicles;

(2) Trespassing upon other's property in such a manner as to damage property;

(3) Attacking livestock or other domestic, companion, or exotic animals so as to cause injury or death, unless such livestock or animal is trespassing upon the property on which the dog or dogs are kept; or

(4) Habitually running at large.

(b) Any person owning or having in his or her possession or under his or her control any dog suspected of constituting a nuisance shall be proceeded against by warrant or summoned before the general district court of the county to show cause why such dog should not be confined, euthanized, removed or the nuisance otherwise abated.

(c) The animal control officer, owner or custodian shall confine the animal until such time as the court has made a final decision in the case. If the animal control officer deems confinement necessary then the owner or custodian shall be responsible for the impound fees.

(d) Upon proof that such dog does constitute a public nuisance, the dog shall, by order of the general district court, be confined, euthanized, removed or the nuisance shall be otherwise abated, as the court shall order. No person shall fail to comply with such an order. For purposes of this section, the court shall not consider euthanizing a dog unless its behavior violates subsection (a)(3) above.

(e) Any person whose dog is found violating subsections (a)(3) or (a)(4) of this section shall be guilty of a class 1 misdemeanor. Any person violating any other provision of this section shall be guilty of a class 3 misdemeanor.

(f) This section shall not apply to any person while engaged in law enforcement or search and rescue activity; in a supervised formal obedience training class or show; during formally sanctioned field trials; while engaged in lawful hunting with a dog or dogs; or during bona fide hunting or field trial dog training.

(g) Enforcement. No person shall be charged with a violation of subsection (a) unless the complainant shall appear before a magistrate and make complaint thereof and request a summons or warrant be issued charging such violation in the manner provided by law; provided that, when a violation is committed in the presence of an animal control officer, the officer may proceed to issue a summons and take other action as set forth in this section.

(Ord. of 12-8-2009)


Secs. 6-173--6-195. - Reserved.



Division 5. - Impoundment

 

Sec. 6-196. - County dog pound.

The animal control officer shall cause to be maintained a pound or enclosure as required by Code of Virginia, § 3.2-6546.

(Ord. of 12-8-2009)


Sec. 6-197. - Confinement and disposition of dogs.

It shall be the duty of the animal control officer to confine and dispose of dogs pursuant to provisions of Code of Virginia, § 3.2-6500 et seq.

(Ord. of 12-8-2009)


Sec. 6-198. - Fees for confinement.

The legal owner of any dog seized and confined by the animal control officer shall pay to the animal control officer a charge for the confinement of the dog, the amount of such charge to be in accordance with the fees established by the board of supervisors. All fees received by the animal control officer shall be paid over to the county treasurer.

(Ord. of 12-8-2009)


Sec. 6-199. - Unlicensed dogs.

(a) It shall be the duty of the animal control officer, or any other officer, to capture and impound any companion animal found running at large on which the license tax has not been paid. A reasonable effort will be made to find the owner. After five days, if the owner is not found, the animal shall be declared abandoned. If the owner is known, the animal will be held an additional five days. The provisions of Code of Virginia, § 3.2-6546 shall apply, where applicable, to the disposition of the dog. Any person, animal control officer or other officer euthanizing a dog under this chapter shall cremate, bury or sanitarily dispose of the dog. Prior to the disposition by euthanasia or otherwise, all of the provisions of Code of Virginia, § 3.2-6500 et seq., shall have been complied with.

(b) If the animal control officer or other officer exercises his option to deliver such dog to any person in his jurisdiction who will pay the required license tax and cost on such dog, the person accepting delivery of such dog shall, within five days after such delivery, furnish to the animal control officer evidence of the inoculation and licensing of such dog as required by this article; and the failure to provide such evidence shall be a violation of this article and shall constitute a separate offense.

(Ord. of 12-8-2009)


Secs. 6-200--6-220. - Reserved.


Division 6. - Damage by Dogs

 

Sec. 6-221. - Disposition of funds.

The treasurer shall keep all money collected by him for dog licenses in a separate account as part of the general fund; and such funds shall be used for the purposes designated by Code of Virginia, § 3.2-6534, which section is adopted by reference and made a part of this chapter as if fully set forth in this section.

(Ord. of 12-8-2009)

 

Sec. 6-222. - Compensation for livestock and poultry killed or injured by dogs.

(a) The treasurer of the county shall keep all moneys collected by him for dog license taxes in a separate fund from all other funds collected by him. So long as the fund so maintained does not exceed $3,000.00, such moneys shall be held for the purposes in this division. Any amounts exceeding $3,000.00 shall be used for the salary and expenses of the animal control officer and necessary staff and care and maintenance of a dog pound.

(b) To the extent that funds are available, any person who has any livestock or poultry killed or injured by any dog not his own, in the county, shall be entitled to receive as compensation the fair market value of such livestock or poultry not to exceed $400.00 per animal or $10.00 per fowl, provided that:

(1) Within 72 hours of discovery of the death or injury, the claimant gives notice of the incident to the animal control officer.

(2) Within 60 days of the discovery of the death or injury, the claimant shall furnish such evidence of the quantity and value of the dead or injured livestock or poultry and the reasons the claimant believes that death or injury was caused by a dog to the board of supervisors.

(3) The claimant first has exhausted his legal remedies against the owner, if known, of the dog doing the damage for which compensation under this section is sought. Exhaustion shall mean a judgment against the owner of the dog upon which execution has returned unsatisfied.

(c) Upon a determination by the board that a claim meets the criteria set forth in this section for compensation, the board shall approve the same and forward the approval to the treasurer. On the first business day of each fiscal year, the treasurer shall determine the balance of the fund established in this section, and, to the extent that funds are sufficient and available, shall pay all claims approved by the board during the prior fiscal year. If the balance of the fund is insufficient to pay all claims approved by the board during the prior fiscal year, the treasurer shall reduce the amount of such claims in an equal percentage such that each claim is uniformly paid to the extent that funds are actually available. Upon payment under this section, the board shall be surrogated to the extent of compensation paid to the right of action to the owner of the livestock or poultry against the owner of the dog and may enforce such compensation in an appropriate action at law.

(Ord. of 12-8-2009)

 

Sec. 6-223. - Seizure of dogs suspected of killing or injuring livestock or poultry.

If the animal control officer has reason to believe that any dog is guilty of killing livestock or poultry, the animal control officer may seize such dog solely for examination to determine if it committed such acts.

(Ord. of 12-8-2009)

 

Secs. 6-224--6-245. - Reserved.


Division 7. - Dangerous or Vicious Dogs


Sec. 6-246. - Definitions.

The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this division, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:

Dangerous dog means a canine or a canine crossbreed which has bitten, attacked, or inflicted injury on a person or companion animal that is a dog or cat, or killed such a companion animal: however, when a dog attacks or bites another dog, 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 other 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 which has:

(1) Killed a person;

(2) Inflicted serious injury to a person, including multiple bites, serious disfigurement, serious impairment of health, or serious impairment of a bodily function; or

(3) 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 its owner has been given notice of that finding.

(Ord. of 12-8-2009)


Sec. 6-247. - Summons authorized.

Any 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 serving 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. 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 the county's ordinance. 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 the Code of Virginia, § 3.2-6562. 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 commonwealth shall be required to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

(Ord. of 12-8-2009)


Sec. 6-248. - Determination.

No canine or canine crossbreed shall be found to be a dangerous dog or vicious dog solely because it is a particular breed, nor shall the board of supervisors prohibit the ownership of a particular breed of canine or canine crossbreed. 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 or other tort 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 or a vicious dog. No animal which, 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 a vicious dog.

(Ord. of 12-8-2009)


Sec. 6-249. - Registration certificate required.

The owner of any animal found by a court to be a dangerous dog shall within forty-five days of such finding, obtain a dangerous dog registration certificate from the animal control officer for a fee of $150.00, in addition to other fees that may be authorized by law. The animal control officer shall also provide the owner with uniformly designed tag which 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. By January 31 of each year, until such time as the dangerous dog is deceased, all certificates obtained pursuant to this section shall be updated and renewed for a fee  of $85.00 and in the same manner as the initial certificate was obtained. The animal control officer shall post registration information on the Virginia Dangerous Dog Registry.

    (Ord. of 07-10-2012 - Ordinance # 120710-PH2.B)

 

Sec. 6-250. - Grounds for issuance of certificate.

(a)  All certificates or renewals required to be obtained under section 6-249 shall only be issued to persons 18 years of age or older who present satisfactory evidence of the animal's current rabies vaccination, if applicable, and 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 under this section shall not be issued a certificate or renewal unless they present satisfactory evidence that their residence is and will continue to be posted with clearly visible signs warning both minors and adults of the presence of a dangerous dog on the property, and the animal has been permanently identified by means of a tattoo on the inside thigh or by electronic implantation.

(b)  All certificates or renewals required to be obtained under this section shall only be issued to persons 18 years of age or older who present satisfactory evidence that the animal has been neutered or spayed.

(c)  All certificates or renewals required to be obtained under this section shall only be issued to persons who present satisfactory evidence that the owner has liability insurance coverage, at a value of at least $100,000.00, that covers animal bites.

(d)  The owner shall 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.

    (Ord. of 07-10-2012 - Ordinance # 120710-PH2.B)

 

Sec. 6-251. - Method of confinement.

While on the property of the owner, an animal found 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, any 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.

(Ord. of 12-8-2009)


Sec. 6-252. - Responsibility of minor's parents.

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 division.

(Ord. of 12-8-2009)


Sec. 6-253. - Reserved.

 

Sec. 6-254. - Penalty for noncompliance.

The owner of any animal which has been found to be a dangerous dog who willfully fails to comply with the requirements of this division shall be guilty of a class 1 misdemeanor and shall be punished accordingly.

Additionally, 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 injury.

The provisions of subsections (1) and (2) above 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.

(Ord. of 12-8-2009)

 

Sec. 6-255. - Distribution of fees.

All fees collected pursuant to this division, less the costs incurred by the animal control officer in producing and distributing the certificates and tags required by this division and fees due to the state veterinarian for maintenance of the Virginia Dangerous Dog Registry, shall be paid into a special dedicated fund in the county treasury for the purpose of paying the expenses of any training course required under Code of Virginia, § 3.2-6556.

    (Ord. of 07-10-2012 - Ordinance # 120710-PH2.B)