Sterilization; mandatory requirements for dog and cat dealers. (HB1853)

Introduced By

Del. Rob Wittman (R-Montross)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Mandatory sterilization. Requires dog and cat dealers to adhere to the same mandatory sterilization requirements as releasing agencies. New dog and cat owners who purchase from dealers shall follow the same requirements as those who adopt at releasing agencies. Exemptions are made for fancier breeders, breed improvers, and hobby breeders. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/03/2007Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/10/07 078967554
01/03/2007Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources
01/16/2007Impact statement from DPB (HB1853)
01/17/2007Tabled in Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources


fdr writes:

I'd support this bill if the exemptions were a LOT stricter. For example, breeding animals is not a hobby, any more than having children is a hobby.

bobbi c writes:

This bill, as written, hurts the good sources of deliberately bred dogs (responsible breeders with codes of ethics that take lifetime responsibility for the dogs they breed), and does not affect the bad ones. Bad breeders don't even license their dogs now - licensure rate in Virginia is around 10-15% - what makes you think they'll pay a dealer fee? The definitions are poorly written and would not exempt many reputable breeders.

The effects would disproportionately hurt the people doing the best job. That's not a sign of a good law, and the good breeders are understandably up in arms about it.

FDR, breeding is a hobby in that, if you do it well, you probably are not going to make any money - and it's considered a hobby by the IRS, meaning you can't write off your losses unless you meet strict criteria which virtually no one can. (Same goes for horses, for the same reason - because most people, if they honestly account for all expenses, can't reasonably expect to make a profit, and the Feds wont' let you write off hobby losses.)

If the goal of this bill (as was claimed) is to reduce unwanted animals, the solutions are simple and proven, with Pet Population study group studies that show what works and why. For example, the vast majority of animals in shelters are either hard-to-place pit bulls and pit mixes or else from unplanned and unwanted litters - an estimated 85% or so of animals in shelters, and over 90% of those unable to find homes and put to death.

So why not work FIRST on preventing unplanned and unwanted litters, and on discouraging irresponsible dog fighting, whose practitioners are the source of many of those homeless pit bulls?

We could greatly reduce the number of unwanted animals today, by doing the following -

(1) low cost spay/neuter - about 75% of owned dogs and over 85% of owned cats are already s/n, and most non-breeder owners who don't s/n can't afford it. Make it cheaper, and people DO get their pets fixed. This reduces unplanned and unwanted litters.

(2) TNR (trap neuter return) of feral cats,

(3) crack down on dog fighting

(4) do a better job placing the animals in shelters and rescues - check out - shelters like Charlottesville that followed this methodology were able to go to no kill of adoptable animals very rapidly.

The techniques include involving the community, getting the animals out and seen (Petfinder and adoption fairs), utilization of foster homes, and working to get the animals into homes.

It worked for Charlottesville/Albemarle - it can work in your community too. Virginia's human (and dog) population has been going up rapidly - but the euthanasia raw numbers, as well as the rate, are going DOWN. We are doing better - and we can do much better still - but it requires working together - the responsible dog breeder community, the shelters, the politicians. The good dog breeders are not the enemy here.