Animal cruelty; increases penalties. (HB281)

Introduced By

Del. Dave Albo (R-Springfield) with support from co-patrons Del. Rob Bell (R-Charlottesville), and Del. Tom Rust (R-Herndon)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Animal cruelty; penalty. Increases penalties applicable to violations of animal cruelty laws. The penalty for a violation of the minimal standards of animal care is increased from a Class 4 to a Class 2 misdemeanor. The penalty for abandoning an animal is increased from a Class 3 to a Class 2 misdemeanor. The penalty for animal cruelty remains a Class 1 misdemeanor, but will require a mandatory minimum of five days in jail and a prohibition on the possession and ownership of companion animals. The civil penalty for failing to sterilize a dog or cat from a releasing agency will increase from $50 to $250. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Passed


01/11/2010Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/13/10 10101614D
01/11/2010Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources
01/18/2010Impact statement from DPB (HB281)
01/21/2010Assigned ACNRsub: #1 Agriculture
01/25/2010Subcommittee recommends reporting with amendment(s) (9-Y 0-N)
01/27/2010Reported from Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources with substitute (18-Y 4-N) (see vote tally)
01/27/2010Committee substitute printed 10104333D-H1
01/28/2010Read first time
01/29/2010Read second time
01/29/2010Committee substitute agreed to 10104333D-H1
01/29/2010Engrossed by House - committee substitute HB281H1
01/29/2010Impact statement from DPB (HB281H1)
02/01/2010Engrossment reconsidered by House
02/01/2010Passed by for the day
02/02/2010Read second time
02/02/2010Committee substitute reconsidered
02/02/2010Committee substitute rejected 10104333D-H1
02/02/2010Floor substitute printed 10104921D-H2 (Cline)
02/02/2010Substitute by Delegate Cline agreed to 10104921D-H2
02/02/2010Engrossed by House - floor substitute HB281H2
02/03/2010Read third time and passed House (91-Y 7-N)
02/03/2010VOTE: --- PASSAGE (91-Y 7-N) (see vote tally)
02/04/2010Constitutional reading dispensed
02/04/2010Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources
02/08/2010Impact statement from DPB (HB281H2)
02/22/2010Reported from Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources with substitite (14-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/22/2010Committee substitute printed 10105540D-S1
02/23/2010Constitutional reading dispensed (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/24/2010Read third time
02/24/2010Reading of substitute waived
02/24/2010Committee substitute agreed to 10105540D-S1
02/24/2010Engrossed by Senate - committee substitute HB281S1
02/24/2010Passed Senate with substitute (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/25/2010Placed on Calendar
02/26/2010Senate substitute agreed to by House 10105540D-S1 (93-Y 2-N)
02/26/2010VOTE: --- ADOPTION (93-Y 2-N) (see vote tally)
03/08/2010Bill text as passed House and Senate (HB281ER)
03/08/2010Impact statement from DPB (HB281ER)
03/08/2010Signed by Speaker
03/08/2010Signed by President
04/13/2010Governor's recommendation received by House
04/20/2010Placed on Calendar
04/21/2010Speaker ruled Governor's recommendation not germane
04/21/2010Communicated to Governor
05/21/2010G Approved by Governor-Chapter 875 (effective 7/1/10)
05/21/2010G Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0875)


This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 4 clips in all, totaling 10 minutes.


Susan Lawrence writes:

Sad that in Virginia you get in more trouble for being cruel to animal, than for being cruel to a child. You can't lock up and abandon an animal but we will lock up children in residential centers, provide minimal care at best, medicate them into submission and consider it the right thing to do and nobody goes to jail for even one day, much less 5. Fight SB702! If children misbehave, even mentally ill children, just restrain them and throw them to the ground, even in a classroom, as long as you let their parents know after it happens. (HB 528) Just don't try it on a pet or you might actually get in trouble.

Susan Lawrence writes:

You can abuse and neglect a disabled child in Virginia, just don't hurt our cats and dogs!

Lysol Boucher writes:

I know Susan! This bill is absoultely absurd! This bill totally prevents me from pracicing my wichen cremonies! Everyone knows that my people have to sacrifice a pure bred canine under every harvest moon! This is nullification! It's breaking my first amendement rights. I'm writing to my local senator about this!

Susan Lawrence writes:

On behalf of Twinkie, Mittens, Murphy and Tiger, I would like to obviously state I don't support the abuse and neglect of pets anymore than I support the abuse of children. I am just disappointed that might be a greater required punishment for abuse of animals than children. Hopefully having clarified my position I will not have to face a stare down from whiskered faces at the bottom of my bed tonight.

Ashley Kitts writes:

Listen t yourselves, there are plenty of laws regarding Child Abuse. What century were you born in? Dont give up on those animals just because you are out of date with your information, and as for the wichen, I think you should try to get yourself in the present also, and research your religion again. Isnt there enough killing in this world already to pick side to which we mostly believe in?
It's time to end all cruility and abuse though out the world.

Free Speech writes:

Lysol - You have a sick sense of humor. Hopefully these people know your sarcasm.