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Virginia Registry of Dangerous Dogs and their Owners

Thursday, January 18th, 2007 by Jenna

Archived from “The Paw Report:”  Issue #7, January 

The “Richmond Times-Dispatch” featured an article describing the development of an Internet-based registry of dangerous dogs modeled after Virginia’s sex-offender registry.  The legislature was organized after a woman and her Shih Tzu were fatally mauled in their own yard by the neighbor’s pit bulls.  This case became the first in Virginia in which an owner was convicted of involuntary manslaughter due to the actions of their dog.

The registry is still in progress but is planned to be online by July 1st.  It should include photos of the dogs as well as names and addresses of owners.  Data is already being collected on local dogs via questionnaires sent by the state veterinarian’s office.  So far, 89 localities have reported a total of 292 dangerous dogs.  Virginia law includes dangerous dogs not by breed, but only by those who have a history of violent incidents.

In addition to this legislature, it is now considered by law to be a felony, punishable by up to five years in prison, when an owner’s dog seriously injures someone.
The aim of this registry is to keep people aware of any dangers in their community as well as to remind owners of dangerous dogs to take measures to prevent further injuries.

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