From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August, 2002:
A felony cruelty penalty and a statewide system of
registration, regulation, and inspection governing private animal
rescuers take effect in Virginia on July 1.
The felony cruelty provision applies only to deliberately
fatal injuries inflicted upon owned pet dogs or cats. Offenders may
be jailed for up to five years.
The bill governing rescuers was requested by the Virginia
Federation of Humane Societies in response to complaints about lost
animals not being reunited with their families, because the
discovery of the animals running at large was never reported to local
shelters. The bill also anticipates the possibility that dogfighters
may use “breed rescue” as cover to obtain animals, a scam recently
uncovered in several other states.