Advocate for Animals

Angels of Assisi’s legislative and public policy work is essential to bring about long-term change for animals. We work locally, state wide,  and nationally to improve animal protection laws and regulations. This work is sustained through our volunteer Animal Action Team members who write letters and make phone calls to state and local officials, and attend lobby days at the State Capitol and meet with legislators to help improve the lives of animals.

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Virginia’s legislative session begins in January. Our legislative priorities for the 2018 session are:

HB 239: Allow Hunting with Dogs on Sundays – OPPOSE

Removes the prohibition on hunting deer or bear with a gun, firearm, or other weapon with the assistance of dogs on Sunday with certain exceptions. The bill retains the prohibition on hunting or killing any wild bird or wild animal, including any nuisance species, with a gun, firearm, or other weapon on Sunday, with certain exceptions. The bill authorizes hunting raccoons on Sunday; current law permits the hunting or killing of raccoons on Sunday only until 2:00 a.m.

HB270: Allow localities to ban pet store sales – SUPPORT

Authorizes localities to adopt ordinances prohibiting the sale in a pet shop of any dog or cat that was not obtained from a Virginia releasing agency or a nonprofit animal rescue organization. The bill provides that a violation of the ordinance shall be a Class 1 misdemeanor.

HB425: Cruelty; Prohibit from owning Animals – SUPPORT

Prohibits a person convicted of an animal cruelty violation from possession or ownership of a companion animal. Current law authorizes a court to prohibit possession or ownership at its discretion.

HB646: Prohibiting animal testing on dogs and cats using taxpayer funding – SUPPORT

Virginia taxpayers are footing the bill for cruel experiments on dogs—and euthanasia—at Richmond Veterans Hospital and Virginia’s community colleges and four-year universities, including University of Virginia and Northern Virginia Community College. We oppose the use of taxpayer dollars to fund cruel experiments on dogs and cats.

HB646: Tethering – SUPPORT

Provides that outdoor tethering of an animal shall not meet the requirement that an animal be given adequate shelter if it occurs (i) between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., except when the animal is engaged in conduct related to an agricultural activity; (ii) when no owner is on the property; (iii) when the temperature is 32 degrees Fahrenheit or lower or 85 degrees Fahrenheit or higher; (iv) during a heat advisory; or (v) during a severe weather warning. The bill provides that a tether shall meet the requirement that an animal be given adequate space if it is four times the length of the animal or 15 feet in length, whichever is greater, and does not cause injury or pain, contain metal chain links, or weigh more than one-tenth of the animal’s body weight.

HB713: Commercial Dog Breeding; Wire Floors – SUPPORT

Prohibits a commercial dog breeder from housing any dog in a cage that exposes the dog to a wire floor.

How to Pass Animal Protection Laws

Know who represents you and how to contact them.

Annual Lobby Day for Animals

Early each year, hundreds of advocates spend the day at the Virginia Capitol and ask their legislators to push for stronger animal protection laws in the Commonwealth.

Join Angels of Assisi on January 25 for a trip to Richmond. Email for more information.