OpEd – SPCA Offers Perspective on Proposed Dog Breeding Rules

Good Morning!

I understand that the Clarke County Board of Supervisors is reviewing  its zoning policies related to dogs and dog breeding. I am sure they are fully briefed on the pertaining state law here

Clarke Daily News - Opinion & Editorial

This  legislation was enacted because so many counties found breeding  operations, both formal and informal, creating conditions that were  violations of state animal welfare laws.   When that occurs and the  locality has to intervene, the costs can be very significant. In one case, hundreds of thousands of dollars were incurred because of the  medical needs and housing requirements of the dogs.   While some dog owners deny they are breeders, often an investigation reveals otherwise.

Dozens of intact dogs have little purpose other than to be bred and the  puppies sold for money.   Furthermore, often the breeder pays no tax on  this earned income but the liability falls to the locality when things  go wrong.

This legislation passed the General Assembly by a very large majority  from all over Virginia because legislators understood this potential liability. I hope you will share this information with your Supervisors  as they analyze this important matter.

Sharon Q. Adams,  Executive Director Virginia Beach SPCA


  1. Alice Harrington says:

    Ms Adams refers to the Commercial Dog Breeder laws that I have discussed repeatedly with the Clarke County Planning Commission and the Clarke County Board. This law was passed in 2008 and went into effect Jan 2009. It severely limits the number of dogs that anyone may have for breeding. It also places restrictions on the age and condition of dogs for breeding, recordkeeping requirements, and veterinary care. The main part of the law can be found in the on-line Virginia code section 3.2-6507.2 http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+3.2-6507.2

    Parts of the law are spread throughout the code but this is the main citation. I have provided a two-page document of all of the law to all Clarke County officials.

    No Clarke County official (elected or staff) has been able to cite WHY they believe it is necessary to require dog breeders (including those living on multiple-acre lots) with as few as 10 dogs to have to get a $5,000 special use permit to breed a few litters. No one cites any existing problems. It would seem that the state Commercial Breeder laws would be adequate to control dog breeding kennels unless the county just wants to get rid of all dog breeders. That would be a shame.

    There is an old saying “If you have a hammer everything looks like a nail.” I hope the Board will not decide to use its hammer to nail responsible dog breeders.

    Alice Harrington
    Virginia Federation of Dog Clubs and Breeders

    • Jeanne Deeming says:

      I’m in total agreement with Alice Harrington. HSUS does indeed have an agenda which is unrealistic and infringes on our constitutional rights to freedom. They should be looking to enforce the laws they already have with the same end results. Government from the top on down is trying to take our rights away and hopefully come November, the people will win out.

      CDN Editor’s Note: HSUS is the Humane Society of the United States