House Bill 2482 has been introduced in the Virginia General Assembly, and it is the most cold-hearted assault on the wellbeing of animals, on abused animals and on the laws that exist in Virginia to protect and care for them that has ever been seen.
The bill, patroned by Delegate Lee Ware of Powhatan, is being promoted by pet dealers and pet stores. If passed, it will eviscerate our 20-year progress on laws for the protection of companion animals in Virginia. It will permit animal abusers to escape any real penalty for their abuse and, most amazingly, will permit convicted animal abusers to retain the very animals that they have been convicted of abusing. To express your concern and disappointment at this brutal assault on abused and defenseless animals, please contact the patron Delegate Ware at 804-698-1165 or alternately via email at DelLWare@house.virginia.gov. Phone calls are preferable because they carry more impact.
We need your help in sending a loud and clear message to the Virginia General Assembly that those of us who love animals will not tolerate this assault on decency and compassion.
There is a synopsis of the bill below. If you are as horrified by House Bill 2482 as I am, please take the few minutes it will require to call or e-mail the members of the House Agriculture Subcommittee and tell them how concerned you are and ask them to vote to defeat this bill. Your call is essential to protect animals who are abused. Please be polite but firm that this bill must be defeated. Please share this message with friends and family, particularly those who might live in one of the jurisdictions below.
DelDMarshall@house.virginia.gov represents Danville (804-698-1014)
DelBOrrock@house.virginia.gov represents Thornburg (804-698-1054)
DelCPoindexter@house.virginia.gov represents Glade Hill (804-698-1009)
DelBKnight@house.virginia.gov represents Virginia Beach (804-698-1081)
DelDBell@house.virginia.gov represents Staunton (804-698-1020)
DelJCox@house.virgina.gov represents Ashland (804-698-1055)
DelJShuler@house.virginia.gov represents Blacksburg (804-698-1012)
DelMSickles@house.virginia.gov represents Franconia (804-698-1043)
The chairman of the Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee is DelHMorgan@house.virginia.gov, who represents Gloucester, and his number is 804-698-1098. The Speaker of the House is DelWHowell@house.virginia.gov, whose phone number is 804-698-1028. Calls and emails to them are very important.
While there are innumerable objectionable aspects of H.B. 2482 that would make it deeply damaging to animal welfare, chief among them are the following:
- It would allow the person or entity charged with animal abuse to self-impound the allegedly abused animals (thereby enabling continued abuse during the investigation and prosecution of the alleged abuse crime).
- It would return the abused animals to the person or entity convicted of animal abuse so that the person or entity could sell the animals (and, of course, continue to abuse them).
- It would allow convicted abusers to have animals in the future.
- It would eliminate the ability of a private humane society to assist with these abuse cases by providing care and adoption.
- It would eliminate all references to “seizure” and would replace them with the word “forfeiture” to indicate that animals are "assets" and therefore should be treated like cars, jewelry, money, etc.
- It would permit pet dealers and pet stores to continue to sell animals even following a conviction of abuse, cruelty or neglect.
Please call and write these Delegates as if abused animals’ lives depended on it because they do.
Robin Robertson Starr is the chief executive officer of the Richmond SPCA. To read her biography or that of our other bloggers, please click here. Before posting a comment, please review our comment guidelines. Please note that our comment policy requires a first and last name to be used as your screen name.