|Introduced in House||Passed House||Introduced in Senate||Passed Senate||Became Law|
Dogs or cats; rental or lease prohibited, civil penalty, exception.
Prohibits the rental or lease of a dog or cat to a consumer, including by a purported sale of the animal in a manner that vests no equity in the consumer at the time of the purported sale. The bill prohibits the sale of a dog or cat in which the animal is subject to repossession upon default of the agreement and prohibits any financial institution from offering a loan for which the animal is subject to repossession upon default of the loan. The bill provides that the Attorney General may bring a civil action to enforce the bill's provisions and that a violator may be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $2,500. A pet shop, commercial dog breeder, dealer, or other business that violates the provisions of the bill also may have its business license, retail license, or local pet shop permit suspended or revoked after a hearing by the issuing authority. The bill exempts certain animals from its prohibitions, including purebred dogs leased for breeding; dogs or cats used in spectator events, motion pictures, racing, or other entertainment; and service dogs, guide or leader dogs, security dogs, law-enforcement dogs, military working dogs, and certified facility dogs. The bill has a delayed effective date of January 1, 2021.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:
1. That the Code of Virginia is amended by adding a section numbered 3.2-6513.2 as follows:
� 3.2-6513.2. Rental or lease of dog or cat prohibited; civil penalty.
A. As used in this section, "covered person" means any pet shop, commercial dog breeder, pet dealer, firm, or other pet selling business.
B. The rental or leasing of a dog or cat to a Virginia
consumer, including by a purported sale of the animal in such a manner as to
no ] �[ less than full
] equity in the consumer at the time of the purported sale, is prohibited.
C. No covered person shall offer in Virginia an agreement for the transfer �[ or sale ] of a dog or cat to the consumer in which the animal is subject to repossession in any manner upon default of the agreement by the consumer.
D. No financial institution, as defined in � 6.2-100, shall offer in Virginia a loan or financing agreement for the rental, lease, or sale of a dog or cat where the animal is subject to repossession upon default under the terms of the financing agreement.
E. The Attorney General may bring a civil action in the
appropriate circuit court for injunctive relief to enforce the provisions of
this section. Any person who violates any provision of this section may, upon
such finding by an appropriate circuit court, be subject to a civil penalty of
not more than $2,500 �[
in both individual and
class actions ] as well as any court costs and attorney
fees. Such civil penalties shall be paid into the general fund of the state
treasury. In addition, any covered person that violates any provision of this
section may have its business license, retail license, or local pet shop permit
issued pursuant to � 3.2-6537 suspended or revoked after a hearing by the
F. The provisions of this section shall not apply to the temporary rental or lease of any of the following animals, so long as the animal is used in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local animal protection laws:
1. A purebred dog that is rented for the express purpose of breeding pursuant to a written lease that sets out a specific time period, contains a firm end date, and is recorded with a national purebred dog registry;
2. A dog or cat that is used in spectator events, shows, exhibitions, motion pictures, or other entertainment, including animal exhibitions, racing events, field trials, polo matches, rodeo events, or any audiovisual media; or
3. A service dog as defined in � 51.5-40.1, guide or leader dog as defined in � 3.2-6588, security dog, police or law-enforcement dog, military working dog, or certified facility dog as defined in � 18.2-67.9:1.
2. That the provisions of this act shall become effective on January 1, 2021.
|01/30/2020||Senate||Senate: Constitutional reading dispensed (37-Y 0-N)|
|01/28/2020||Senate||Senate: Reported from Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources with amendments (10-Y 4-N)|
|01/15/2020||Senate||Senate: Assigned ACNR sub: Companion Animals|
|01/08/2020||Senate||Senate: Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/08/20 20103159D|
|01/08/2020||Senate||Senate: Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources|