New Dog Law

By: James Jackson Email
By: James Jackson Email

A new dog law is stirring up controversy, even though it is an attempt to protect people from dangerous dogs.

State law now requires veterinarians to send in a dog's information to local treasurers like Rebecca Neal in Harrisonburg, the next time the animal gets its required rabies vaccination.

"It's kind of a controversial law. In effect, they're targeting the people who do take the time to get their dogs vaccinated and go to the vet and take care of their dogs," says Neal.

In an effort to protect people against dangerous dogs, the general assembly passed a law saying in order to receive the shot, the dog must have a license.

"In general, the people who have dangerous dogs, that tend to have problems with, don't take care of their dogs properly, don't license them properly and don't take them to the vet," adds Neal.

Deborah Jessen with the Harrisonburg Animal Hospital says they plan on cooperating with the new law.

She says, "It is pretty much black and white for the veterinarian where if we vaccinate a dog for rabies, we are required to send in the information."

But the concern is an owner who may want to protect his or her privacey, may not get a vaccination.

"The owner is able to refuse that...if he likes, but the law does require an owner to have his dog vaccinated," says Jessen.

James Jackson:"If I don't want it reported, then I can't get the shot correct?"

"That's your choice, yes," replies Jessen.


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