Rabies Quarantine Bill Heads to Senate

Rabies Quarantine Bill Heads to Senate

A new bill would require pet owners to quarantine their rabid dogs or face expensive fines and misdemeanor charges. The legislation, which has already cleared Virginia’s House of Representatives, seeks to hold negligent pet owners responsible when their animals get loose. The bill follows a violent attack on a 14-year-old Fluvanna girl who lost her finger to a rabid dog last year. Before the attack, the dog tested positive for rabies and its owner was told to keep it quarantined. When they failed to do so, the dog got loose and bit off the finger of the neighbor girl next door.

Current Rabies Quarantine Policy

Pet owners are currently required to quarantine their animals after they are confirmed to be rabid. Unfortunately, though, there’s no formal penalization in place for pet owners who opt not to confine their rabid pets at home. The new bill would allow police to write tickets and file misdemeanor charges for negligent pet owners.

Why More Legislation is Needed

Under current policy, pet owners are required to pay for damages caused to livestock by their rabid pets. If a dog attacks a chicken, for instance, the dog’s owner must pay fair market value to the owner of the chicken. If a rabid dog attacks a person, though, no compensation is guaranteed. While civil lawsuits can help bridge this gap, advocates say the laws need to be adjusted to penalize irresponsible pet owners. The legislation could ultimately lead to a reduction in the number of rabid animal attacks.

Dog Bite Lawyer Richard Serpe

Virginia dog bite lawyer Richard Serpe has 34+ years of experience helping victims of personal injuries. We have helped numerous victims to get the compensation they deserve. These clients include children, adults, mail carriers, delivery drivers, joggers, pedestrians, and others.