In Virginia, all dogs must be licensed
annually and have a current rabies vaccination. Vaccination is crucial,
as outbreaks endanger both pets and humans. Vaccinations will also lower
the chance of your pet's having cancer later in life. Cancer is one of
the leading causes of animal deaths.
Most communities offer vaccination clinics,
usually through the animal warden or shelter. In Northern Virginia, dogs
need to be licensed when they are between 4 and 6 months old. Some counties
have lower rates for licensing dogs that have been spayed or neutered,
but you must bring in proof of spaying or neutering to get that rate. Proof
of rabies inoculation is needed to receive pet licenses.
The Commonwealth also has a law regarding
pets biting other animals. If the owner has an offending animal, the law
requires the owner to register the pet with the Commonwealth ($50 fee),
tattoo the dog, and keep it secured in an enclosure. Also the owner must
have $50,000.00 in liability insurance covering animal bites.
Stafford County has a year-round leash
law for sub-divisions and mobile home parks. A fine of $250 as well as
court costs may be levied.
Not all pets are legal here:
By state law, it's unlawful to keep
most animals that live in the wild as pets. Exceptions are those that are
bred as pets, such as: ferrets, rabbits, laboratory rats and Nonpoisonous
snakes. Certain breeds of dogs are not necessarily illegal, but are frowned
upon in certain counties and communities. Check with your HOA or the local
Check out animal shelters in Stafford,
Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania for adoptable pets if you are considering
getting a dog or cat. In Fredericksburg try:
Finding a veterinarian:
The local area is not in short supply
of qualified veterinarians. There are at least 50 good vets with in a 30
minute drive. On the most part they are very sympathetic of the animals
and the owners needs. Being pets owners and lovers here at SimplyFredericksburg,
I can tell you first hand that the ones in this area we have been to do
really care about your pet.
If you have a large dog, or a dog of an
aggressive breed, you are most likely better off taking that dog to a private
clinic as opposed to "walk-in" store clinic. The larger chain stores, tend
to be afraid of the larger dogs.
If your pet is in an accident or becomes
ill on a weekend, on a holiday or in the evening, your regular veterinarian
will most likely be out of touch. Not to worry, there are several after-hours
emergency animal hospitals in the local area. We have yet to use any of
the below services, but please get your pet the care it needs.
Animal Emergency Clinic of Fredericksburg
open around the clock on holidays.
If you're going to visit the local
area with your pet or are relocating to this area with your pet but will
need temporary lodging, not to worry there are many good kennels
in this area, plus several of the hotels
allow pets at no additional charge, or for a small fee.
Like everything else, relocating your
pet requires some advance planning. The SimplyFredericksburg staff has
moved many times with both a dog and two cats. Below we have included a
few things that will help the move go a little more smoother.
Take your pets to the Vet before you travel
with them. When you visit your vet, make sure you obtain a copy of health
records (which your will need to pass onto your new vet). If you're traveling
between countries, or to/from some states, you may need a Health Certificate
(must be less than 10 days old). Most states require one for dogs and some
require one for cats and birds. If you're going to fly, you might want
to check with your vet to see about sedatives (for your pet, not you).
Identification tags are always a necessary
requirement. Since your traveling to a new home, your pets old ID tag information
will be pretty much useless. The easiest way to combat this is to either
buy an ID tag that does not have your address and phone number on it, but
one of a centralized location that never moves (these can be purchased
from most pet stores). Or the other way is to engrave (or other wise mark)
onto the old tag a phone number of someone who knows you're moving and
knows your pet. This way if your pet gets lost and then found, the person
who found your pet can find you, even know you have moved.
Most states also require dogs and cats
to have a rabies tag on their collars.
Upon arrival in a new city, check
with the City Hall in the new neighborhood on local pet ordinances (i.e.