Chapter 6.15
WILD AND EXOTIC ANIMALS

Sections:

6.15.010    Definitions.

6.15.020    Display or exhibition.

6.15.030    Keeping as a pet.

6.15.040    Notice required at place of sale.

6.15.050    Temporary permit for keeping certain wild animals.

6.15.060    Release of certain wild animals kept under temporary permit.

6.15.070    Penalty.

6.15.080    Enforcement.

6.15.090    Effective date.

6.15.010 Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them:

(1) “Animal” shall include any live vertebrate creature, domestic or wild, not to include birds.

(2) “Pet” shall mean any animal kept for pleasure rather than utility.

(3) “Vicious animal” shall mean any animal that has (a) killed a person; (b) inflicted serious injury to a person, including multiple bites, serious disfigurement, serious impairment of health, or serious impairment of a bodily function; or (c) in the case of a dog, continued to exhibit the behavior which resulted in a previous finding by a court that it is a “dangerous dog,” provided the owner or custodian of said dog has been given notice of that finding.

(4) “Wild or exotic animal” shall mean any live monkey (nonhuman primate), raccoon, skunk, wolf, squirrel, fox, leopard, panther, tiger, lion, lynx or any other warm-blooded animal, poisonous snake or tarantula which can normally be found in the wild state or any other member of crocodilian, including, but not limited to, alligators, crocodiles, caimans, and gavials. Ferrets, guinea pigs, nonpoisonous snakes, rabbits, and laboratory rats which have been bred in captivity and which have never known the wild shall be excluded from this definition. (Code 1985, § 6-80).

6.15.020 Display or exhibition.

No person shall keep or permit to be kept on his premises any wild, exotic or vicious animal for display or for exhibition purposes, whether gratuitously or for a fee. This section shall not be construed to apply to zoological parks, performing animal exhibitions, circuses, or veterinary clinics which are properly licensed by the federal government or commonwealth of Virginia. In no case, however, shall such wild or exotic animals be exhibited or displayed in such a manner that persons other than their handlers can pet, fondle or otherwise come in direct physical contact with such animals. (Code 1985, § 6-81).

6.15.030 Keeping as a pet.

No person shall keep or permit to be kept any wild, exotic, or vicious animal as a pet. (Code 1985, § 6-82).

6.15.040 Notice required at place of sale.

Any person who offers for sale a wild or exotic animal as defined by SCC 6.15.010 shall post conspicuously at the place of sale or display the following notice:

No person may lawfully keep or permit to be kept in the city of Staunton any live monkey (nonhuman primate), raccoon, skunk, wolf, squirrel, fox, leopard, panther, tiger, lion, lynx, or any other warm-blooded animal, poisonous snake or tarantula, crocodile or alligator, which can normally be found in the wild state or any other member of the crocodilian, including but not limited to alligators, crocodiles, caimans, and gavials.

(Code 1985, § 6-83).

6.15.050 Temporary permit for keeping certain wild animals.

The animal control officer may issue a temporary permit for the keeping, care, and protection of injured wild animals or infant wild animals native to this area which have been deemed to be incapable of surviving without assistance. (Ord. 2008-03. Code 1985, § 6-84).

6.15.060 Release of certain wild animals kept under temporary permit.

The animal control officer shall have the power to release or order the release of any wild animal kept under temporary permit which is deemed capable of survival. (Ord. 2008-03. Code 1985, § 6-85).

6.15.070 Penalty.

Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be deemed guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor and the penalty shall be as provided by SCC 1.05.100. Each day a violation of this chapter continues shall constitute a separate offense. (Code 1985, § 6-86).

6.15.080 Enforcement.

The provisions of this chapter shall be enforced by the animal control officer, or in the absence of the animal control officer, by the department of police for the city of Staunton. (Ord. 2008-03. Code 1985, § 6-87).

6.15.090 Effective date.

(1) Any person who keeps a wild, exotic, or vicious animal in contravention of this chapter may dispose of the animal by removal of the animal from the city, by giving or selling the animal to a zoological park.

(2) This chapter shall be effective immediately; provided, that any person currently keeping any wild or exotic animals in the city of Staunton shall dispose of same within five years of date of adoption; and provided further, that such wild animals shall be registered with the animal control officer within 60 days from the date of adoption.

(3) The provisions of this chapter regarding the keeping of skunks which have been bred and raised in captivity shall be effective immediately; provided, that any person currently keeping any pet skunk in the city of Staunton may keep the skunk for the rest of its natural life; and provided further, that such animal shall be registered with the animal control officer within 60 days from the date of adoption of this subsection. (Ord. 2008-03. Code 1985, § 6-88).