H. B. 2078
(By Delegate Caputo)
[Passed April 7, 2005; in effect ninety days from passage.]
to amend the code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by
adding thereto a new article, designated §19-20B-1, §19-20B-2,
§19-20B-3, §19-20B-4, §19-20B-5 and §19-20B-6
, all relating to
requiring the spaying or neutering of dogs and cats adopted by
shelters; requiring all shelters to require that dogs or cats
adopted be spayed or neutered; establishing time-frames for
spaying or neutering; requiring a deposit for adoptions in
which the dog or cat has not yet been spayed or neutered upon
adoption; providing for return of deposit upon proof of
spaying or neutering; providing for use of deposit upon
failure to reclaim deposit; allowing agency to petition for
return of any dog or cat not timely neutered or spayed; and
establishing penalties for noncompliance.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended
by adding thereto a new article, designated §19-20B-1, §19-20B-2, §19-20B-3, §19-20B-4, §19-20B-5 and §19-20B-6
, all to read as
ARTICLE 20B. SPAYING OR NEUTERING OF DOGS AND CATS.
§19-20B-1. Short title.
This article may be cited as the "West Virginia Spay/Neuter
§19-20B-2. Requirement for adoption.
(a) No person may adopt a dog or cat from an agency,
including, but not limited to, an animal shelter, animal control
agency or humane shelter operated by a municipality, county, or
other governmental agency within the state, or a private
organization operating a shelter from which animals are adopted or
(1) The dog or cat has already been spayed or neutered;
(2) The dog or cat has been spayed or neutered by a licensed
veterinarian while in the custody of the agency; or
(3) The new owner signs a written agreement with the agency
stating that the new owner will have the dog or cat spayed or
neutered by a licensed veterinarian:
(A) Within thirty days of the date of the adoption, if the dog
or cat is sexually mature; or
(B) Within thirty days after the dog or cat reaches six
months of age, if the dog or cat is not sexually mature at the time
of the adoption.
(b) Any agency as set forth in subsection (a) of this section
which has written policy of not permitting the adopted dog or cat
from being released from the custody of the agency to the new owner
until the dog or cat has been spayed or neutered, does not have to
comply with the provisions of subdivision (3), subsection (a) of
(c) Nothing in this section precludes the spaying or neutering
of a sexually immature dog or cat at the discretion of a licensed
veterinarian with the consent of the new owner.
(a) If the dog or cat being adopted has not been spayed or
neutered, the agency may require a deposit of not more than fifty
dollars from the new owner prior to the adoption to ensure that the
dog or cat is spayed or neutered. The new owner shall receive a
refund of the deposit from the agency upon providing confirmation
of the spaying or neutering.
(b) If the new owner fails to have the dog or cat spayed or
neutered within the time frame established in section two of this
article, or if the spaying or neutering is timely performed, but
the new owner fails to request the return of the deposit within an
additional thirty days after the date by which the spaying or
neutering is required to be performed, the deposit shall be
forfeited to the agency holding the deposit and shall be used by
the agency to conduct programs to spay or neuter dogs and cats or to conduct educational programs in support of the spaying and
neutering of dogs and cats.
§19-20B-4. Petition for compliance.
If a person fails to comply with the provisions of this
article, the agency may file a petition with a court of competent
jurisdiction seeking compliance or requesting return of the dog or
cat to the agency from which it was adopted.
A person failing to have a dog or cat spayed or neutered
within the time frame established in section two of this article is
guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be
fined not less than one hundred fifty dollars nor more than two
hundred fifty dollars.
§19-20B-6. Dogs or cats claimed by owner.
Nothing in this article authorizes an agency to spay or neuter
a dog or cat if the dog or cat is claimed by and returned to its
lawful owner within five days of being taken into custody by the