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Laws & Codes
Requirements
Pet owners should be aware of the requirements, laws, and codes governing the ownership of their pets. Below are some; but not all, of the requirements, laws, and codes owners should be knowledgeable of:

Rabies
The Stafford County Code requires that dogs and domesticated cats that are 4 months old or older be inoculated against rabies. View Section 5-66 of the County Code for more information. Violation of this section is a class four misdemeanor.

Leashes
Dog owners must keep close tabs on their pets during the six months from April through September. county and state law requires that dogs must be leashed or penned during these months so that young wild animals can mature unharmed. View Section 5-23 of the Stafford County Code for more information.

Owners who let their pets run at large are in violation of the law. A fine plus court costs is charged to owners whose pets are picked up by the County Animal Control personnel. Once a dog is picked up, the owner must pay a $25 reclaim fee and $5 each day for boarding fees.

Adoptions
Sterilization of an animal adopted from this shelter is required under § 3.2-6575 of the Code of Virginia. Failure to do so is a violation and may be subject to a civil penalty. Adopter may be compelled to comply with the provisions of §§3.2-6575, 3.2-6576 and 3.2-6577.

Licenses
Section 5-41 of the Stafford County Code states that it shall be unlawful for any person to own a dog 4 months old or older in the county, unless such dog is currently licensed under the provisions of this division. For more information, read about dog and kennel licenses.

Barking Dogs
The Stafford County Code makes it unlawful for any person to allow within the county prolonged or intense barking or other harsh or excessive noises to be made by any animal under ownership or control of such person. The code defines a harsh or excessive noise as one which disturbs the quiet, comfort, or repose of a reasonable person with normal sensitivities.