New law requires history of biting incidents for dogs and cats

ROANOKE, Va. – The Roanoke Valley SPCA is home to dogs and cats searching for a forever home. 

A new law that takes effect in Virginia, on July 1, will require agencies like the Roanoke Valley SPCA to ask for the history of biting incidents of any cat or dog they take in. 

“Not all bites are the same and sometimes accidents and things happen. And we have always collected that information and then disclosed it to out adopters and foster families too,” said Denise Hayes, chief executive officer Roanoke Valley SPCA.

The SPCA says that information helps them better place its animals. 

”We maintain that in the animal's record and provide a disclosure to the adopters prior to their adoption,” said Hayes. “And they get written information about the incident, what happened, and the context surrounding the bite, and any recommendations we may have.”

The Roanoke Regional Center for Animal Care and Protection already requires this information,and now is adding another step.

“We are going to change our form just a little bit. When a person comes through the door and gives us all that details, we are going to make them sign a piece of paper, an affidavit, saying the info is correct to their knowledge,” said Mike Warner, interim director at the Regional Center for Animal Control and Protection.