Pet Laws & Regulations

  • Dog and cat owners must have proof their animals have been vaccinated against rabies by four months of age by a licensed veterinarian
  • All dog owners or custodians must have a current Hanover County dog license or kennel license for all dogs four months old or older (service dogs are not charged a fee to obtain a license)
  • It is against the law to permit any dog to run at large in Hanover County in any urban service area, areas zoned residential or anywhere in the Town of Ashland.  Dogs are strictly prohibited to run at large within Hanover County during the months of April, May and June.
  • Any dog found without a valid Hanover County dog license attached to their collar will be deemed unlicensed until his owner can prove otherwise.  Hanover County will notify the owner of any animal with identification as soon as possible.
  • Dead animals must be disposed of by their owners, the property owner, or if found in a roadway, by the Virginia Department of Transportation, not animal control.  Dead animals that may have transmitted rabies may be retrieved by Animal Control to submit for testing.
  • Cruelty to animals is prohibited.  This includes anyone who ill-treats, inflicts injury, abandons, beats, maims, mutilates or kills any animal.  Animals may only be shot while attacking livestock or showing active signs of rabies.
  • There is a limit to owning only five adult dogs on any property zoned AR-1 through R-6.  Adult dogs are twelve months old or older
  • Any dog deemed dangerous will be completely restricted to ensure public safety and health.  Any dog deemed vicious is prohibited in Hanover County and the Town of Ashland.
  • The ownership of any animals that fall under the definition of wild or exotic is prohibited without a permit issued by the Hanover County Board of Supervisors after a public hearing.
  • Should your pet be bitten or scratched by a wild animal, report it as soon as possible to Hanover Communications at (804) 365-6140.  If you see a wild animal acting strangely, report it to Animal Control.  Do not go near the wild animal.
  • It is unlawful for anyone to keep poisonous or dangerous reptiles
  • Livestock are not permitted to be at-large at any time

Forms and Documents