VIRGINIA FEDERATION OF HUMANE SOCIETIES
The Virginia Federation of Humane Societies is committed to ending tethering of companion animals as the primary means of confinement.
TAX CREDITS FOR ADOPTERS OF ANIMALS FROM SHELTERS AND RESCUES
The Virginia Federation of Humane Societies supports tax credits for approved adopters of animals from pounds, shelters and other releasing agencies. VFHS believes that strategic policies which encourage the adoption of homeless animals and, therefore, reduces the costs for sheltering animals, represents a savings not only in dollars but also in the lives spared of those animals who might otherwise be euthanized.
TAX CREDIT FOR VETERINARIANS WHO PROVIDE SERVICES TO RESCUES & SHELTERS
The Virginia Federation of Humane Societies endorses tax credits for Veterinarians and other professionals who provide services to pounds, shelters and other releasing agencies. VFHS believes that service providers who donate their services are contributing exponential value in reducing reproduction and suffering of companion animals.
BREED SPECIFIC LEGISLATION
The Virginia Federation of Humane Societies endorses breed neutrality and opposes breed specific legislation. Scientific data has refuted media-driven hysteria maligning certain breeds of dogs and VFHS is proud to join the Virginia Animal Control Association, the National Animal Control Association and the National Federation of Humane Societies in reversing breed-discriminatory policies wherever they exist.
MODEL STANDARDS OF CARE
The Virginia Federation of Humane Societies supports model standards of care in the Commonwealth. VFHS supports policies which would elevate Virginia as the recognized leader in standards of care for the provision of food, water, shelter, medical treatment, exercise, and recreation to companion animals.
SPAY/NEUTER BEFORE RELEASE FROM A SHELTER OR RESCUE GROUP
The Virginia Federation of Humane Societies supports policies which require that animals be spayed/neutered before being released from a shelter or rescue group unless medically ill-advised. VFHS also supports increased funding and services for shelters and rescue groups so that adoption fees do not become prohibitive because of the added cost of altering adopted animals.
INCREASED FUNDING FOR ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICERS
The Virginia Federation of Humane Societies supports increased funding for Animal Control Officers. VFHS also supports a culture of professionalism for all Animal Control Officers where superior performance standards and measurements are the norm. VFHS believes that Animal Control Officers are the first line of defense in protecting homeless animals throughout the Commonwealth and supports policies which acknowledge their unique contribution and provide increased funding for the services they provide and their training.
INCREASED TRAINING FOR ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICERS
The Virginia Federation of Humane Societies supports increased training for Animal Control Officers. VFHS believes that superbly trained Animal Control Officers are essential to creating a humane community for animals and their caregivers.
LEO STATUS FOR ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICERS
The Virginia Federation of Humane Societies supports Law Enforcement Status for Animal Control Officers. VFHS acknowledges the risks Animal Control Officers confront in the provision of their day-to-day duties and believe that such sacrifice and service is worthy of the protection provided by Law Enforcement Status.
STRICT PENALTIES FOR ANIMAL ABUSERS
The Virginia Federation of Humane Societies supports significant penalties for those who commit crimes against animals and endorses comprehensive enforcement of laws that protect animals. VFHS embraces the irrefutable scientific data that animal abusers ultimately go on to abuse humans. VFHS believes that penalizing animal abusers to the full extent of the law ultimately means fewer crimes against similarly helpless people.
INCREASED FUNDING FOR SPAY/NEUTER
The Virginia Federation of Humane Societies supports increased funding for spay/neuter. A significant obstacle to ending the euthanasia of healthy, treatable animals is preventing unplanned births. VFHS believes that tax-payer dollars spent on spay/neuter will result in millions saved on sheltering and too often euthanizing healthy, treatable animals.
RESPONSIBLE CARE OF HUNTING DOGS
The Virginia Federation of Humane Societies is committed to developing and supporting policies that promote the responsible care of hunting dogs. VFHS is also committed to engaging other stakeholders, including responsible hunters, in the development of such policies.
BAN ON WILDLIFE PENNING
The Virginia Federation of Humane Societies supports a ban on wildlife penning, deems it a barbaric and uncivilized practice and encourages significant penalties for those who engage in it.
The Virginia Federation of Humane Societies supports Humane Education in schools. VFHS believes that Humane Education is essential to creating a safer and more humane future for companion animals and their caregivers in the Commonwealth.
The Virginia Federation of Humane Societies endorses Trap/Neuter/Return as the best practice for managing community cats. Data demonstrates that the lethal method of trapping and killing community cats has been proven to be ineffective, costly to localities and the majority of the public do not want the cats to be killed. VFHS also believes trapping and killing is profoundly inhumane. VFHS will actively promote TNR and partner with member organizations on TNR programs to save the lives of community cats, with the result that TNR is the standard policy for community cats in Virginia, that community cats brought to shelters are neutered and returned to their last known location, and that practitioners of TNR are not faced with punitive results or restrictions.
EARMARKING ANIMAL LICENSING FEES FOR ANIMAL WELFARE
The Virginia Federation of Humane Societies believes that locally collected animal licensing fees should not go into the General Fund but go directly to animal welfare organizations which provide services to the community’s homeless animals. VFHS fears that licensing fees which go into a General Fund will not be used for animal services; furthermore, the Federation believes that citizens will be more likely to license their animals when they understand that their licensing dollars will go towards the care of homeless animals.
Revised January 2019