Selected Articles from our
The C.A.S.H. Courier
ARTICLE from the Fall 2008 Issue
Hunting With Dogs In Virginia
By Richard Firth
Richard Firth wrote an excellent summary of reasons to not allow hunting
with dogs. His comments were sent to the Virginia Department of Game and
1. Far too many hunting dogs are abandoned, leaving their care, if
found in time, to the public pounds or private charities, with considerable
drain on the resources of these organizations. Solution: Any hunting dog
must have a hunting license (in addition to the regular license of his
jurisdiction). The cost will be the cost to the jurisdiction of capturing
the dog plus costs of holding the dog.
2. People that abandon hunting dogs are not punished. Solution:
Require micro-chipping of all hunting dogs. Increase the penalty for
abandonment from a misdemeanor to a class 6 felony.
3. There is insufficient revenue for animal welfare programs from
licenses, and animal welfare programs should be self-sustaining. Solution:
Eliminate kennel licenses which currently allow a discount for multiple
dogs. Instead, all dogs will be licensed as single dogs and according to the
prices for regular dog licenses.
4. Every person and animal must have a break from killing or being
killed. Solution: Maintain a ban on hunting, or any kind of hunting
training, after dusk or before dawn, or at all on Sundays.
5. There is little sportsmanship in today’s hunting and too much
trespass. Solution: Outlaw tracking collars, or make it criminal trespass
for more than one hunting dog equipped with a tracking collar to enter the
property of a landowner who has posted against hunting. If multiple dogs are
found on a posted property, provide civil penalties of $500 per dog for
retrieval. Is sportsmanship achieved by sitting in a pick-up truck drinking
alcoholic beverages and watching a GPS?
6. Most hunting dogs are treated as 2nd class dogs. Solution: To
ensure humane treatment of hunting dogs, all hunt clubs and owners holding a
kennel license (until this category of licensure is eliminated) will be
inspected at least annually, and more frequently on a complaint-driven
basis. Inspections will follow the format of those for public pounds and
private shelters and will be conducted by Office of State Veterinarian, not
local animal control officers.
7. Rabies is increasing as a public health problem. Solution: Require
a rabies certificate for every dog in Virginia, whether a hunting dog or
not. Each rabies shot must be given by a veterinarian, and individual
certificates must be available for dogs owned under a kennel license or hunt
Even with these solutions, make no mistake about it, if I had my way all
hunting would be totally outlawed for the harm it does to humans and
Richard Firth of Virginia is a long time member of C.A.S.H.