CHARLOTTESVILLE– You have to buy an annual license (make sure you fill out a dog license application and can show that the dog's rabies vaccination is up to date). $4 for unsexed (spayed or neutered) dogs. $10 for unspayed and unneutered, or if you run a kennel and like to buy in bulk, you can get licenses for 20 dogs at $20 or 35 dogs at $50. Licenses expire December 31 of each year. Purchase at City Hall or from the SPCA at 3355 Berkmar Drive. 973-5959

ALBEMARLE– $3 for spayed or neutered, $5 for those that are not. Kennel tags cost $15 for 20 dogs or $25 for 50. Purchase at the Albemarle County Office Building, 401 McIntire Road (296-5851), the SPCA (973-5959), or from the Scottsville Town Administrator (286-2511).


In both Charlottesville and Albemarle, control of your dog via voice command is sufficient in most areas, but certain subdivisions and places like the Downtown Mall and school property have tougher rules. And the parks– see below– are another story.


CHARLOTTESVILLE– Late in 2001, City Council passed a controversial law requiring dogs to be on a leash and under control in all city parks (as well as at schools, cemeteries, and the Downtown Mall). Three exceptions: inside the fenced-in area at Azalea Park and– curiously enough– on certain stretches of the Rivanna Trail on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. This three-day exception to the rule has created some confusion, with many dog owners continuing to let their pups run free on verboten days and segments of the trail. Recently constables have been cracking down on scofflaw hounds, so be sure you are aware of (and obey) the leash laws on the trails.

COUNTY– Darden Towe Park, although jointly funded by the City, is a County park governed by County regulations. Dogs must be on leash and under control in Darden Towe except inside the fenced off-leash area located about 200 feet east of the picnic shelter. (The picnic shelter is located at the north end of the upper parking lot.)

MONTICELLO– Hey, some folks consider this a park! The home of Thomas Jefferson allows dogs at its Kemper Park and on the grounds at Monticello, but not inside, on the buses, or on its swanky Saunders Trail.


CHARLOTTESVILLE– Unlike the County, the City has a law mandating the cleanup of dog feces– and even provides plastic bag dispensers and containers in the parks to aid in the effort. Failure to scoop is a Class 4 misdemeanor.


If they're friendly, many people take them directly to the Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA which has adopted a no-kill policy at its new facilities. Or you can call the dispatcher for Charlottesville, Albemarle and University Animal Control: 977-9041. Some prefer to take animals to the Fluvanna SPCA, also a no-kill shelter,which has been known to drive animals to as far away as Maine to find them homes. 591-0123


Most recently in high profile due to the indictment of NFL star Michael Vick, and as detailed in a Hook cover story, the scourge of dog-fighting has reared its ugly head in Virginia. However, in January 2003, the Governor signed a bill pushed by the SPCA and sponsored by area legislator Rob Bell that bans breeding, training, or selling dogs for dogfighting. Even the Hook got into the act by banning those "free to good home" pet ads because nefarious dog-fighters reportedly use such ads to obtain "bait animals."


Besides operating a no-kill shelter that saves lives and arranges pet adoptions, the SPCA just opened a permanent rummage sale store on Preston Avenue that helps support the organization. 973-5959


1 comment

As usual, you "almost" get it right. The Charlottesville SPCA takes animals to Maine on a regular basis.