CHARLOTTESVILLE– You have to buy an annual license and show that the dog's rabies vaccination is up to date. $5 for unsexed dogs. $7 for unspayed and unneutered. 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. Purchase at the Albemarle County Office Building, 401 McIntire Road, 296-5851, the SPCA, or from the Scottsville Town Administrator, 286-2511.

Leash law

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

Dogs in parks

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). Two exceptions: inside the fenced area at Azalea Park and– curiously enough– on certain stretches of the Rivanna Greenbelt Trail/Riverview Park 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 both verboten days and segments of the trail.

ALBEMARLE– 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 for inside the newly created 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 on its swanky Saunders Trail.


Scoop le poop


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.


Loose/stray dogs

If they're friendly, many people take them directly to the SPCA where they'll be held six to 11 days (depending on collar and ID tags). Or you can call the dispatcher for Charlottesville and Albemarle, and University Animal Control: 977-9041. Some prefer to take animals to the Fluvanna SPCA, which boasts a no-kill policy and has been known to drive animals as far away as Maine to find them homes. 591-0123




As detailed in a Hook cover story, the scourge of dog-fighting has arrived in Albemarle. Good news, however, came in January 2003, when the Governor signed a bill pushed by SPCA director Carolyn Foreman and sponsored by area legislator Rob Bell that bans breeding, training, or selling dogs for dogfighting. Even the lowly 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."


Charlottesville/Albemarle SPCA


Besides holding a nifty annual rummage sale, they operate a shelter that tries to save lives and arrange pet adoptions. New building at 3355 Berkmar Drive opened July 31, 2004! 973-5959