Giles County Animal Control

Please report all animal abuse and abandonment, cock or dog fighting, possible rabies, and aggressive animals to Animal Control.
Contact Info

Animal Control Officers


Bill Ahern
Phone: (540) 235-6096


In an emergency, please contact the
Giles Sheriff’s Office
Phone: (540) 921-3842

To All Dog Owners:

The Virginia General Assembly has changed the law regarding the tethering of dogs outdoors. The new law is effective July 1st, 2020. The change will drastically change the way to legally keep outside dogs. The revised law requires the following:

  1. Outdoor tethering may not occur during a hurricane warning or tropical storm warning a heat advisory, a severe weather warning or any period when the outdoor temperature is 85 degrees or higher or 32 degrees or lower.
  2. The outdoor tethering has to keep the animal safe from predators and be well suited or equipped to allow the dog to tolerate it’s environment.
  3.  The minimum tether length is 15 feet or four times the length of the animal, whichever is greater, unless an Animal Control Officer has inspected the individual animal’s circumstances and determined that a shorter tether of at least 10 feet or three times the length of the animal would make the animal safer, more suited and better equipped to tolerate its environment.




  1. This new wording will require dog owners “that tether their dogs outside” to bring their dogs inside during severe weather “and” when the temperature goes above 85 degrees or under 32 degrees. This would include the daytime hours while families are at work and most nights during the winter and late fall and early spring.
  2. The tethering length change means that you will need to have a 15 ft. “tangle free” tie-out. The tether cannot get hung up or tangled on trees, rocks, or other items/debris, including the required dog house. Our recommendation is to incorporate a swivel at both ends of the chain or wire so it does not get kinked.
  3. An alternative is to put your dog in a pen/kennel rather than tying it out. None of these new requirements apply if your dog is free within a pen. The pen would need to have a dog house and a freely available supply of clean drinking water just as in a tethering situation.


This Public Notice gives dog owners approximately 2 months to prepare for the change in the law. Violations of the new law can range from misdemeanor Care violations to felony Animal Cruelty charges.


County Dog Tags have also changed. Tags are now issued for the lifetime of your dog and can be purchased at participating Vet offices or at the County Treasurer’s office. The change does not affect kennel licenses or previously issued 3-year licenses that are still valid.

Animal Control officers enforce County and State regulations for fowl, poultry, livestock, and dangerous animals:check dog tags: and control stray animals. They administer the dog shelter and investigate animal cruelty and abuse cases and bite/rabies cases.

Read the Giles County Pet Ordinance PDF

Virginia State Law

Most of the laws in Virginia related to animal health and welfare are included in Title 3.2, Chapter 65 (“Comprehensive Animal Care”), of the Code of Virginia.  These laws, among other things, proscribe the standard of care that an owner must provide to his or her companion animal; regulate the operation pet shops, breeders, boarding establishments and groomers; sets forth the authority of local governing bodies to adopt ordinances regulating companion animals and the operation of a pound such as the Regional Center; and defining and setting for penalties for animal cruelty.  Click on this link to view a copy of Virginia’s Comprehensive Animal Care law.


The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs, through its Division of Animal Food and Industry Services, is responsible for administering Virginia’s Comprehensive Animal Care law.  You can learn more about the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs by visiting its website: