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Virginia Dog Kennel Requirements

Updated on May 1, 2013

The requirements to license a kennel in the State of Virginia varies in each County and City. There are some general requirements that are needed to obtain a kennel license in Virginia for example having records of each dog's rabies vaccination. You will need to go to the dog or animal control department in the County or City that the kennel is to be licensed for the exact requirements.

Location Requirements

Each County and City has zoning ordinances for having a kennel on the property. For example Hanover County does not allow kennels in the following zones R-1, R-2, R-3, R-4, R-5, R-6, RC, RRC, RS and Amherst County requires you to have a Kennel Compliance Certificate from an Animal Control Officer before obtaining a kennel license. There are also different zoning laws for commercial verses non-commercial kennels in each county and some cities.

Animal Count

It is required to have a kennel license if you have more than three to five dogs depending on what county or city in Virginia you are applying for the license in. No more than 50 dogs can be in your kennel with out a permit.


The fee for a kennel license varies in the counties and cities of Virginia. For example in The City of Chesapeake the fees for a kennel license are five to 20 dogs or cats, 20 dollars per year and 21 to 50 dogs or cats, 35 dollars per year as of 2010. While in Amherst County the fee is $25 for every ten dogs as of 2010.

Commercial and Non-Commercial Kennels

A commercial kennel is a place to house, board, breed, handle or otherwise keep or care for dogs that can be sold or for compensation. An example would be a professional breeder that sells dogs or a boarding kennel that gets compensated for caring for dogs.

A non-commercial kennel is the same as a commercial kennel except you are not permitted to sell the dogs or receive compensation for the care of the dogs.


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    • LucyLiu12 profile image

      Robin Young 

      6 years ago from Boise

      I just moved back to Idaho from nova and notice that great strides have been made here related to dog care and official requirements. Before I moved, I felt like animals were not treated well (they're just a dog!) whereas in the East, dogs seem to be more members of the family and the education level is higher, leading, in my opinion, to greater knowledge of proper pet needs and care. But, Idaho's on the right track, and I'm so glad to see it.


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