NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — This General Assembly session, a Newport News lawmaker has filed legislation in response to the death of two dogs after their stays at a Peninsula boarding facility.
Coastal Dog Services and its owner faced animal cruelty charges after the deaths.
One of the dogs that died was Fenway, an Australian Shepard.
Since Fenway’s death, his owners have pushed for tighter laws on boarding facilities. One lawmaker, Delegate David Yancey, took up the cause.
It’s been months at the Fox house without Fenway. Still, the memories of the family dog linger, in picture and in action.
“It’s been a process,” said Fenway’s owner Jason Fox. “I mean we’ve been back and forth with our attorney and we’ve watched the court case change.”
While Newport News animal services looked into the case, it got the attention of the state.
“Someone from Delegate Yancey’s camp had reached out to my wife and they kinda got the ball rolling in that direction,” Fox said.
But before any bills could get filed, Yancey had to run for re-election. That race in the 94th District, with Democrat Shelly Simonds, ended in a tie. By Virginia law the winner would be decided by name drawing.
“I really hope this goes in his favor,” Fox said he remembered. “Which is really awesome that it did.”
This week the General Assembly got underway, and with it Delegate Yancey’s bill for pet boarding facilities.
“We are going to try to make certain that for dog owners going forward there are some assurances that their pets are well taken care of,” Del. Yancey said.
Fox said from what he knows the bill will make sure dogs are not left unsupervised.
“The people that are supervising the dogs are trained and certified to know that they are ready and can see aggressive behavior amongst other dogs,” Fox said.
It’ll be a big step if it passes in Fenway’s memory.
To see more of the bills proposed to protect animals, click here.