ALERT: Dinwiddie County, VA - Jul 7, 2022

Dinwiddie County has proposed changes to its ordinance by adding “SECTION 4-7. WILD OR EXOTIC ANIMALS.” This proposal will have a hearing at 7:00 PM on Tuesday, July 19, 2022 in the Government Building Boardroom, 14010 Boydton Plank Rd, Dinwiddie, Virginia.

The language is rather vague and also contradictory. It could include animals not specifically listed and may or may not allow even listed animals if they were bred in captivity (due to the conflicting language). Here is the proposed language:

ORDINANCE TO AMEND DINWIDDIE COUNTY CODE TO ADD SECTION 4-7. WILD OR EXOTIC ANIMALS. The amendment would prohibit the keeping within Dinwiddie County of wild or exotic animals, to include any (i) live monkey, raccoon, skunk, wolf, squirrel, fox, leopard, panther, tiger, lion, lynx or any other warm-blooded mammal, (ii) poisonous or venomous snake, (iii) tarantula, (iv) other poisonous or venomous animal normally found in the wild, or any member of the crocodilian family. Non-poisonous/non-venomous snakes, ferrets, rabbits, lab rats, gerbils, hamsters and other similar small mammals, and other domesticated animals which have been bred in captivity are not wild or exotic animals. The ordinance would make certain exceptions. Changes may be made to the ordinance after the public hearing.

You can view the County notice at

Email list:,,,,,

Sample Email (remember to be civil and professional)

Dinwiddie County Board of Supervisors,

I write today regarding the proposed Section 4-7 titled “Wild or Exotic Animals” that amends Dinwiddie County Code. I am very concerned about this new ban on certain animals, as well as the vague and contradictory language used. I would also like to know the reason for this new law.

It seems subject matter experts have not been consulted. The use of “poisonous snakes” in inaccurate and the tarantulas commonly kept as pets are not significantly harmful to humans (so a biased ban seems both misinformed and illogical). The term “venomous snake” also impacts some species that are technically venomous but not medically significant to humans, such as the Western hognose snake.

I oppose this ordinance as written and hope the Board will consult subject matter experts and local stakeholders on rational approaches rather than this unjust ban. Thank you for your time and have a good day.