RICHMOND, Va. -- Team Tommie license plates are coming to Virginia after Governor Northam signed a bill into law Tuesday.
Virginia Delegate Jeff Bourne announced the news on Facebook Wednesday morning.
“Richmond Animal Care and Control continues to do great work to save Richmond's animals, and I'm so happy I was able to work with them on this bill,” Bourne wrote.
“HOORAY!!! #TeamTommie,” Richmond Animal Care and Control (RACC) responded.
After RACC reached their pre-sell goal of 450 license plates, Bourne submitted a bill to the General Assembly to designate the plate as an official Virginia license plate.
The specialty plate will cost $25 annually for a standard plate and $35 annually for a personalized plate. A portion of each plate’s annual fee will go to The Tommie Fund, which helps offset the costs of emergency medical care services at municipal shelters and public animal control agencies in Virginia.
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Team Tommie formed following the death of Tommie, a dog who was set on fire in a Richmond park in 2019. Jyahshua Hill pleaded guilty to felony animal cruelty and was sentenced to five years in prison last August.
Last year, the RACC Foundation announced the creation of the Tommie Fund. Money raised through the fund would help support the cost of emergency medical care for animals in other municipal shelters across Virginia.
Not only did the crime against Tommie prompt widespread donations, but it also led to Tommie’s Law, which increased the penalty for all animal cruelty to a class 6 felony -- a charge carrying a sentence of up to five years in prison or a $2,500 fine.