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On Friday, March 9, 2018, the Connecticut General Assembly’s Environment Committee is scheduled to consider several dog-related bills.  The American Kennel Club (AKC) encourages all concerned Connecticut residents to contact the committee members and respectfully share their views.

House Bill 5355 – This bill seeks to amend several statutes regarding how a dog may be kept outdoors.  First, the bill requires that a dog must be provided continuous access to water whenever tethered for more than 15 minutes.  Second, it requires a dog tethered for more than 15 minutes to be provided with continuous access to adequate shelter when it is located in an area subject to a weather advisory or warning or when environmental conditions (including heat, cold, direct sunlight, wind, rain, snow, or hail) that a person should reasonably know pose an adverse risk to the health or safety of the dog based on the dog’s physical characteristics.  This requirement is waived if a person is in the presence of the dog and exposed to the same environmental conditions as the dog at all times that the dog is exposed to the adverse environmental conditions.  The bill also specifically defines what may constitute an adequate shelter—including water access, light, space, construction, and temperature requirements—and includes any part of the residence of an owner.

House Bill 5362 – This bill adds municipal pounds or shelters to the state’s shelter registration and inspection requirements.

House Bill 5367 – This bill requires the Commissioner of Agriculture to convene a working group to develop recommendations for legislation to reduce the number of attacks by domestic animals that result in the death or serious injury of another animal or person, and mitigate the effects of disposal orders for such attacking domestic animals on municipalities and the state.  The group shall consist of the Commissioner of Agriculture (or designee), the State Veterinarian, a representative of an organization that represents animal control officers, a representative of AKC, a representative of an organization that represents dog bite victims, the chief elected officials of two municipalities, a representative of the insurance industry, a representative of the Attorney General’s office, a representative of a municipal police department, and a representative of the Connecticut State Police.  Recommendations by the group are due to the General Assembly by January 1, 2019.

Senate Bill 349 – This bill provides for the funding of regional animal shelters—for two or more contiguous towns each of which has a population of less than 25,000—by providing that up to 25% of the costs of operating any such facility will come out of the state’s animal population control account.


Connecticut residents are encouraged to contact the members of Environment Committee and respectfully share their opinions of the above-listed bills.  Comments may be submitted to the committee at  For those residents interested in commenting in person, the public hearing will start at 11AM on Friday, March 9, in room 2B of the Legislative Office Building, 300 Capitol Ave, Hartford, CT 06106.  Click here to view the March 9 Public Hearing Agenda.


Individual committee members’ contact information:

State Senator Ted Kennedy, Co-Chair –

State Senator Craig Minor, Co-Chair –

State Representative Mike Demicco, Co-Chair –

State Senator Mae Flexer, Vice Chair —

State Senator Heather B. Somers, Vice Chair –

State Representative Joseph P. Gresko, Vice Chair –

State Representative Stephen G. Harding, Ranking Member –

State Representative David Arconti –

State Representative Dorinda Borer –

State Representative Gary Byron –

State Representative Devin R. Carney –

State Representative Patricia A. Dillon –

State Representative Doug Dubitsky –

State Representative Adam Dunsby –

State Representative Liz Linehan –

State Representative Ben McGorty —

State Representative Mary M. Mushinsky –

State Representative Cara Christine Pavalock-D’Amato –

State Representative John E. Piscopo –

State Representative Geraldo C. Reyes –

State Representative Kevin Ryan –

State Representative Ezequiel Santiago –

State Representative Derek Slap –

State Representative Prasad Srinivasan –

State Representative William Tong –

State Representative Mark Tweedie –

State Representative Edwin Vargas –

State Representative David T. Wilson –

State Representative Melissa H. Ziobron –

State Representative Christopher Ziogas —

For more information on these or other legislative proposals pending in Connecticut, contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at 9