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Earlier this week, the Connecticut Department of Agriculture announced the finalization of rules for the operations of animal shelters and other regulated entities.

The Connecticut legislature passed laws in 2011 and 2017 that required the state to oversee the state’s animal shelters and animal importers.  The new and amended rules, which were first proposed in February 2020, meet those requirements.  They include rules that animal shelters must meet, including standards for buildings and premises; ventilation and temperature; and animal care requirements, including staffing requirements, enclosure size and design standards, rules for feeding and access to clean water, cleaning requirements, and access standards.

Updates to rules applying to commercial kennels (limited to boarding kennels, grooming facilities, and veterinary kennels that provide boarding and grooming for nonmedical purposes), pet shops, training facilities, and animal importers are also included in the final rule.

Click here to view the newly-finalized rules.

For years, a lack of substantive oversight has increased the risk of diseased animals entering the United States for distribution in its shelters.  Supplying dogs for retail distribution by shelters most often comes at the cost of consumer choice and consumer protections.  Additionally, with public health concerns still at the forefront of today’s news, any increased risk of zoonotic disease transfer to humans or other animals from animals imported without substantiated health clearances or other verified precautions taken must continue to be addressed.  For these reasons, the American Kennel Club (AKC) formally expressed support for the proposed rules in June 2020 and encouraged Connecticut stakeholders to voice their support.

For more information on Connecticut legislation and regulations impacting dogs, contact AKC Government Relations at