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The American Kennel Club (AKC) is pleased to report that the Connecticut legislative session adjourned on May 4, 2022. The outcome of bills impacting dog owners is as follows:

HB 5295 – Concerning Agriculture Development and Innovation (with a working group on establishing a state-wide online dog licensing portal and updates to kennel/dog licenses.)

Status: Signed by Governor Lamont as Public Act 22-54 on May 10, 2022.

Summary: In response to AKC concerns that were outlined in an alert, the Joint Environment Committee held SB 234 and instead favorably reported amended Connecticut House Bill 5295. Among other provisions, it requires the Department of Agriculture to convene a working group to help develop a plan to create a state-wide online dog licensing portal along with significant changes to the dog and kennel license framework. The working group, which the Department has confirmed AKC and other stakeholders will participate in, will also determine the appropriateness of adjusting dog license fee rates and address state database privacy concerns that were raised by AKC. The bill also recognizes the contribution of Department of Children and Family Services therapy dogs by waiving license fees.

HB 5170 – Concerning the Tethering and Sheltering of Dogs

Status: Signed by Governor Lamont as Public Act 22-59 on May 10, 2022.

Summary: As detailed in AKC’s February and March informational communications, amended HB 5170 bans the tethering of a dog for more than fifteen minutes when a weather advisory or warning is issued by the National Weather Service. Tethering of dogs is also banned when outdoor environmental conditions pose an adverse risk to the health or safety of a dog based on such dog’s breed, size, age, thickness of coat, or physical condition, and a detailed definition of “adequate shelter” is provided.

HB 5498 – Designating Various Days, Weeks and Months, A Shelter Pet as the State Pet…

Status: Failed upon adjournment

Summary: A March informational communication issued by AKC noted that HB 5498, among many provisions, would have designated the shelter pet as Connecticut’s state pet.  An amended HB 5498 moved favorably from the joint committee and passed the House of Representatives but did not advance in the Senate prior to the adjournment of the legislative session.

HB 5232 – Concerning Service Animals

Status: Failed upon adjournment

Summary: HB 5232 was supported by AKC because it would update Connecticut’s laws to ensure its terms and definitions would be consistent with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.  The bill is a reflection of work done by a 2019 workgroup that AKC Government Relations (GR) participated in.  HB 5232 was passed favorably by the Joint Human Services Committee and passed the House of Representatives before being placed on the Senate calendar. On April 29, it was recommitted back to the Human Services Committee and failed to emerge prior to adjournment.

SB 141 – Increasing the Penalty for the Intentional Injury of a Police Animal or Dog in a Volunteer Canine Search and Rescue Team

Status: Failed upon adjournment

Summary: As previously reported, SB 141 would amend the animal cruelty statute by elevating the classification of the crime of intentionally injuring any animal while in the performance of its duties under the supervision of law enforcement, or any dog performing for a volunteer search and rescue team, to a Class C felony.  Current law classifies the killing of these animals as a Class C felony, but intentional injury is only classified as Class D, the least serious type of felony. AKC supported SB 141, which was voted out of the Joint Public Safety and Security Committee and sent to the House and then Senate Judiciary Committees before favorable release from the Legislative Commissioner’s Office on March 11.  No further action was taken prior to adjournment of the legislative session.

For more information on Connecticut legislation this session, contact AKC GR at