Last February, the Connecticut Department of Agriculture finalized rules for the operations of animal shelters and other regulated entities. However, in May, the Legislative Regulation Review Committee advised the Department of Agriculture of substantive and technical corrections needed prior to approving the rules. Late last week, the Department of Agriculture responded to the request by posting amended rules for animal shelters and other regulated entities, including boarding kennels, grooming facilities, and veterinary kennels that provide boarding and grooming for nonmedical purposes, pet shops, training facilities, and animal importers.
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.
To address these concerns, the Connecticut legislature passed laws in 2011 and 2017 that required the state to oversee the state’s animal shelters and animal importers. The American Kennel Club (AKC) expressed support for the rules, first proposed in February 2020, drafted to enforce that legislation. Like the initial and recent versions, the newly-amended rules, which clarify language, establish requirements for animal shelters, 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.
AKC Government Relations (GR) expects the amended rules to be again reviewed by the Legislative Regulation Review Committee prior to finalization. AKC GR will continue to provide updates on this and other regulatory and legislative developments in Connecticut. For more information, contact AKC GR at firstname.lastname@example.org.