Both the American Kennel Club (AKC) and the Connecticut Federation of Dog Clubs and Responsible Dog Owners (CFDRDO) are pleased that the Connecticut legislature has adjourned for 2023 without passing legislation that would negatively impact Connecticut dog owners, breeders, and exhibitors.
We are grateful to the legislators who ensured bills of concern only advanced after requested amendments were adopted. AKC Government Relations and CFDRDO’s President met multiple times with Connecticut officials this year to share our position on key legislation. We thank those club members and dog owners who took the time to contact the legislature on bills of concern. Together we have made a difference for dogs in the state.
Some key bills this session included:
- House Bill 6714 – Concerning Cruelty to Animals
Final Status for 2023: The governor signed an amended bill as Public Act No. 23-149.
This bill redefines the crime of sexual contact with an animal, requires that veterinarians report suspected incidents of animal cruelty, and prohibits persons convicted of animal cruelty or having sexual contact with an animal from possessing or working with animals for a period of five years. The proposed definition of “sexual contact with an animal” could have been interpreted as prohibiting routine canine reproduction procedures. It was amended to ensure that bona fide veterinary and animal husbandry purposes would not be banned. See AKC’s previous alert for more information.
- Senate Bill 1069 – Kennels and Domestic Dog Laws
Final Status for 2023: Signed by the governor as Public Act No 23-17. The measure contains multiple amendments requested by AKC and CFDRDO.
This bill clarifies when a kennel license is required and how municipalities will enforce it. Prior to passage, amendments were added to preserve the definition of “kennel”, maintain the definition of “grooming facility” and require a municipal kennel license only if you produce more than 5 litters a year. See AKC’s previous alert for more information.
- Senate Bill 1060 – Appointment of An Advocate in Proceedings Concerning the Welfare or Custody of Animals
Final Status for 2023: After public hearing, the Judiciary Committee took no further action.
SB 1060 would have amended current law that allows the court to appoint lawyers or law students to represent dogs and cats in proceedings concerning their welfare or custody and expand it to include “animals”, including monkeys, guinea pigs, hamsters, rabbits, birds and reptiles. AKC and CFDRDO testified with Connecticut farmers to express concerns. Details can be reviewed in AKC’s previous alert.House Bill 6635 – Dog Breed Insurance Underwriting
Final Status for 2023: An amended HB 6635 did not advance from Judiciary Committee
This bill would have prohibited homeowners’ insurance and renters’ insurance policies from discriminating based on harboring or owning any dog of a specific breed or mixture of breeds. Both AKC and CFDRDO supported the bill at public hearing. An amended HB 6635 was favorably released and discharged to the Judiciary Committee, but their deadline expired before further action could be taken. Details can be viewed here.
- Senate Bill 932 – Protections for police K-9 and volunteer search and rescue dogs
Final Status for 2023: After unanimous support by the Joint Public Safety and Security Committee, the Senate forwarded the bill to Judiciary for review. However, it did not advance before the session adjourned.
SB 932 would have increased the penalty for intentionally injuring a police K-9 or dog in a volunteer canine search and rescue team; (2) establish a penalty for annoying, teasing, tormenting, or harassing any police K-9 confined in a motor vehicle; (3) allow emergency medical services personnel to provide emergency treatment and transportation to an injured police K-9 under certain circumstances; and (4) establish a grant program to provide K-9 officers with body armor. AKC and CFDRDO testified in support. Details can be reviewed in AKC’s previous alert.
AKC Government Relations will continue to monitor all bills in Connecticut impacting dog owners and communicate with lawmakers to share our concerns and more positive, effective solutions. For questions or more information, contact AKC GR at firstname.lastname@example.org.