This week, two dog-related bills were placed on the calendar for action by the Connecticut House and Senate as follows:
House: HB 6504, regarding animal welfare, has already been reported favorably by Joint Environment Committee. The American Kennel Club (AKC) supports HB 6504 because it would:
- Require a veterinary examination of animals brought into the state by animal shelters and update violation amounts;
- Update state law regarding service animals to match federal law;
- Allow towns to sign mutual aid agreements for temporary animal control officers when personnel are out on leave; and
- Require regional pounds to comply with municipal pound construction, maintenance, and sanitation standards.
Connecticut residents are encouraged to email their state representative to express their support of HB 6504 as reported out of committee. You can identify your representative and get their email by clicking here and typing in your home address.
Senate: SB 923, concerning review of animal cruelty laws, would charge the Connecticut Sentencing Commission with reviewing state animal cruelty laws and their penalties, and study trends in this area of law. There is significant bipartisan support for a review and report of legislative recommendations by the Commission before the end of 2022. Both the Connecticut Department of Agriculture and AKC have expressed the need for animal welfare experience and input during this process. If the bill is enacted, the Commission has indicated there will be opportunities for public input during its work. AKC GR will continue to monitor the bill and notify Connecticut residents when their input is needed.
Update: HB 6542, regarding municipal restrictions on pet shops, was retained in committee. It would have allowed each city and town to create and enforce its own obligations and restrictions on state-licensed pet shops, including mandates that shops source pets only from animal shelters and rescues. AKC submitted testimony in opposition and detailed concerns in a prior alert. No action is requested at this time.
AKC Government Relations (AKC GR) will provide additional information as developments warrant. For more information, contact AKC GR at firstname.lastname@example.org.