Animal shelters are a place of comfort and safety for animals that have been separated or abandoned by their people. These shelters are staffed by dedicated professionals and a core of selfless volunteers who are tireless in their efforts to keep these pets from harm and find them loving permanent homes.
Unfortunately, well-meaning shelters sometimes find themselves underprepared and overwhelmed to cope with the rigorous demands of running a shelter responsibly. Recently, Connecticut has witnessed the consequences of such poorly-run shelters: facilities are subject to closure, directors are charged with animal cruelty, and dozens of animals are seized, imposing a huge burden on other rescuers or municipalities. No one wants to close a shelter, yet law enforcement has no tools to intervene before conditions become inhumane and shelter closure becomes the only course of action.
CT's animal welfare community wants to be proactive in making sure our shelters remain a safe haven. Pet shops, breeders, groomers, and kennels, are all subject to regulation and inspection, yet there are no laws or licensing requirements for private non-profit shelters.
This session, CVA is promoting a bill (HB 6334) that will license Connecticut’s private brick and mortar shelters, allow for their inspection, and require compliance with basic, humane facility standards and animal care practices. The resulting law would provide guidelines and expectations for shelters already operating in Connecticut, but also new shelters who wish to establish a program in our state.
- Actual standards of care will represent baseline, common best practices, and would be enacted through the regulatory process after the legislative session, in consultation with the animal rescue community.
- The proposed law only would apply to private, non-profit shelters and rescues that operate a building or facility used to house homeless pets outside one’s residence. Barns, garages and other outbuildings on one’s property will apply if they are being used exclusively for the housing of animals for rescue and adoption.
Read a DRAFT of proposed regulations. (The standards in this document are considered a starting point, and would not be finalized until well after the session ends in June 2017)