Legislative Success


Good Samaritan Protection:  Public Act 18-164 Section 16 – provides Good Samaritan protection for those who remove an animal from a car if the animal is in “imminent danger of serious bodily injury”.  This long-overdue law is an extension of the Good Samaritan protections available when removing children in imminent danger from cars.

Defeated Black Bear Hunting in CT- a bill that would allow a black bear hunting season failed to pass in the Environment Committee by a vote of 29 to 8.  Night Hunting of Coyotes (SB348) had a hearing with no further action taken by the Committee.    


HB 6334 "Shelter Licensing Bill":  Helps ensure that animals receive humane care in nonprofit shelters throughout our state. This bill requires anyone who wants to operate/ maintain an animal shelter in CT to register with the Dept. of Agriculture and comply with sanitation, disease, humane treatment of cats and dogs, and public safety protection regulations. Read more about the bill here.

CVA successfully helped defeat a proposed bear hunting season in Connecticut.   




HB 5344 "Desmond's Law": Innovative new legislation that will give animals a voice in court. In animal cruelty cases, there can now be advocates who will shine a bright light on the full extent of the atrocities committed against animals who are the subject of criminal or civil proceedings. The courts will have "the whole story" to use in making decisions in the interests of justice. Read more about Desmond's Law here.

HB 5147, which increases the maximum penalty for second-offense malicious animal cruelty convictions. From now on, those convicted of malicious, intentional animal cruelty for the first time will be guilty of a Class D felony. For the second and subsequent offenses, it will be a Class C felony: up to 10 years in prison, and no chance for accelerated rehabilitation. 



CVA successfully helped defeat a proposal that would have imposed a sales tax on veterinary services.

Stopped a proposal that would have closed down the "Second Chance" large animal rehab facility, which serves as a safe haven for abused and neglected large animals.

The Beagle Freedom Bill also passed, which will require public research labs to release dogs and cats for adoption when they are no longer needed for research. 



SB 445 Pet Shop bill 1) requires pet shops to source their puppies from breeders who are USDA registered and have no direct violations of the Animal Welfare Act, nor more than 2 indirect violations within the previous two years. 
2) Each puppy for sale must be accompanied by 2 years’ worth of USDA inspection reports for the breeder who supplied the puppy. These reports must be publicly available and posted near puppies' cages.  And 3) pet shops must provide significantly higher veterinary care reimbursements to customers with sick puppies, under the state’s pet lemon law. 
HB 5037 will strengthen Connecticut's cross reporting laws for child abuse and animal cruelty. 

SB 309 will create a task force to study and make recommendations for municipal shelters and related issues, and also provides better management of the cost of care for animals in the custody of animal control officers. 




HB 5844 (Public Act No. 13-189, effective July 1, 2013)

Prohibits dog chaining outside during official weather advisories, i.e. heat or wind chill advisory, severe thunderstorm warnings, tornado warnings, blizzards, except for a brief 15 minute break.  Also prohibits chaining whenever adverse weather conditions pose a threat to the dog based on the dog’s age, health, breed, etc. See an updated summary of CT's dog tethering laws.

HB 5836 (Public Act No. 13-99, effective July 1, 2013)

Doubles the amount of spay/neuter vouchers available to low-income people, distributed through the Animal Population Control Program.

HB 5027 (Special Act No. 13-99)

Establishes a task force to officially examine the origins of dogs sold in CT pet shops, to convene this summer/fall, and provide recommendations for the January 2014 session. CVA is represented as a member of this task force. Legislation to ban the sale of commercially-bred cats and dogs in pet shops will then be re-introduced next year.

HB 6591 (Public Act No. 13-236, effective from passage)

Requires that euthanasia of any cat or dog must be performed by a licensed veterinarian.

HB 6311 (Public Act 13-103, effective October 1, 2013)

Prohibits municipalities from enacting breed-specific dog ordinances.

HB 6329 (Public Act 13-273, effective July 1, 2013)

Allows students to opt out of observing or participating in the dissection of an animal in school.




HB 5409 , now Public Act No. 12-105, concerning Pet Shops (1) makes clear that pet shops must reimburse for veterinary expenses when consumers want to keep their beloved cat or dog, (2) requires notice to customers of their rights under Connecticut’s “Pet Lemon Law,” and (3) institutes fines for poor animal care by pet shops. 

HB 5446, now Public Act No. 12-108, concerning Animal Control Officers, would (1) require training for new Animal Control Officers and (2) allow ACOs to redeem State spay/neuter vouchers in order to sterilize animals before releasing them to adopters.

HB 5289 now Public Act No 12-86, Imposes a felony rather than misdemeanor penalty for a second or subsequent cruelty conviction. Thus, instead of up to a $1000 fine and/or 1 year in prison, habitual abusers will receive a fine of up to $5000 and/or 5 years in prison. 



HB 6226  (Public Act 11 -194)– An Act Concerning Cross-Reporting of Child Abuse and Animal Cruelty.  Helps ensure children's and animals' safety by requiring thatDepartment of Children and Families caseworkers report animal cruelty to the Department of Agriculture and also investigate child abuse upon the receipt of reports of animal cruelty at the same address. Read full text of this law.


HB 6303 (Public Act 11 - 111) An Act Concerning the Treatment of Ill and Injured Animals in Municipal Animal Shelters. Both encourages Connecticut’s public pounds to provide impounded animals with better care by working with nonprofit rescue organizations, and also requires the state Department of Agriculture to investigate complaints regarding any animal control officer’s failure to provide proper care to the animals in his or her charge.  In addition, requires that pound animals be posted online for the duration of their impoundment and offers civil and criminal immunity to veterinarians who discount their fees for treating pound animals. Read full text of this law.

HB 5368 (Public Act 11 - 187) – Animal Importation:  Requires animal importers to register, give notice of public adoption events, have an animal examined by a veterinarian within 48 hours of arrival in Connecticut, and maintain a record of veterinary care.  Does not require an animal’s quarantine and permits only the inspection of records and animals, not the inspection of an animal importer’s private residence. Read full text of this law.



Dog Chaining:

CVA successfully passed legislation that provides protection for dogs who are cruelly chained, and prohibits chaining dogs by means of the following:
  1. Tether that does not allow such dog to walk at least eight feet,excluding the length of such dog as measured from the tip of such dog's nose to the base of such dog's tail, in any one direction,
  2. tether that does not have swivels on both ends to prevent twisting and tangling, unless the owner or keeper of such dog is in the presence of such dog,
  3. coat hanger, choke collar, prong-type collar, head halter or any other collar, halter or device that is not specifically designed or properly fitted for the restraint of such dog,
  4. tether that has weights attached or that contains metal chain links   more than one-quarter of an inch thick, or
  5. tether that allows such dog to reach an object, including, but not limited to, a window sill, edge of a pool, fence, porch or terrace […] unless the owner or keeper of such dog is on the premises. 

Text of Public Act 10-100, passed that year: http://www.cga.ct.gov/2010/ACT/PA/2010PA-00100-R00SB-00274-PA.htm
Full dog tethering statutes: http://cga.ct.gov/current/pub/chap_435.htm#sec_22-350a

Pet store certificates of origin:
Public Act 10-100 also established that pet stores must display the origin of dogs on their cages.
Relevant section of statutes: http://cga.ct.gov/current/pub/chap_435.htm#sec_22-344d
Rescue Animal Importation:
CVA prevented passage of a harmful bill to regulate rescue animal importation.  


Puppy Mill Law

  • Public Act 09-228  Discourages pet store traffic in puppy mill dogs, by requiring pet stores to reimburse consumers up to $500 in vet expenses for sick animals they sell. It also required that puppy certificates of origin be placed within 10 feet of an animal for sale. (This was revised in 2010 to require that origin information be placed on the dog's cage.)
  • Relevant section of the statutes: http://cga.ct.gov/current/pub/chap_435.htm#sec_22-344b
  • Note: In 2012, this law was revised to clarify that customers do not need to return the sick animal in order to receive the reimbursement from the pet shop from which the dog was purchased.

Outdoor Cat Regulations

  • Raised concerns that regulations proposed by the Connecticut Department of Agriculture to prohibit unvaccinated animals from being in public settings could result in the trapping and killing of outdoor cats.
  • Successfully lobbied, in conjunction with the ASPCA, for a statement by the department’s commissioner that unequivocally notes that the proposed regulations do not apply to either “feral cat colonies or the feral cat community.” 

Pound Seizure for Large Animals 

  • Raised concerns that proposed legislation to contain “roaming livestock” would permit the commercial sale of impounded animals – potentially authorizing, for example, the sale of horses for slaughter.
  • Successfully lobbied, in conjunction with the ASPCA to remove the problematic provision.

 Companion Animal Importation

  • Despite strong agency and legislative support for a proposed bill to regulate companion animal importation, CVA and the ASPCA, prevented passage of this harmful proposal that we argued would have prevented Connecticut residents from rescuing animals outside the state.
  • Initiated a productive dialogue with legislators that we hope will result in a more balanced bill in the next legislative session.
  • CVA, in conjunction with the Animal Welfare Federation of Connecticut (AWFCT) and the ASPCA, held an educational forum on this issue in the fall of 2009: “Precious Cargo: Animal Transport Laws for the Health and Welfare of Animals, Consumers and the State of CT”.