Getting to know where the candidates for your State Senator and Representative stand on animal issues is important before you vote on November 6. If they are an incumbent check out CVA's Legislative ScoreCard for Animals to see how they voted on animal issues in 2017 and 2018 and if they were active co-sponsors of bills important to CVA. If they are not currently in office or if you want to know more, you could call or email their campaign and ask directly about their views on animal welfare in the State, specifically reducing animal cruelty and providing a more humane environment for all animals. To get you started, we've put together a few sample questions (you may want to ask candidates to please indicate for each statement whether they would Lead, Support, Oppose or remain neutral if the issue were proposed as legislation in Connecticut): There’s been a lot of media coverage this year about bear sightings in Connecticut towns. Can you indicate how you would vote on a measure to allow bear hunting in CT, even if the hunt is restricted to only a certain geographic area of the State? In 2013 a law was passed that would prohibit local municipalities from enacting breed specific ordinances. Unfortunately, Connecticut's insurance industry continues to deny homeowner and renters coverage based on specific dog breeds. Do you believe insurance companies should deny coverage based on the breed of dog owned by the prospective insurer? In 2016, an initiative was proposed but later withdrawn, that would apply a 5% tax on all veterinary services. Currently only 4 States in the country tax veterinary services. Do you think this is a proposal worth reconsidering as one way to reduce the State’s budget deficit? There is a well established link between animal cruelty and domestic violence. Although the courts are taking animal cruelty more seriously, the overwhelming animal cruelty cases in CT, including felony violations of a serious and violent nature, go unpunished. Many times, these crimes bypass the traditional trial system and instead go through a diversionary program where any record of the crime is completely removed. Do you think it is appropriate to stop using this diversionary program for felony animal cruelty charges? Remember, all campaigns run on the work of dedicated volunteers and you can be part of the process by making phone calls, going door to door, putting up lawn signs or volunteering on Election Day. It's a fun and easy way to get involved in the political process, and you might meet others who share your wishes for better animal protection!
Welcome to CVA's first Legislative Scorecard for Animals. CVA’s Scorecard is a record of how CT’s State Legislators voted on bills that CVA identified as priorities or otherwise believed had a significant impact on animals in the state. Election day, November 6, 2018, is swiftly approaching. This is an important election and we encourage everyone to vote. CVA doesn’t endorse candidates but we’re hopeful that CVA’s Legislative Scorecard for Animals will guide its members in their decision-making process. A scorecard is a record of how legislators voted but it doesn’t adequately represent the work that our legislative friends have put into protecting animal welfare interests in the State. Just this year Representative Brenda Kupchick (R-132) and Representative Diana Urban (D-43) were awarded CVA’s first Animal Champion Award for their continuing efforts to create better laws for CT's animals. And when you look at a legislator’s voting record pay attention to who has sponsored CVA's priority bills. While not complete it begins to paint a picture of those who have worked hard to make a difference for animals, and we need more state legislators like them. Because this is not an all-encompassing picture, CVA encourages members to reach out to the respective candidates running for State Representative and Senator in their district and ask directly about their views on animal welfare in the State, specifically reducing animal cruelty and providing a more humane environment for all animals. To get you started we've put together a few sample questions. Remember, State legislative elections only happen every two years; Vote like the life of CT’s animals depend on it...because it does! Click on the Image of the Scorecard below to open the document.
We did it…we made our goal. Thanks to all who helped make CVA’s Day of Giving such a success and making a difference for CT’s animals. And now, a comment from Eddie:
Get to know CT Votes for Animals! A new video has been created showcasing what CVA does for animals in the state, and how CT residents can join us to support this critical work. Animals across Connecticut need YOUR help and this is a great organization to do that in a very long term, impactful way. Many thanks to Mark Bellusci at Bellusci Creative for filming, editing, and participating in this beautiful video, and to CVA volunteer Chris Kerin for his partnership throughout this process.
Check out this amazing preview 'teaser' video about CVA produced by our friends at Bellusci Creative! (And be on the lookout for the full version!) We had so much fun making this with the video team and are looking forward to the full version! CVA has some amazing and talented supporters in the community: thank you so much to Mark Bellusci and Chris Kerin!
The 2018 legislative session ended on May 9. Many animal bills made it farther than usual in the legislative process, especially for a short session. The results were mixed: some good bills are now headed to the Governor’s Office for signature, two important bills never made it through the Senate, even after passing the House by overwhelming margins, and one bill still has us fighting as CVA members ask the Governor to veto the Sunday bow hunting bill. At the center of the action was YOU. Your letters, emails and calls demonstrate to legislators that there are thousands of compassionate people in Connecticut who care about animals and who vote. It’s a powerful message and key to making progress for animals. Here’s a run-down of the major legislative initiatives for the 2018 legislative session that concern animals: Passed: Good Samaritan Protections for persons removing an animal from a car if the animal is in “imminent danger of serious bodily injury” passed. This long-overdue law can be found in HB 5312, Section 22 and is like the Good Samaritan protections available when removing children in imminent danger from cars. Read Section 22 here to see the criteria which must be met when removing an animal: Good Samaritan Law The law becomes effective October 1, 2018 Defeated: Black Bear Hunting in CT was defeated in the Environment Committee by a vote of 29 to 8. CVA was a strong voice against this bill as well as Night Hunting of Coyotes (SB348) which had a hearing with no further action taken. Passed: Establishment of an Animal Abuse Registry (SB523) of people convicted of both felony and misdemeanor animal cruelty charges. The publicly available registry will go into effect only if there is separate funding. The new law requires some refinements to ensure it doesn’t result in unintended consequences of reducing the number of convictions, a pattern found with other registries. CVA will monitor this law and recommend changes as needed. Defeated: A bill to address the State’s dog bite law which contained a somewhat biased working group failed to get a Senate vote before the session ended. CVA worked hard to protect against breed specific discriminatory recommendations and to add experts in the fields of animal behavior and training to ensure that the bill would create fair and humane recommendations to fix the State’s broken dog bite laws. Continue reading
Now in our 10th year, CT Votes for Animals has lead the way and been a driving force at the state legislature fighting for the protection of animals. With the landmark passage of Desmond's Law, the first law in the country to allow attorneys to advocate in court on behalf of animal abuse victims, courts are taking notice and animal abusers are being held accountable. But there's another important piece to the puzzle that needs to be fixed and we're working on it this year. CVA is actively involved in supporting a bipartisan bill that will restrict the use of Accelerated Rehabilitation (AR) for felony animal abuse cases. AR, a pre-trial program designed for non-serious crimes, has been frequently used in animal abuse cases. The result is that those charged with the most egregious and cruel offenses can get off without a fine, no jail time, and no record. Imagine: you could hire someone to care for your pet, parent or child who has been accused of a violent crime and never know it. The AR program should not be used in felony animal cruelty cases and CVA wants to make sure that happens this session. Continue reading
CVA has a full agenda for the short, three month 2018 legislative session; YOUR SUPPORT for these bills can determine their success. Periodically throughout the session, we’ll send you legislative ‘action alerts’ by email and social media where we’ll need your help in contacting your State representatives. Constituent influence – YOUR VOICE – is so important, so please, be on the look-out, and invite your friends to sign up on our website and follow us on social media. Continue reading
Connecticut Votes for Animals is appalled by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Administration’s proposed roll back of protections for African elephants. Permitting U.S. importation of animal trophies from Zambia and Zimbabwe would only further devastate an already-dwindling population of elephants. According to the Great Elephant Census, Zambia’s elephant population declined from 200,000 to around 21,000 over the past few decades, and Zimbabwe lost 6% of its elephant population from 2007 to 2014. Zimbabwe’s wildlife management is already infamously poor, and its recent political crisis can only lead to further mismanagement of the species. In light of these facts, it is inconceivable that the U.S. Government would blatantly encourage further devastation of the elephant population through these proposed policies. Continue reading
Join Representative Brenda Kupchick and CVA in reminding citizens not to leave children and pets in hot cars. Representative Kupchick led the town of Fairfield in adopting a public safety campaign, and several towns have already taken up the call. An easy “how to” guide has been developed and now Representative Kupchick and CVA are asking other towns around the State to adopt a program of their own. Help those with no voice and start a public safety campaign in your town. Contact your local elected officials and/or Police Chief to see if your town can adopt this program. Here is more information on the program that you can reference when reaching out to your local officials! Heat_Kills_Program_Overview.pdf Continue reading