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
Fantastic news! Governor Malloy has signed our 2017 priority bill, HB 6334 (the Shelter Licensing Bill), which will help ensure that animals receive humane care in all nonprofit animal shelters throughout our state. Read more about the bill here. Continue reading
SB 130 has been introduced in the CT state legislature by Senator Craig Miner (R), and co-sponsored by Rep. Melissa Ziobron (R). The bill would impose a surcharge, i.e. "tax" on all pet adoptions from private rescue organizations (non-profit shelters, animal adoption or rescue groups) and municipal shelters. The current bill language sets the surcharge at 5% of the total adoption fee, however, in the past the bill's sponsors stated they are open to suggestions on the amount. Continue reading
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. Continue reading