March 1 Environment Hearing

ALERT:  Environment Committee hearing on Friday March 1 to hear testimony for bills on CVA’s priority list. This is your chance to let the Committee know that animal issues are important to Connecticut residents Speak up for animals either by: testifying at the hearing on Friday, March 1 at the Legislative Office Building, Room 2B at 10:30 a.m, or submitting a written statement via email to envtestimony@cga.ct.gov no later than Thursday, February 28 by 3:00 p.m. in order for it to be available to the Environment Committee on Friday (be sure to include your name and town in the statement).  Your testimony or written statement should be a brief note of support for or opposition to these bills or if you have a personal experience you can share your personal reasons about why these bills are important to you.   SUPPORT  HB 5386 Prohibit the sale or transfer of dogs, cats and rabbits at pet shops that are not from animal welfare organizations. It is time to end Connecticut’s participation in the sale of animals from cruel and inhumane commercial breeding facilities (puppy mills). Connecticut residents love their pets and they would be horrified to see the conditions and treatment of animals in these commercial breeding facilities. Pet stores do not need to sell dogs, cats or rabbits to be successful.  This is evidenced by the overwhelming majority of CT pet stores, small mom-and-pop shops and large nationwide stores such as Petsmart, Petco, Pet Value that all have successful business models.  Encouraging pet stores to partner with legitimate shelters and rescues promotes adoption and reduces the import of puppies from mills, and animals from other commercial breeding facilities.  CVA strongly recommends that safeguards be added to HB 5386 to ensure successful partnerships with legitimate rescues.    California and Maryland have banned the sale of commercially-raised dogs and cats (and rabbits in CA) in pet stores, as have over 290 localities across the nation; Connecticut should do the same.  OPPOSE SB 586 Authorizing Black Bear Hunting in Litchfield County.  Multiple scientific studies have shown that hunting will not help alleviate human-bear conflicts or make people safer. The solution is public education, which is both more effective and humane.   A Bear Hunt is out of step with the majority of Connecticut Residents.  It’s time to reverse the trend and give back the land to the majority of residents who want to enjoy the wilderness in harmony with nature. More than 1.2 million residents participate in wildlife watching, a number that has grown exponentially. Wildlife watchers bring in over $935 million to the State’s economy.  In contrast, the number of hunters has been steadily decreasing representing less than 1 percent of the State’s population.  The Committee's efforts to investigate the non-lethal management of black bears (SB 894) should be applauded and recognizes that education is the solution.  A comprehensive and rigorous public education program should be encouraged which includes learning about removal of food attractants, conflict prevention strategies, understanding bear behavior, and best practices from successful programs in other States.   Continue reading

DON'T KILL THE BEARS

CVA joined with Friends of Animals (FOA) and the Humane Society of the United States in urging Governor Lamont to oppose bear hunts in Connecticut.  Our letter points to several crucial facts that people and policy makers should know: According to a recent UConn study there are approximately 400 adult bears in the State; about 235 were identified in the northwest corner. The State has a capacity for 3,000 according to DEEP. Hunting doesn’t solve bear-human conflict issues. Using humane and non-lethal means such as rubber bullets as a deterrent, removing attractants such as bird feeders and unsecured garbage cans all are far more effective. Hunting is not without risk. Hunters in Connecticut killed 10 people and injured 118 in hunting accidents between 1982-2018. There have been no fatal bear attacks in Connecticut and only six in the entire country, mostly in Alaska. Continue reading

2019 LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES

CVA has established its legislative priorities for the 2019 legislative session.  Be sure to contact your State Representative and Senator to tell them animals are important to you and you look forward to their support for the passage of humane legislation.  Continue to follow CVA on Facebook and other social media for updates and legislative alerts. CONNECTICUT VOTES FOR ANIMALS 2019 LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES  Exemption from Accelerated Rehabilitation In Certain Cases of Animal Abuse:To require a showing of good cause in order to invoke a pretrial program for accelerated rehabilitation on behalf of a person charged with animal abuse. A Prohibition on Purchasing Dogs and Cats via a Financing Lease/Loan:A bill to prohibit financing dogs or cats pursuant to documents transferring ownership at the end of the term of the financing and contingent upon payments being made.  Wildlife and Exotic Animals in Travelling Shows (HB 5024, HB 5248)To prohibit the use of exotic and certain wildlife animals in circuses and certain travelling shows. Adequate Shelter for Dogs During Extreme Weather Conditions:To establish certain requirements for what constitutes adequate shelter for a dog during adverse weather conditions. Prohibition on the Sale of Dogs, Cats and Rabbits by Retail Stores (HB 5246): Legislation to ban the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in retail stores. Oppose Authorizing Black Bear Hunting and Night Hunting of Coyotes in Connecticut

CVA 2017/2018 Legislative Scorecard for Animals

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.  

Video Showcases CT Votes for Animals

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 A New Teaser Video About CVA!

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!

CT Votes for Animals Statement on Proposed Trophy Ban Reversal

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

Heat Kills: If you Love’em Don’t Leave’em

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

Shelter Licensing bill signed by Governor Malloy! 2017 Session wrap-up report

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

Information on SB 130: An Act establishing a surcharge on adoption fees

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