Substitute Senate Bill No. 1013

Public Act No. 01-62

AN ACT CONCERNING DOG FUND REIMBURSEMENTS TO TOWNS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 22-348 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

The [State Treasurer] Commissioner of Agriculture, at the end of each fiscal year, shall [set aside from fees received by him pursuant to section 22-347, ten cents from each dog license issued during the fiscal year. Such sums shall be allocated] request that for each dog license issued during the fiscal year, ten cents is transferred, from fees received pursuant to section 22-347, to The University of Connecticut for investigation and research concerning the cause, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of canine diseases. The balance of such fees, if in excess of five thousand dollars, remaining unexpended on August first following shall be returned, pro rata, to the towns [which] that paid the same, upon certification by the commissioner that the town receiving such rebate has complied with the provisions of this chapter and the regulations adopted hereunder. A balance of five thousand dollars or less of such funds shall be carried into the following fiscal year.

Sec. 2. Section 22-341 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) Each owner or keeper of a licensed dog shall keep around its neck or body a collar or harness of leather or other suitable material, to which shall be securely attached a tag or plate issued to such person by the town clerk. If any such tag or plate is lost, the owner or keeper of such dog shall forthwith secure a substitute tag or plate from the town clerk, at a cost of fifty cents.

(b) The town clerk of each town shall order a sufficient number of such tags or plates from the commissioner, who shall furnish the same at a cost of five cents each, which cost shall be paid by the town on the approval of the town clerk. Any balance of the moneys received by the commissioner after deducting the cost of the tags, the expenses incidental to their distribution to the town clerks and the expenses incidental to the enforcement of the provisions of this chapter, shall be accounted for by the commissioner to the Comptroller. [and paid to the State Treasurer and credited to the dog fund.] The design and the shape of such tags or plates shall be changed each year, and such tags or plates for each year shall be of uniform design and material throughout the state. Any dog found roaming at large upon any public highway or common or upon the premises of any person other than its owner, without a tag as provided in this section, shall be presumed to be an unlicensed dog.

Sec. 3. Subsection (c) of section 22-344 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is inserted in lieu thereof:

(c) No person shall engage in the business of grooming or maintaining a grooming facility until such person has obtained from the commissioner a license to maintain such facility under such regulations as the commissioner provides as to sanitation, disease and humane treatment of such animals and the protection of the public safety. Upon written application and the payment of a fee of one hundred dollars, the commissioner shall issue such license to be effective until the ensuing December thirty-first provided the commissioner finds (1) that such regulations have been complied with, and (2) in the case of each initial application for such license, that the zoning enforcement official of the municipality wherein such grooming is to be maintained has certified that the facility conforms to the municipal zoning regulations. Such license shall be renewed annually, not later than December [twenty-first] thirty-first, in accordance with the provisions of this section, and may be transferred by the licensee to other premises upon approval of the commissioner.

Sec. 4. Section 22-347 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

Within thirty days after receipt of the fees for dog licenses and tags, each town clerk shall deduct one dollar for each dog licensed, two dollars for each kennel license issued and fifty cents for each replacement tag issued and pay the balance to the town treasurer or other proper fiscal officer. Each town treasurer or fiscal officer, as the case may be, shall keep a separate dog fund account of all fees received from the town clerk, and all receipts from the municipal animal control officer and expended by [him] said officer under the provisions of this chapter, and shall pay to the [State Treasurer] Commissioner of Agriculture, on September first of each year, fifty per cent of all moneys received from the sale of licenses prior to July first, or forty per cent of all such moneys if the town has made a survey of unlicensed dogs in accordance with the provisions of section 22-349, and include with such payment a statement of the number of licenses issued during such year. All moneys received from licenses sold after June thirtieth and all moneys received from the municipal animal control officer and all license fees returned to the town by the State Treasurer, at the request of the commissioner, under the provisions of section 22-348, as amended by this act, shall be kept by the town treasurer or other fiscal officer in the separate dog fund account. The town treasurer or other fiscal officer shall, on the ensuing September first, send fifty per cent, or forty per cent as the case may be, of all license fees in such account to the [State Treasurer] commissioner, including any penalty fees collected pursuant to section 22-338. All payments to the [State Treasurer] commissioner shall be accompanied by an account thereof in a form prescribed by the [State Treasurer] commissioner and a copy of such account shall be sent to the commissioner. Upon the failure of any town treasurer or other fiscal officer to pay any amount due pursuant to this section, or any portion thereof, within forty-five days from its due date, the [Treasurer] commissioner shall add interest of one and one-fourth per cent per month or fraction thereof on the amount unpaid per month or fraction thereof from the due date of such payment to the date of payment and a penalty in the amount of ten per cent of the amount unpaid or fifty dollars, whichever is greater. All funds in the dog fund account, except such funds as are to be sent to the [State Treasurer] commissioner, shall be used only for the compensation of municipal animal control officers, license certificates, tags, the construction and maintenance of dog pounds, the detention and care of impounded dogs in accordance with section 22-336, municipal animal control officer's equipment, dog supplies and such veterinary fees as are provided for by law or regulations and shall not be used for any other purpose except upon written approval of the commissioner. No fees paid into the treasury of the town for tags or licenses for dogs shall be paid back to the persons from whom they were collected.

Sec. 5. Subsection (f) of section 22-355 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(f) Sheep, goats, horses, hogs, cattle, poultry and domestic rabbits shall be confined or shall be enclosed by a fence or wall of material and height sufficient to restrain them from roaming. In any case in which any town has paid an amount in excess of one hundred dollars for such damage to the owner of any such animal or poultry, and the amount of such damage cannot be collected from the owners, keepers or harborers of such dogs, the selectmen, town manager or other chief executive officer of such town, city or borough shall forward to the [State Treasurer] commissioner a statement of the facts, showing the amount so paid, and the State Treasurer, at the request of the commissioner, shall reimburse such town, city or borough for the amount of such damage, from the funds received by the state under the provisions of this chapter.

Sec. 6. Section 22-345 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

Any blind, deaf or mobility impaired person who is the owner or keeper of a dog which has been trained and educated to guide and assist [him] such person in traveling upon the public streets or highways or otherwise shall receive a license and tag for such dog from the town clerk of the town where such dog is owned or kept. Such license and tag shall be issued in accordance with the provisions of section 22-340, and no fee shall be required of the owner or keeper of any such dog. When any such dog has not been previously licensed by the town clerk to whom application is being made, such town clerk shall not license such dog or issue to the owner a license and tag unless written evidence is exhibited to [him] such clerk that the dog is trained and educated and intended in fact to perform such guide service for such applicant. Any person who has a dog [between the age of six months and one year] placed with [him] such person temporarily, including for breeding purposes, by a nonprofit organization established for the purpose of training or educating guide dogs to so assist blind, deaf or mobility impaired persons shall receive a license and tag for such dog from the town clerk of the town where such dog is kept. Such license and tag shall be issued in accordance with the provisions of section 22-340, and no fee shall be required for such license and tag, provided such person presents written evidence that such dog was placed with [him] such person by such organization. As used in this section and section 46a-44, "deaf person" means a person who cannot readily understand spoken language through hearing alone and who may also have a speech defect which renders [his] such person's speech unintelligible to most people with normal hearing.

Approved May 31, 2001