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Substitute Senate Bill No. 78

Public Act No. 02-62

AN ACT CONCERNING COMPANION ANIMAL HEALTH CERTIFICATES AND CRUELTY TO ANIMALS.

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

Section 1. Section 22-354 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2002):

Any dog or cat imported into this state shall be accompanied by a certificate of health issued no earlier than thirty days prior to the date of importation by a licensed, graduate veterinarian stating that such dog or cat is free from symptoms of any infectious, contagious or communicable disease, and that such dog or cat, if three months of age or older, is currently vaccinated for rabies by a licensed veterinarian. A copy of such health certificate shall be forwarded promptly to the commissioner from the livestock sanitary official of the state of origin. Any dog or cat originating from a rabies quarantine area must have permission of the State Veterinarian prior to importation into this state. No person, firm or corporation shall import or export for the purposes of sale or offering for sale any dog or cat under the age of eight weeks unless such dog or cat is transported with its dam and no person, firm or corporation shall sell within the state any dog or cat under the age of eight weeks. Any person, firm or corporation violating the provisions of this section or bringing any dog or cat into this state from an area under quarantine for rabies shall be fined not more than one hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty days or both.

Sec. 2. Section 53-247 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2002):

(a) (1) Any person who overdrives, drives when overloaded, overworks, tortures, deprives of necessary sustenance, mutilates or cruelly beats or kills or unjustifiably injures any animal, or who, having impounded or confined any animal, fails to give such animal proper care or neglects to cage or restrain any such animal from doing injury to itself or to another animal or fails to supply any such animal with wholesome air, food and water, or unjustifiably administers any poisonous or noxious drug or substance to any domestic animal or unjustifiably exposes any such drug or substance, with intent that the same shall be taken by an animal, or causes it to be done, or, having charge or custody of any animal, inflicts cruelty upon it or fails to provide it with proper food, proper drink or [protection] proper shelter from the weather or abandons it or carries it or causes it to be carried in a cruel manner, or fights with or baits, harasses or worries any animal for the purpose of making it perform for amusement, diversion or exhibition, shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than one year or both.

(2) For the purposes of subdivision (1) of this subsection, "proper shelter" with respect to a dog shall be determined by consideration of all the surrounding circumstances including, but not limited to, (A) weather conditions such as temperature, moisture, wind velocity, wind chill and humidity at the time and place of the alleged violation, (B) the physical condition and special needs of the dog at the time and place of the alleged violation, and (C) whether, at the time of the alleged violation, the dog was outside for a limited period of time for purposes of evacuating or exercising. If circumstances require that an outdoor housing facility be made available for the use of the dog, such facility shall be insulated and impervious to moisture and, if conditions require it to prevent stress, discomfort or danger to the dog, it shall contain dry bedding material. An outdoor housing facility shall be available when the dog is kept outside for more than thirty minutes and the ambient temperature is below forty degrees Fahrenheit unless such dog belongs to a breed of dog generally known to be tolerant of cold weather without obvious stress or discomfort.

(b) Any person who maliciously and intentionally maims, mutilates, tortures, wounds or kills an animal shall be fined not more than five thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than five years or both. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to any licensed veterinarian while following accepted standards of practice of the profession or to any person while following approved methods of slaughter under section 22-272a, while performing medical research as an employee of, student in or person associated with any hospital, educational institution or laboratory, while following generally accepted agricultural practices or while lawfully engaged in the taking of wildlife.

(c) Any person who knowingly (1) owns, possesses, keeps or trains an animal engaged in an exhibition of fighting for amusement or gain, (2) possesses, keeps or trains an animal with the intent that it be engaged in an exhibition of fighting for amusement or gain, (3) permits an act described in subdivision (1) or (2) of this subsection to take place on premises under [his] such person's control, (4) acts as judge or spectator at an exhibition of animal fighting for amusement or gain, or (5) bets or wagers on the outcome of an exhibition of animal fighting for amusement or gain, shall be fined not more than five thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than five years or both.

(d) Any person who intentionally kills any animal while such animal is in the performance of its duties under the supervision of a peace officer, as defined in section 53a-3, as amended, shall be fined not more than five thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than five years or both.

Sec. 3. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2002) (a) (1) Any person who keeps a dog chained or tethered or keeps a dog confined in a pen, cage, container or other indoor or outdoor housing facility for more than fifteen continuous hours or who fails to provide a minimum of two hours during any twenty-four-hour period during which a dog is not tethered and not confined in such a pen, cage, container or other housing facility, shall be given a warning for a first violation and be fined one hundred dollars for any subsequent violation.

(2) No person may chain or tether a dog that is housed primarily outside unless such chain or tether (A) weighs not more than one-tenth of such dog's body weight, (B) is at least twelve feet in length or five times the length of the dog measured from the tip of the snout to the end of the tail, whichever is longer, (C) has swivels on both ends, and (D) is attached to a properly fitting collar or harness worn by the dog. If a dog is tethered by means of a cable attached to a pulley or trolley, the cable shall be at least ten feet in length and the pulley or trolley shall be mounted not more than seven feet above the ground. Any person who violates the provisions of this subdivision shall be given a warning for a first violation and be fined one hundred dollars for any subsequent violation.

(3) The provisions of subdivision (1) of this subsection shall not apply: (A) If such tethering or confinement is authorized for medical reasons by a veterinarian licensed pursuant to chapter 384 of the general statutes, after examination of such dog, provided such authorization is in writing, includes the medical reasons for such tethering or confinement and is for a period not to exceed thirty days, except that such authorization may be renewed for additional periods not to exceed thirty days; (B) if such tethering or confinement is authorized by an animal control officer for reasons of public safety, provided such animal control officer states such reasons in writing and makes provision for an opportunity for regular exercise for such dog; (C) to a commercial boarding kennel, pet shop, municipal or other governmental control facility, charitable organization that houses homeless animals, training facility or grooming facility licensed in accordance with section 22a-342 of the general statutes; and (D) to a person or business organization licensed in accordance with chapter 226 of the general statutes to conduct dog racing.

(4) In any prosecution for a violation of subdivision (1) of this subsection, it shall be an affirmative defense that the act or omission forming the basis of the violation was not the usual and customary conduct of such person.

(b) Any person who fails to keep a dog in estrus in a secured area that prevents a male dog from having access to such female dog, or who tethers a dog in estrus in a manner that prevents such female dog from defending herself from a male dog, except for controlled breeding purposes authorized by the owner of such female dog, shall be given a warning for a first violation and be fined one hundred dollars for any subsequent violation.

(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to preclude a finding of a violation of subdivision (1) of subsection (a) of section 53-247 of the general statutes, as amended by this act.

Vetoed May 23, 2002