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House Bill No. 7194

Public Act No. 07-105

AN ACT CONCERNING THE EXPANSION OF THE ANIMAL POPULATION CONTROL PROGRAM.

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

Section 1. Section 22-338 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) Each owner or keeper of a dog of the age of six months or older, except dogs kept under a kennel license as provided in section 22-342, shall cause such dog to be licensed in the town clerk's office in the town where such dog is kept, on or before June thirtieth, annually, or at such time as such dog becomes six months old, and annually thereafter, on or before June thirtieth. The owner or keeper shall pay to such town clerk for such license the sum of seven dollars for each neutered male or spayed female dog and the sum of twelve dollars for each unneutered male dog and each unspayed female dog, and one additional dollar in each case as the town clerk's fee for issuing a tag and license as provided in section 22-340. Two dollars from each license fee collected for a neutered or spayed dog shall be deposited into the [Animal Population Control Fund] animal population control account, established under section 22-380g, as amended by this act. If an owner or keeper of a dog fails to procure a license as required by this section, such owner or keeper shall pay the appropriate license fee specified in this section, the town clerk's fee and a penalty of one dollar for each month or fraction thereof the dog remains unlicensed.

(b) Any owner or keeper applying for a license for a dog under subsection (a) of this section, except for those owners or keepers possessing a rabies vaccination exemption certificate, or a copy thereof, issued pursuant to section 22-339b, shall submit to the town clerk a rabies certificate signed by a licensed veterinarian, or a copy thereof, stating that such dog has been vaccinated against rabies, the date of the vaccination and the duration of the immunity provided by the vaccine. No license shall be issued unless the certificate indicates that the immunity provided by the vaccine is effective at the time of licensing.

(c) Any owner or keeper applying for a license for a dog pursuant to subsection (a) of this section that has been exempted from vaccination against rabies pursuant to section 22-339b shall submit to the town clerk a rabies vaccination exemption certificate issued by the department, or a copy thereof, in lieu of a rabies certificate.

(d) This section shall not apply to any dog which is imported into this state for exhibition purposes and which does not remain in this state for more than thirty days. Any person may import, from another state, any licensed dog with collar, tag and rabies vaccination certificate, and keep the same in this state for not more than thirty days, without complying with the provisions of this section.

Sec. 2. Section 22-380e of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2007):

As used in sections 22-380e to 22-380m, inclusive, as amended by this act:

(1) "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Agriculture;

(2) "Program" means the animal population control program;

(3) "Account" means the animal population control account;

(4) "Participating veterinarian" means any veterinarian who has been certified to participate in the program by the commissioner;

(5) "Pound" means any state or municipal facility where impounded, quarantined or stray dogs and cats are kept or any veterinary hospital or commercial kennel where such dogs or cats are kept by order of a municipality;

(6) "Eligible owner" means a person who has purchased or adopted a dog or cat from a pound and who is a resident of this state;

(7) "Medically unfit" means (A) unsuitable for a surgical procedure due to any medical condition that may place a dog or cat at life-threatening risk if a surgical procedure is performed on such animal, as determined by a participating veterinarian, or (B) unsuitable for sterilization due to insufficiency in age, as determined by a participating veterinarian, of a dog or cat under the age of six months;

(8) "Neuter" means the surgical procedure of castration on a male dog or cat;

(9) "Spay" means the surgical procedure of ovariohysterectomy on a female dog or cat; [and]

(10) "Voucher" means a nontransferable document provided by the commissioner and issued by a pound to an eligible owner authorizing payment of a predetermined amount from the animal population control account to a participating veterinarian;

(11) "Feral cat" means a cat of the species Felis catus that is unowned, that exists in a wild or untamed state or has returned to an untamed state from domestication and whose behavior is suggestive of a wild animal; and

(12) "Low income person" means a recipient of or a person eligible for one of the following public assistance programs:

(A) The food stamp program authorized by Title XIII of the federal Food and Agriculture Act of 1977, 7 USC 2011 et seq.;

(B) The federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Act authorized by 42 USC 601 et seq.;

(C) The Medicaid program authorized by Title IX of the federal Social Security Act, 42 USC 1381;

(D) The HUSKY Medicaid Plan Part A;

(E) The state medical assistance or cash assistance components of the state-administered general assistance program;

(F) The state supplement program; or

(G) Any other public assistance program that the commissioner determines to qualify a person as low income.

Sec. 3. Section 22-380f of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2007):

(a) No pound shall sell or give away any unspayed or unneutered dog or cat to any person unless such pound receives forty-five dollars from the person buying or adopting such dog or cat. Funds received pursuant to this section shall be paid quarterly by the municipality into the animal population control account established under section 22-380g, as amended by this act. At the time of receipt of such payment, the pound shall provide a voucher, for the purpose of sterilization and vaccination benefits, as provided in section 22-380i, to the person buying or adopting such dog or cat. Such voucher shall be on a form provided by the commissioner and signed by the eligible owner. Such voucher shall become void after sixty days from the date of adoption unless a participating veterinarian certifies that the dog or cat is medically unfit for surgery. Such certification shall be on a form provided by the commissioner and specify a date by which such dog or cat may be fit for sterilization. If the surgery is performed more than thirty days after such specified date, the voucher shall become void. In the case of a dog or cat that has been previously sterilized or is permanently medically unfit for sterilization, as determined by a participating veterinarian, the voucher shall be void and the eligible owner may apply to the commissioner for a refund in the amount of forty-five dollars.

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, no pound shall receive forty-five dollars from the Connecticut Humane Society for any unsterilized cat or dog that is given by such pound to the Connecticut Humane Society, provided such cat or dog is sterilized prior to the adoption of such animal from the Connecticut Humane Society. Such sterilization shall not be required if a licensed veterinarian certifies, in writing, that the animal is medically unfit for sterilization surgery.

(c) The Connecticut Humane Society shall submit a biannual report to the [Animal Population Control Fund] Commissioner of Agriculture that shall include, but not be limited to, the municipal facility from which any animal described in subsection (b) of this section was taken, the impound number of such animal, the species and gender of such animal, the date that the Connecticut Humane Society received the animal and the date of sterilization for such animal.

(d) Upon a finding that the Connecticut Humane Society has failed to comply with any provision of subsection (b) or (c) of this section, the Commissioner of Agriculture may terminate the Connecticut Humane Society's exemption from the payment of the forty-five-dollar fee required pursuant to subsection (a) of this section.

Sec. 4. Section 22-380g of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2007):

(a) The Commissioner of Agriculture shall (1) establish an animal population control program to provide for spaying and neutering services to eligible owners of dogs and cats, (2) establish an account to be known as the "animal population control account" that may contain any moneys required by law to be deposited in the account and any balance remaining in said account at the end of any fiscal year shall be carried forward in said account for the fiscal year next succeeding, [and] (3) create a standard dog licensing form and distribute said form to veterinarians or the operators of pet shops, pet grooming facilities, municipal pounds or dog training facilities who voluntarily agree to make such forms available for the convenience of dog owners, [. The commissioner may set aside up to forty thousand dollars for each fiscal year for the purpose of providing assistance to charitable programs for the sterilization and vaccination of feral cats] (4) establish a program to assist registered nonprofit rescue groups with the sterilization and vaccination of feral cats, and (5) establish a program to sterilize and vaccinate dogs and cats owned by a low-income person.

(b) Not more than ten per cent of the funds deposited in the animal population control account in accordance with subsection (f) of section 14-21h, subsection (a) of section 22-338, as amended by this act, section 22-380f, as amended by this act, and section 22-380l shall be used for the sterilization and vaccination of feral cats program in accordance with subdivision (4) of subsection (a) of this section.

(c) Not more than ten per cent of the funds deposited in the animal population control account in accordance with subsection (f) of section 14-21h, subsection (a) of section 22-338, as amended by this act, section 22-380f, as amended by this act, and section 22-380l shall be used for the sterilization and vaccination of dogs and cats owned by a low-income person in accordance with subdivision (4) of subsection (a) of this section.

[(b)] (d) The commissioner may solicit and accept funds from any public or private source of help to carry out the goals of the [program] programs established under subsection (a) of this section, including, but not limited to, the sterilization of feral cats as provided in section 22-339d. A donor may earmark funds for any or all of such programs.

[(c)] (e) Any revenue collected pursuant to the provisions of sections 22-380f, as amended by this act, and 22-380l shall be deposited in the animal population control account. All money in the account shall be used by the commissioner exclusively for the implementation and promotion of the program and for the costs associated with the administration of the program provided not more than [one hundred eighty] two hundred twenty-five thousand dollars may be expended for administrative costs per year.

[(d)] (f) The commissioner may suspend [the program] any or all of the programs at any time that the amount of money available in the account is less than three hundred thousand dollars. The commissioner may reinstate [the program] any of the suspended programs when such amount exceeds three hundred thousand dollars.

Approved June 11, 2007