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General Assembly

 

Substitute Bill No. 499

    January Session, 2009

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AN ACT CONCERNING A PET LEMON LAW AND THE RELEASE OF RABIES VACCINATION RECORDS TO ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICERS.

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

Section 1. Section 22-344b of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2009):

(a) A pet shop or commercial kennel licensee shall, prior to offering a dog or cat for sale and thereafter at intervals of fifteen days until such dog or cat is sold, provide for examination of such dog or cat by a veterinarian licensed under chapter 384. [The] Such licensee shall maintain a record of the veterinary services rendered for each dog or cat offered for sale.

(b) If, (1) within [fifteen] thirty days of sale, any such dog or cat becomes ill or dies of any illness or (2) within six months of sale, any such dog or cat is diagnosed with a congenital defect which existed in such dog or cat at the time of the sale, such licensee shall, at the option of the consumer, replace the dog or cat or refund in full the purchase price of such dog or cat: [(1)] (A) In the case of illness or congenital defect, upon return of the dog or cat to the pet shop and the receipt of a certificate from a veterinarian licensed under chapter 384 and selected by the consumer, stating that the dog or cat is ill from a condition or suffers from a congenital defect which existed at the time of sale, and [(2)] (B) in the case of death, the receipt of a certificate from a veterinarian licensed under [said] chapter 384 and selected by the consumer, stating that the dog or cat died from an illness which existed at the time of sale. [Any] In addition to any refund of the purchase price of such dog or cat, the costs for services and medications provided by a licensed veterinarian incurred by the consumer [for such illness] shall be reimbursed to the consumer by such licensee in an amount not to exceed [two] five hundred dollars. The presentation of such certificate shall be sufficient proof to claim reimbursement or replacement and the return of such deceased dog or cat to the pet shop shall not be required. No such refund or replacement shall be made if such illness or death resulted from maltreatment or neglect by a person other than the licensee, his or her agent or employee.

(c) A licensee who violates any provision of this section shall forfeit to the state a sum not to exceed five hundred dollars for each animal which is the subject of the violation. The Attorney General, upon complaint of the commissioner, may institute a civil action in the superior court for the judicial district of Hartford to recover the forfeiture specified in this section.

Sec. 2. Section 22-354 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2009):

(a) 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] subsection 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.

(b) Any dog or cat sold or offered for sale by a pet shop or commercial kennel licensee in this state shall be accompanied by a certificate of origin identifying the name, address and telephone number of each person who had custody of such dog or cat at any time from the date of birth of such animal until the sale of such animal in this state by such licensee. Such certificate shall be posted in a conspicuous manner not more than ten feet from the location where such dog or cat is displayed for sale. A copy of such certificate shall be provided to the purchaser of such dog or cat at the time of sale and shall be filed by such licensee with the Department of Agriculture not later than two days after such sale. No pet shop or commercial kennel licensee shall purchase a dog or cat for resale from a breeder or other person, firm or corporation located outside of this state that is not in possession of a current license issued by the United States Department of Agriculture and any applicable state agency. Any pet shop or commercial kennel licensee violating the provisions of this subsection shall be fined not more than one hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty days, or both, for each violation. Each day a pet shop or commercial kennel is in violation of this subsection shall constitute a separate offense.

Sec. 3. Subsection (a) of section 22-339b of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2009):

(a) Any owner or keeper of a dog or cat of the age of three months or older shall have such dog or cat vaccinated against rabies. Any animal vaccinated prior to one year of age or receiving a primary rabies vaccine at any age shall be considered protected for only one year and shall be given a booster vaccination one year after the initial vaccination and shall be vaccinated at least every three years thereafter. Those animals revaccinated after one year of age shall be given booster vaccinations at least every three years thereafter. Proof of vaccination shall be a certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian in accordance with subsection (a) of section 22-339c. A licensed veterinarian, upon request of the Chief Animal Control Officer, any animal control officer, municipal animal control officer or regional animal control officer shall submit to such officer a copy of such certificate and any associated rabies vaccination records for such dog or cat that has bitten a person or another animal.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

July 1, 2009

22-344b

Sec. 2

July 1, 2009

22-354

Sec. 3

July 1, 2009

22-339b(a)

Statement of Legislative Commissioners:

In section 1(b)(1), the comma after "illness" was deleted for clarity.

ENV

Joint Favorable Subst.