Connecticut Seal

General Assembly


Raised Bill No. 6690

January Session, 2013


LCO No. 4947



Referred to Committee on JUDICIARY


Introduced by:





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

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2013) (a) In any proceeding in the civil or criminal session of the Superior Court in which the welfare or custody of an animal is at issue, including, but not limited to, a proceeding concerning cruelty to animals under section 53-247 of the general statutes, the court may order, or counsel for any party may request, that a separate advocate be assigned to represent the interests of the animal, in which case the court shall appoint an advocate to serve on a voluntary basis from a list provided by the Commissioner of Agriculture.

(b) The advocate shall perform an independent investigation of the case and may present at any hearing information pertinent to the court's determination of the best interests of the animal. The advocate shall be subject to cross-examination upon the request of counsel for any party. The advocate shall not be required to be an attorney-at-law but shall be knowledgeable about the needs and protection of animals and relevant court procedures. In performing an investigation under this section, the advocate shall consider any prior arrangements made for the animal, including, but not limited to, the existence of a trust to provide for the care of the animal created under section 45a-489a of the general statutes, a restraining order issued under section 46b-15 of the general statutes that contains a provision to protect the animal, or a protective order issued under section 46b-38c of the general statutes that contains a provision to protect the animal.

(c) The Commissioner of Agriculture shall maintain a list of persons with expertise in animal welfare or legal advocacy to serve on a voluntary basis as advocates under this section. Such list may include, but need not be limited to, veterinarians, students and faculty of law schools, attorneys and law firms.

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

Section 1

July 1, 2013

New section

Statement of Purpose:

To establish a process for appointing an advocate to investigate and advocate for the welfare or custody of an animal that is the subject of a civil or criminal court proceeding.

[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not underlined.]