Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Raised Bill No. 5151

February Session, 2016

 

LCO No. 1020

 

*01020_______ENV*

Referred to Committee on ENVIRONMENT

 

Introduced by:

 

(ENV)

 

AN ACT CONCERNING THE AUTHORITY OF ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICERS IN COMMON INTEREST COMMUNITIES.

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

Section 1. Subsection (a) of section 22-332d of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) Any animal control officer for a municipality which has adopted an ordinance under subsection (b) of section 22-339d, as amended by this act, may take into custody any cat found to be: [damaging property] (1) Damaging: (A) Property other than property of its owner or keeper, or (B) property that is part of the common elements of a common interest community, as defined in section 47-202, or (2) causing an unsanitary, dangerous or unreasonably offensive condition unless such cat can be identified as under the care of its owner or a registered keeper of feral cats. The officer shall impound such cat at the pound serving the town where the cat is taken unless, in the opinion of a licensed veterinarian, the cat is so injured or diseased that it should be destroyed immediately, in which case the municipal animal control officer of such town may cause the cat to be mercifully killed by a licensed veterinarian or disposed of as the State Veterinarian may direct. The municipal animal control officer shall immediately notify the owner or keeper of any cat so taken, if known, of its impoundment. If the owner or keeper of any such cat is unknown, the officer shall immediately tag or employ such other suitable means of identification of the cat as may be approved by the Chief Animal Control Officer and shall promptly cause a description of such cat to be published once in the lost and found column of a newspaper having a circulation in such town.

Sec. 2. Subsection (b) of section 22-339d of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage).

(b) A municipality may adopt an ordinance providing that no person owning or keeping any cat shall permit such animal to (1) substantially damage property other than the property of the owner or keeper, (2) substantially damage property that is part of the common elements of a common interest community, as defined in section 47-202, or [(2)] (3) cause an unsanitary, dangerous or unreasonably offensive condition. Violation of such provision shall be an infraction.

Sec. 3. Section 22-357 of the 2016 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

If any dog does any damage to either the body or property of any person, the owner or keeper, or, if the owner or keeper is a minor, the parent or guardian of such minor, shall be liable for the amount of such damage, except when such damage has been occasioned to the body or property of a person who, at the time such damage was sustained, was committing a trespass or other tort, or was teasing, tormenting or abusing such dog. If a minor, on whose behalf an action under this section is brought, was under seven years of age at the time such damage was done, it shall be presumed that such minor was not committing a trespass or other tort, or teasing, tormenting or abusing such dog, and the burden of proof thereof shall be upon the defendant in such action. In an action under this section against a household member of a law enforcement officer to whom has been assigned a dog owned by a law enforcement agency of the state, any political subdivision of the state or the federal government for damage done by such dog, it shall be presumed that such household member is not a keeper of such dog and the burden of proof shall be upon the plaintiff to establish that such household member was a keeper of such dog and had exclusive control of such dog at the time such damage was sustained. For the purposes of this section, "property" includes, but is not limited to, a companion animal, as defined in section 22-351a and the common elements of a common interest community, as defined in section 47-202, and "the amount of such damage", with respect to a companion animal, includes expenses of veterinary care, the fair monetary value of the companion animal and burial expenses for the companion animal.

Sec. 4. Section 22-358 of the general statutes is amended by adding subsection (i) as follows (Effective from passage):

(NEW) (i) For purposes of this section, the premises of the owner or keeper of a dog, cat or other animal shall not be deemed to include any property that is part of the common elements of a common interest community, as defined in section 47-202.

Sec. 5. Subsection (a) of section 22-364 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) No owner or keeper of any dog shall allow such dog to roam at large upon the land of another, including, but not limited to, any property that is part of the common elements of a common interest community, as defined in section 47-202, and not under control of the owner or keeper or the agent of the owner or keeper, nor allow such dog to roam at large on any portion of any public highway and not attended or under control of such owner or keeper or his agent, provided nothing in this subsection shall be construed to limit or prohibit the use of hunting dogs during the open hunting or training season. The unauthorized presence of any dog on the land of any person, including, but not limited to, any property that is part of the common elements of a common interest community, as defined in section 47-202, other than the land of the owner or keeper of such dog or on any portion of a public highway when such dog is not attended by or under the control of such owner or keeper, shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of the provisions of this subsection. Violation of any provision of this subsection shall be an infraction.

Sec. 6. Section 22-364a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

Any person who intentionally or recklessly releases a domestic animal that enters upon the real property of another person and causes damage to such real property in an amount in excess of one hundred dollars shall have committed an infraction. For purposes of this section, "real property" includes, but is not limited to, any property that is part of the common elements of any common interest community, as defined in section 47-202.

Sec. 7. Section 22-364b of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

The owner or keeper or is on property that is part of the common elements of any common interest community, as defined in section 47-202, of a dog shall restrain and control such dog on a leash when such dog is not on the property of its owner or keeper and is in proximity to a blind, deaf or mobility impaired person accompanied by his guide dog, provided the guide dog is in the direct custody of such blind, deaf or mobility impaired person, is wearing a harness or an orange-colored leash and collar which makes it readily-identifiable as a guide dog and is licensed in accordance with section 22-345. Any person who violates the provisions of this section shall have committed an infraction. If an owner or keeper of a dog violates the provisions of this section and, as a result of such violation, such dog attacks and injures the guide dog, such owner or keeper shall be liable, as provided in section 22-357, as amended by this act, for any damage done to such guide dog, and such liability shall include liability for any costs incurred by such blind, deaf or mobility-impaired person for the veterinary care, rehabilitation or replacement of the injured guide dog and for reasonable attorney's fees.

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

Section 1

from passage

22-332d(a)

Sec. 2

from passage

22-339d(b)

Sec. 3

from passage

22-357

Sec. 4

from passage

22-358

Sec. 5

from passage

22-364(a)

Sec. 6

from passage

22-364a

Sec. 7

from passage

22-364b

Statement of Purpose:

To provide animal control officers with the authority to enter common elements of common interest communities in order to carry out their duties.

[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.]