Connecticut Seal

General Assembly


Raised Bill No. 5344

February Session, 2016


LCO No. 1549



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 October 1, 2016) (a) In any prosecution under section 53-247 of the general statutes, or in any proceeding pursuant to section 22-329a of the general statutes or in the criminal session of the Superior Court regarding the welfare or custody of an animal, the court may order, upon its own initiative or upon request of a party or counsel for a party, that a separate advocate be appointed to represent the interests of the animal or the interests of justice. If a court orders that an advocate be appointed to represent the interests of the animal or the interests of justice, the court shall appoint such advocate from a list provided to the court by the Commissioner of Agriculture pursuant to subsection (c) of this section.

(b) The advocate shall: (1) Monitor the case; (2) consult any individual with information that could aid the judge or fact finder and review records relating to the condition of the animal and the defendant's actions, including, but not limited to, records from animal control officers, veterinarians and police officers; (3) attend hearings; and (4) present information or recommendations to the court pertinent to determinations that relate to the interests of the animal or the interests of justice.

(c) The Department of Agriculture shall maintain a list of attorneys with knowledge of animal issues and the legal system and a list of law schools that have students, or anticipate having students, with an interest in animal issues and the legal system. Such attorneys and law students shall be eligible to serve on a voluntary basis as advocates under this section. The provisions of sections 3-14 to 3-21, inclusive, of the Connecticut Practice Book shall govern a law student's participation as an advocate under this section.

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

Section 1

October 1, 2016

New section

Statement of Purpose:

To permit the use of animal advocates in certain legal proceedings relating to neglected or cruelly treated animals.

[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.]