OLR Bill Analysis

sHB 6334

AN ACT REQUIRING THE REGISTRATION OF ANIMAL SHELTERS.

SUMMARY

This bill requires a person who wants to operate or maintain an animal shelter in Connecticut to register with the Department of Agriculture (DoAg) commissioner and comply with regulations he issues as to sanitation, disease, humane treatment of cats and dogs, and public safety protection. Under the bill, an “animal shelter” is a private entity operating a building or facility that is not within a private residence and that is used solely to house homeless animals for rescue or adoption.

Under the bill, DoAg must issue a registration to an applicant upon application and payment of a $50 fee if the applicant complies with applicable state regulations and, for an initial registration, municipal zoning requirements. A registration is effective until the second December 31 following issuance, may be renewed biennially by December 31, and may be transferred to another premises with the commissioner's approval.

The bill authorizes the commissioner, or his agent, to inspect an animal shelter at any time. If, in his judgement, the shelter is not being maintained in a sanitary and humane manner that protects public safety, or if he finds that contagious, infectious, or communicable disease or other unsatisfactory conditions exist, he may (1) fine the shelter up to $500 for each affected animal, (2) issue orders necessary to correct the conditions, and (3) quarantine the premises and animals.

Under the bill, if a shelter fails to comply with the commissioner's regulations or orders or any state law relating to animals, the commissioner may revoke or suspend its registration. Anyone aggrieved by a commissioner's order may appeal to Superior Court. Anyone operating a shelter without a valid registration is subject to a fine of up to $200.

Existing law establishes similar requirements and penalties for commercial kennels, pet shops, groomers, and animal training facilities.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2017

COMMITTEE ACTION

Environment Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

29

Nay

0

(03/10/2017)