PA 17-167—sHB 6334

Environment Committee

AN ACT REQUIRING THE REGISTRATION OF ANIMAL SHELTERS

SUMMARY: This act 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 DoAg regulations on sanitation, disease, humane treatment of cats and dogs, and public safety protection. Under the act, an “animal shelter” is a private entity operating a building or facility used solely to house homeless animals for rescue or adoption but that is not in a private residence.

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

The act authorizes the commissioner, or his agent, to inspect an animal shelter at any time. If, in his judgment, 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) order that the conditions be corrected, and (3) quarantine the premises and animals.

Under the act, the commissioner may revoke or suspend the registration of a shelter that fails to comply with his regulations or orders or any state law relating to animals. 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