OLR Bill Analysis
sSB 241 (File 547, as amended by Senate "A")*
AN ACT CONCERNING THE PENALTY FOR THE INTENTIONAL INJURY OR KILLING OF POLICE ANIMALS OR DOGS IN VOLUNTEER CANINE SEARCH AND RESCUE TEAMS.
This bill increases the criminal penalty for intentionally injuring (1) an animal performing its duties under a peace officer's supervision or (2) a dog performing its duties as a member of a volunteer canine search and rescue team.
Under current law, intentionally (1) injuring such an animal is a class D felony, punishable by up to five years' imprisonment, a fine of up to $5,000, or both, and (2) killing such an animal is an unclassified felony punishable by up to 10 years' imprisonment, a fine of up to $10,000, or both. The bill instead makes intentionally injuring or killing such an animal a class C felony, punishable by up to 10 years' imprisonment, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.
The bill also voids any contract entered into on or after October 1, 2018, that does the following:
1. transfers ownership of a dog or cat and is contingent upon the buyer making periodic payments after taking possession of the animal, other than payments to repay an unsecured loan to buy the animal, or
2. provides for the lease of a dog or cat with the option to buy at the end of the lease.
Under the bill, anyone who takes possession of a dog or cat under any such contract is (1) deemed to be the animal's owner and (2) entitled to the return of all amounts paid under the contract. This is in addition to any other remedy under state or federal law.
*Senate Amendment “A” adds the provisions on contracts to buy or lease dogs or cats.
EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2018, except the contract provisions are effective upon passage.
Joint Favorable Substitute