Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

File No. 77

    February Session, 2018

Substitute House Bill No. 5355

House of Representatives, March 28, 2018

The Committee on Environment reported through REP. DEMICCO of the 21st Dist., Chairperson of the Committee on the part of the House, that the substitute bill ought to pass.

AN ACT ESTABLISHING STANDARDS FOR THE ADEQUACY OF DOG SHELTER DURING EXTREME WEATHER CONDITIONS.

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

Section 1. Section 22-350a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2018):

(a) No person shall tether a dog to a stationary object or to a mobile device, including, but not limited to, a trolley or pulley by means of: (1) A tether that does not allow such dog to walk at least eight feet, excluding the length of such dog as measured from the tip of such dog's nose to the base of such dog's tail, in any one direction, (2) a tether that does not have swivels on both ends to prevent twisting and tangling, unless a person is in the presence of such dog, (3) a coat hanger, choke collar, prong-type collar, head halter or any other collar, halter or device that is not specifically designed or properly fitted for the restraint of such dog, (4) a tether that has weights attached or that contains metal chain links more than one-quarter of an inch thick, [or] (5) a tether that allows such dog to reach an object or hazard, including, but not limited to, a window sill, edge of a pool, fence, public road or highway, porch or terrace railing that poses a risk of injury or strangulation to such dog if such dog walks into or jumps over such object or hazard, unless a person is in the presence of such dog, or (6) a tether that does not permit the dog continuous access to water in a sanitary and liquid state whenever the dog is tethered for more than fifteen minutes. The provisions of subdivisions (1) and (2) of this subsection shall not be construed to apply to: (A) Any veterinary practice licensed pursuant to section 20-197 that tethers a dog in the course of such veterinary practice, (B) any exhibition, show, contest or other temporary event in which the skill, breeding or stamina of such dog is judged or examined, (C) any exhibition, class, training session or other temporary event in which such dog is used in a lawful manner to hunt a species of wildlife during the hunting season for such species of wildlife or in which such dog receives training in a lawful manner to hunt such species of wildlife, (D) the temporary tethering of a dog at any camping or recreation area as expressly authorized by the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection, or (E) the temporary tethering of a dog at a grooming facility in the course of grooming such dog.

(b) No person shall: [tether] (1) Tether a dog outdoors to a stationary object or to a mobile device, including, but not limited to, a trolley or a pulley, [when] or (2) fail to provide a dog with continuous access to adequate shelter when a weather advisory or warning is issued by local, state or federal authorities or when outdoor environmental conditions, including, but not limited to, extreme heat, cold, wind, rain, snow or hail, pose an adverse risk to the health or safety of such dog based on such dog's [breed] size, age or physical condition, unless tethering or lack of access to adequate shelter is for a duration of not longer than fifteen minutes.

(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect any protection afforded to any dog pursuant to any other provision of the general statutes, regulations of the Connecticut state agencies, local ordinance or local regulation.

(d) Any person who confines or tethers a dog for an unreasonable period of time or in violation of the provisions of subsection (a) or (b) of this section shall be fined one hundred dollars for the first offense, two hundred dollars for a second offense, and not less than two hundred fifty dollars or more than five hundred dollars for a third or subsequent offense.

(e) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (b) of this section, adequate shelter need not be continuously provided to a dog when a person is in the presence of the dog and exposed to the same adverse environmental conditions as the dog.

(f) For purposes of this section, "adequate shelter" means any structure that meets the following standards and requirements:

(1) It provides at all times (A) access to water in a sanitary and liquid state, and (B) space that enables the dog to readily turn around, sit and lie down;

(2) It is constructed and maintained in a manner to minimize the accumulation of any waste, debris, precipitation and other moisture in and around the shelter and maximize the dog's exposure to natural or artificial light according to a regular diurnal light cycle;

(3) It is soundly constructed to prevent the sagging or collapse of the structure;

(4) In the event of adverse cold weather environmental conditions, it is an enclosed structure that has a solid roof, a solid floor that is raised off the ground, and insulation, dry bedding and a windbreak at the entrance that are sufficient to maintain the dog's normal body temperature;

(5) In the event of adverse hot weather environmental conditions, it provides the dog with sufficient shade and ventilation to maintain the dog's normal body temperature; and

(6) It does not contain a supplemental heating mechanism that poses a risk of fire.

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

Section 1

October 1, 2018

22-350a

ENV

Joint Favorable Subst.

 

The following Fiscal Impact Statement and Bill Analysis are prepared for the benefit of the members of the General Assembly, solely for purposes of information, summarization and explanation and do not represent the intent of the General Assembly or either chamber thereof for any purpose. In general, fiscal impacts are based upon a variety of informational sources, including the analyst's professional knowledge. Whenever applicable, agency data is consulted as part of the analysis, however final products do not necessarily reflect an assessment from any specific department.


OFA Fiscal Note

State Impact:

Agency Affected

Fund-Effect

FY 19 $

FY 20 $

Resources of the General Fund

GF - Potential Revenue Gain

Less than 5,000

Less than 5,000

Note: GF=General Fund

Municipal Impact: None

Explanation

The bill expands laws requiring adequate shelter and tethering for dogs that are alone for more than 15 minutes outside during adverse weather conditions, and subjects violators to existing fines. Currently, there are no restrictions for how long dogs can be tethered outside.

Violators of the bill's provisions are subject to fines. Expansion of the animal shelter and tethering law may result in a revenue gain to the state to the extent additional violations occur. Any revenue gain is anticipated to be less than $5,000 annually. In FY 17, there was approximately $1,500 in revenue collected from tethering fines.

The Out Years

The annualized ongoing fiscal impact identified above would continue into the future subject to the number of violations.

OLR Bill Analysis

sHB 5355

AN ACT ESTABLISHING STANDARDS FOR THE ADEQUACY OF DOG SHELTER DURING EXTREME WEATHER CONDITIONS.

SUMMARY

This bill requires a dog to be provided continuous access to adequate shelter, as defined in the bill, when (1) local, state, or federal authorities issue a weather advisory or warning or (2) adverse outdoor conditions pose a risk to the dog's health or safety based on the dog's size, age, or physical condition. This requirement applies only when the dog is outdoors for more than 15 minutes. The bill waives this requirement when the dog is with a person who is exposed to the same adverse conditions as the dog.

The bill also prohibits a person from tethering a dog to a stationary object or mobile device (e.g., trolley or pulley) for more than 15 minutes if the tether does not allow the dog continuous access to sanitary, liquid water.

Current law prohibits a person from tethering a dog to a stationary object or mobile device for more than 15 minutes when (1) local, state, or federal authorities issue a weather advisory or warning or (2) adverse outdoor conditions pose a risk to the dog's health or safety based on the dog's breed, age, or physical condition. The bill requires consideration of the dog's size, instead of breed.

Anyone who violates these requirements is subject to a fine of $100 for a first offense, $200 for a second offense, and between $250 and $500 for a third or subsequent offense.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2018

ADEQUATE SHELTER DEFINED

Under the bill, “adequate shelter” means a structure that:

COMMITTEE ACTION

Environment Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

20

Nay

9

(03/14/2018)

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