Working with the community and state legislature, the Connecticut Humane Society (CHS) is committed to advocating for legislation and public policy that protects and improves the lives of companion animals across the state.

Interested in making change possible for local animals? Sign up for CHS’ email list to stay tuned on current CHS happenings and legislative initiatives.

Here’s a look at the impact that the advocacy of CHS and its supporters have had in recent legislative sessions.

2024 Activity

Updating shelter standards and ensuring standards are enforced.

CHS is actively working to update animal shelter regulations both for non-profit shelters and for municipal animal control facilities. Sheltered pets deserve nutrition, enrichment, veterinary care, and proper housing/enclosures. Currently, shelter regulations are not up to date for what pets deserve in 2024. But even when municipal shelters and non-profits are not meeting these outdated standards, they are not corrected and nobody is held accountable. Our most vulnerable population of pets…the homeless, neglected, and abused…deserve better.

2023 Activity

HB 5575: This bill highlights key areas that should be updated in the current municipal animal shelter facilities. It requires reasonable temperatures so animals being housed are neither too cold or too hot; that different species should not be cohoused; and, that some degree of oversight is applied so that any municipal facilities and their overseer are notified of their deficiencies should the facilities not be up to standard.

Status: After this bill passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in the House and Senate, Governor Ned Lamont signed this bill into law on June 26th.

2022 Activity

Updating Shelter Standards
Status: CHS is actively working to update outdated municipal shelter standards from 1963 to standards appropriate for the present day, and the ultimate goal is to develop a set of standards suitable for both municipal and non-profit animal shelters to use.

2021 Activity

HB 6504: An act concerning animal welfare.
Status: This bill, which covered a multitude of animal welfare issues, passed with amendments in the 2021 session. Copies of written testimony from CHS and other interested groups are available here, and the video recording of the session is viewable here. Listen to testimony of CHS’ Director of Operations, Theresa Geary, shortly after the 5:29:00 mark.

2019 Activity

  • A tax on veterinary services
    Status: This was cut from the governor’s final budget.
  • HB 6016: An act requiring municipal animal control facilities to comply with department of agriculture sanitation and humane treatment regulations
    Status: Vigorous opposition prevented HB 6016 from making it out of committee (you may read CHS’ testimony in support as well as those who opposed the bill here). CHS is looking at alternative ways to accomplish these standards through regulatory action in lieu of legislation.

2018 Activity

  • HB 5362: An act concerning the registration and inspection of municipal pounds and shelters
    Status: While HB 5362 did not advance, CHS will continue to advocate for a law that would require municipal shelters to adhere to the same standards for animal care that are required for nonprofit shelters.

2017 Activity

  • SB 130: An act establishing a surcharge on animal adoption fees to fund the Second Chance Large Animal Rehabilitation Program.
    Status: Failed to pass, preventing the State from taxing pet adoptions, a surcharge which would not guarantee money would be used to care for animals.

2016 Activity

  • HB 5147 – An act increasing the maximum penalty for persons convicted of subsequent offenses of malicious and intentional cruelty to animals.
    Status: Passed into law.
  • HB 5344 – An act concerning support for animals that are neglected or treated cruelly.
    Status: Passed into law, such that the court may now appoint an advocate to represent the interests of an animal involved in a cruelty case.

2015 Activity

  • Proposal to tax veterinary services in relation to HB 7061 (An act concerning the state budget for the biennium ending June 30, 2017)
    Status: Prevented the State from placing a tax on veterinary services.
  • SB 352: An act to continue the task force on the humane treatment of animals in municipal shelters for an additional year.
    Status: Passed, authorizing the task force to continue.
  • SB 361: An act increasing the maximum penalty for persons convicted of malicious and intentional animal cruelty.
    Status: Failed to pass.

2014 Activity

  • SB 309 – An act concerning municipal costs for the care of confiscated animals.
    Status: Passed into law, addressing the safe protection and care of confiscated companion animals in the care of municipal authorities.
  • SB 445 An act concerning certain recommendations of the task force on the sale of cats and dogs from inhumane origins at Connecticut pet shops.
    Status: Passed into law, in efforts to prevent inhumane breeding and transport of pets and detail protections for those who purchase these animals.

2013 Activity

  • HB 6488 – An act concerning the evacuation and temporary sheltering of certain animals during emergencies.
    Status: Passed into law.
  • HB 6591 – An act requiring the euthanization of any cat or dog to be performed by a licensed veterinarian in certain circumstances.
    Status: Passed into law.
  • HB 5027 – An act establishing a task force concerning the sale of cats and dogs at pet shops.
    Status: Passed into law.
  • HB 5836 – An act concerning the availability of funding for the vaccination and sterilization of dogs and cats owned by low-income persons.
    Status: Passed into law.
  • HB 6311 – An act prohibiting municipalities from adopting breed-specific dog ordinances.
    Status: Passed into law.