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.

Take a look at what CHS is supporting in the current legislative session below.

It’s not just about adoptions. And it’s not just about keeping pets in homes. Animal welfare is also about advocating for legislation that protects the pets in our state, and the Connecticut Humane Society is committed to doing that.

As the 2019 State Legislative Session gets underway, CHS is working to pass HB 6016 An Act Requiring Municipal Animal Control Facilities to Comply with Department of Agriculture Sanitation and Humane Treatment Regulations.

Why does it matter?
Municipal animal control standards were written in 1963…56 years ago! The standards are both outdated and insufficient to properly care for animals, as outlined in the Association of Shelter Veterinarians Guidelines for Standards of Care in Animal Shelters.

What are the current animal care standards for Connecticut’s nonprofit animal shelters?
Two years ago, HB 6334 (An Act Requiring the Registration of Animal Shelters) passed to create registration and regulations of brick and mortar nonprofit animal shelter facilities. This was a good first step in setting expectations and practices for the 20,000 animals that find themselves within the walls of municipal and nonprofit Connecticut animal shelters each year. CHS now wants to bring all Connecticut shelters — municipal and nonprofit — to standards of care that are, at a minimum, industry standards, if not standards that make our state a leader in animal welfare.

What can you do to help?
Simply put, all companion animals should be treated equally in the shelter environment, with access to proper care and housing, regardless of whether the shelter is municipal or nonprofit. CHS believes supporting a bill that would create standards and phase them in over an acceptable period of time (2-3 years) is practical, fair and humane.

Pets are a nonpartisan issue everyone can get behind. It is wrong to apply antiquated 1963 standards to 2019 operations. Stay tuned for more updates and how you can make a difference!

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

2018

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.