CHAPTER 435
DOGS AND OTHER COMPANION ANIMALS.
KENNELS AND PET SHOPS

Table of Contents

Sec. 22-351. Theft, killing or injuring of companion animal. Penalty. Liability.
Sec. 22-355. Damage by dogs to domestic animals.
Sec. 22-358. Killing of dogs doing damage. Quarantine of biting dogs, cats or other animals. Notice. Seizure. Euthanasia and examination of potentially rabid animals. Regulations re expedited appeal and hearing process re restraint or disposal of dogs.

      Sec. 22-351. Theft, killing or injuring of companion animal. Penalty. Liability. (a) Any person who steals, confines or conceals any companion animal, as defined in section 22-351a, or who, with the intention of stealing such companion animal or concealing its identity or the identity of its owner or with the intention of concealing the fact that the companion animal is licensed, removes the collar or harness or tag from any licensed companion animal, or who unlawfully kills or injures any companion animal, shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than six months, or both. For a second offense, or for an offense involving more than one companion animal, any such person shall be fined not more than two thousand dollars or imprisoned not less than one year or more than three years or be both fined and imprisoned.

      (b) Any person who violates the provisions of subsection (a) of this section shall be liable to the owner in a civil action, except that, if such person intentionally kills or injures any companion animal, such person shall be liable to the owner in a civil action as provided in section 22-351a.

      (1949 Rev., S. 3401; 1953, S. 1839d; 1957, P.A. 143, S. 2; 1963, P.A. 613, S. 22; P.A. 93-435, S. 53, 95; P.A. 04-239, S. 2; P.A. 05-288, S. 90.)

      History: 1963 act made provisions applicable with respect to all dogs where previously applicability was limited to licensed dogs and dogs under six months old; P.A. 93-435 made certain technical and grammatical revisions, effective June 28, 1993; P.A. 04-239 designated existing provisions as Subsec. (a) and amended said Subsec. to replace "dog" with "companion animal" where appearing, specify that companion animal is defined in Sec. 22-351a, increase the maximum fine from two hundred dollars to one thousand dollars for a first offense and from five hundred dollars to two thousand dollars for a second offense or an offense involving more than one companion animal and delete provision re liability to the owner in a civil action, and added Subsec. (b) re liability to the owner in a civil action or, if the companion animal was intentionally killed or injured, liability to the owner in a civil action under Sec. 22-351a; P.A. 05-288 made technical changes in Subsec. (a), effective July 13, 2005.

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      Sec. 22-355. Damage by dogs to domestic animals. (a) When any person sustains damage by dogs to his sheep, goats, horses, hogs, cattle, poultry or domestic rabbits kept in enclosures as described in subsection (f) of this section, such person shall report such damage to the chief administrative officer of the town in which such damage was sustained, or his agent, or, if such damage was sustained on land located in two or more towns, he shall report such damage to such authority of either of such towns. Thereupon such authority, with the person claiming to have sustained such damage, shall estimate the amount of such damage, including the value of the animals or poultry killed, injured or damaged by such dogs. If such authority and the person claiming to have sustained such damage are unable to agree as to the amount thereof, they shall choose some disinterested third person to assist in estimating the damage. Information required by this subsection shall be given within twenty-four hours after the person claiming under this section has or should have had knowledge of the same or, if the intervention of a Sunday or holiday prevents the reporting thereof, on the next succeeding business day. No claim for such damages shall be allowed to any person (1) who owns, keeps or has in possession any unlicensed dog, (2) whose employee, living on the premises, keeps an unlicensed dog which is six months of age or over, or (3) who fails to report such damage within the time limited by this section. The burden of proving the allegations of any claim under this section shall be on the person claiming under this section.

      (b) The amount of damage agreed upon or estimated by any two of such three persons shall be paid by such town, and the town may recover such amount, when paid, with the compensation of such disinterested third person, from the owners, keepers or harborers of such dogs, if such persons are the residents of the town. If the owners, keepers or harborers of such dogs are not residents of the town in which the damage has been done, the town paying the damage may recover such damage and compensation from the town or towns where such owners, keepers or harborers reside, unless such owners, keepers or harborers, or such town or towns, on notice, pay to the treasurer of the town which paid such damage the amount of such damage and compensation. Any town which is obliged to pay any such damage may recover the amount thereof from the owners, keepers or harborers of the dogs doing such damage.

      (c) When additional or increased damages are claimed to sheep, goats, horses, hogs, cattle, poultry or domestic rabbits, which damages were not apparent at, and accrued subsequent to, the first appraisal of damage, a supplemental notice of such claim for additional damage may be given to such authority at any time within thirty days from the discovery of the original damage. The supplemental notice of claim shall set forth the facts upon which such claim is based. The claim shall be made to such authority and shall be acted upon in the manner provided in subsections (a) and (b) of this section.

      (d) Any authority who has received notice pursuant to the provisions of this section and within a period of fifteen days after receiving such notice, fails to estimate the amount of such damage, or if such authority is unable, within a period of five days, to agree with the person claiming to have sustained such damage as to the amount thereof, or fails to agree with such person on a disinterested third person to assist in estimating such damage, or if such authority and such person agree on such disinterested third person and two of such three persons fail to agree as to the amount of such damage, the person who claims to have sustained damage may institute a civil action against the town in which the damage was sustained for the recovery of such damage. No such action shall be maintained unless brought within one year from the date the damage was sustained.

      (e) When the selectmen, town manager or other chief executive officer of the town receives notice from any person claiming to have sustained damage by dogs to his sheep, goats, horses, hogs, cattle, poultry or domestic rabbits in excess of one hundred dollars, such authority shall, within twenty-four hours, report the same to the commissioner for investigation and shall call upon the commissioner or his agent to act for the town in appraising the damage as provided in subsections (a), (b), (c) and (d) of this section. The fact that said commissioner or his agent has acted for such authority shall not bar an action for the recovery of the damage as provided in subsection (d) of this section.

      (f) Sheep, goats, horses, hogs, cattle, poultry and domestic rabbits shall be confined or shall be enclosed by a fence or wall of material and height sufficient to restrain them from roaming. In any case in which any town has paid an amount in excess of one hundred dollars for such damage to the owner of any such animal or poultry, and the amount of such damage cannot be collected from the owners, keepers or harborers of such dogs, the selectmen, town manager or other chief executive officer of such town, city or borough shall forward to the commissioner a statement of the facts, showing the amount so paid, and the State Treasurer, at the request of the commissioner, shall reimburse such town, city or borough for the amount of such damage, from the funds received by the state under the provisions of this chapter.

      (1949 Rev., S. 3402; 1953, S. 1840d; 1963, P.A. 613, S. 26; 1971, P.A. 74, S. 1, 2; P.A. 85-145, S. 1; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 91-10, S. 11, 20; P.A. 93-435, S. 54, 95; P.A. 01-62, S. 5; P.A. 05-288, S. 91, 92.)

      History: 1963 act replaced references to selectmen with references to chief administrative officer or authority, clarified when report must be made if Sunday or holiday prevents meeting of twenty-four hour limit and specifically disallowed claims by persons whose employee lives on premises and keeps unlicensed dog or by those not meeting time limit allowed for claims, included damages to poultry and domestic rabbits in Subsec. (c), deleted Subsec. (d) which had allowed issuance of order to kill dog if established damage claim not paid within ten days of notice to dog owner, relettering remaining Subsecs. accordingly, changed time limit for reports to commissioner in new Subsec. (e) to within forty-eight hours rather than five days and made commissioner's appraisal mandatory rather than optional; 1971 act stated that burden of proof is on claimant in Subsec. (a) and in Subsec. (e) made basis for report to commissioner any damage to sheep, goats, horses, etc. rather than a claim for more than fifty dollars and reduced time for report from forty-eight to twenty-four hours; P.A. 85-145 amended Subsec. (f) by deleting obsolete references to the payment of expenses for Pasteur treatment; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 91-10 amended Subsecs. (e) and (f) to limit the state's responsibility under this section to those matters involving damage in excess of one hundred dollars; P.A. 93-435 made certain technical and grammatical revisions, effective June 28, 1993; P.A. 01-62 amended Subsec. (f) to give the Commissioner of Agriculture control over reimbursements to towns for damage, deleting or revising provisions re State Treasurer; P.A. 05-288 made technical changes in Subsecs. (a) and (c), effective July 13, 2005.

      Section is applicable only to damage caused by dogs and cannot be read to require that horses be fenced in. 85 CA 627.

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      Sec. 22-358. Killing of dogs doing damage. Quarantine of biting dogs, cats or other animals. Notice. Seizure. Euthanasia and examination of potentially rabid animals. Regulations re expedited appeal and hearing process re restraint or disposal of dogs. (a) Any owner or the agent of any owner of any domestic animal or poultry, or the Chief Animal Control Officer or any animal control officer or any municipal animal control officer, regional animal control officer or any police officer or state policeman, may kill any dog which he observes pursuing or worrying any such domestic animal or poultry.

      (b) Any person who is bitten, or who shows visible evidence of attack by a dog, cat or other animal when such person is not upon the premises of the owner or keeper of such dog, cat or other animal may kill such dog, cat or other animal during such attack. Such person shall make complaint concerning the circumstances of the attack to the Chief Animal Control Officer, any animal control officer or the municipal animal control officer or regional animal control officer of the town wherein such dog, cat or other animal is owned or kept. Any such officer to whom such complaint is made shall immediately make an investigation of such complaint.

      (c) If such officer finds that the complainant has been bitten or attacked by such dog, cat or other animal when the complainant was not upon the premises of the owner or keeper of such dog, cat or other animal the officer shall quarantine such dog, cat or other animal in a public pound or order the owner or keeper to quarantine it in a veterinary hospital, kennel or other building or enclosure approved by the commissioner for such purpose. When any dog, cat or other animal has bitten a person on the premises of the owner or keeper of such dog, cat or other animal, the Chief Animal Control Officer, any animal control officer, any municipal animal control officer or regional animal control officer may quarantine such dog, cat or other animal on the premises of the owner or keeper of such dog, cat or other animal. The commissioner, the Chief Animal Control Officer, any animal control officer, any municipal animal control officer or any regional animal control officer may make any order concerning the restraint or disposal of any biting dog, cat or other animal as the commissioner or such officer deems necessary. Notice of any such order shall be given to the person bitten by such dog, cat or other animal within twenty-four hours. The owner of such animal shall pay all fees as set forth in section 22-333. On the fourteenth day of such quarantine the dog, cat or other animal shall be examined by the commissioner or someone designated by the commissioner to determine whether such quarantine shall be continued or removed. Whenever any quarantine is ordered under the provisions of this section, notice thereof shall be given to the commissioner and to the person bitten or attacked by such dog, cat or other animal within twenty-four hours. Any owner or keeper of such dog, cat or other animal who fails to comply with such order shall be fined not more than two hundred fifty dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty days or both. If an owner or keeper fails to comply with a quarantine or restraining order made pursuant to this subsection, the Chief Animal Control Officer, any animal control officer, any municipal animal control officer or regional animal control officer may seize the dog, cat or other animal to insure such compliance and the owner or keeper shall be responsible for any expenses resulting from such seizure. Any person aggrieved by an order of any municipal animal control officer, the Chief Animal Control Officer, any animal control officer or any regional animal control officer may request a hearing before the commissioner within fourteen days of the issuance of such order. After such hearing, the commissioner may affirm, modify or revoke such order as the commissioner deems proper. Any dog owned by a police agency of the state or any of its political subdivisions is exempt from the provisions of this subsection when such dog is under the direct supervision, care and control of an assigned police officer, has been vaccinated annually and is subject to routine veterinary care.

      (d) Any dog, while actually worrying or pursuing deer, may be killed by the Chief Animal Control Officer or an animal control officer or by a conservation officer or special conservation officer appointed by the Commissioner of Environmental Protection, or by any police officer or state policeman. The owner or keeper of any dog found worrying or pursuing a deer shall be fined not less than twenty-five dollars nor more than two hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than sixty days or both.

      (e) Any person who kills any dog, cat or other animal in accordance with the provisions of this section shall not be held criminally or civilly liable therefor.

      (f) The owner of any dog, cat or other animal which has bitten or attacked a person and has been quarantined pursuant to subsection (c) of this section may authorize the humane euthanization of such dog, cat or other animal by a licensed veterinarian at any time before the end of the fourteenth day of such quarantine. Any such dog, cat or other animal so euthanized before the end of the fourteenth day of quarantine shall be examined for rabies by the Connecticut Department of Public Health virology laboratory or any other laboratory authorized by the Department of Public Health to perform rabies examinations. The veterinarian performing the euthanasia shall be responsible for ensuring that the head of the euthanized animal is delivered by him or his designated agent within forty-eight hours to an appropriate laboratory designated by said department for rabies examination.

      (g) Repealed by P.A. 05-175, S. 24.

      (1949 Rev., S. 3405; 1953, S. 1843d; 1963, P.A. 613, S. 28; February, 1965, P.A. 23, S. 1; 1969, P.A. 35; 81, S. 4; 1971, P.A. 725; P.A. 73-28; P.A. 79-290, S. 4; P.A. 83-71, S. 1; P.A. 84-546, S. 67, 173; P.A. 85-57, S. 1, 2; P.A. 89-161, S. 6, 7; P.A. 91-46, S. 6, 12; 91-59, S. 16; 91-215, S. 2; P.A. 92-77, S. 1, 5; P.A. 93-381, S. 9, 39; P.A. 95-257, S. 12, 21, 58; P.A. 98-12, S. 15, 22; P.A. 00-88, S. 1; P.A. 02-14, S. 2; P.A. 04-145, S. 3; P.A. 05-175, S. 24.)

      History: 1963 act included references to regional wardens, substituted quarantine in veterinary hospital or kennel for quarantine "in close confinement" in Subsec. (b) and doubled boarding fee and in Subsec. (c) empowered conservation officers to kill dogs worrying or pursuing deer and added provision re penalty to be imposed on the owner or keeper of such a dog; 1965 act revised Subsec. (b) so that quarantine provisions apply to attacks not on dog owner's premises and provisions re commissioner's orders for restraint or disposal of dog apply to attacks on owner's premises, reversing previous applications of provisions; 1969 acts replaced references to dog wardens with references to canine control officers where necessary and in Subsec. (b) allowed quarantine of dog on owner's premises when attack occurred on those premises; 1971 act amended Subsec. (c) to allow resident state policemen to kill dog worrying or pursuing deer; P.A. 73-28 doubled boarding fee in Subsec. (b); P.A. 79-290 required notification of person bitten when order given re restraint, disposal or quarantine of dog and raised boarding fee from two to five dollars per day; P.A. 83-71 amended Subsec. (b) to add provision specifying criteria for exemption of police dogs from quarantine requirements; P.A. 84-546 made technical changes to section; P.A. 85-57 added Subsecs. (c) and (d) to restore language inadvertently omitted from the 1985 revision; P.A. 89-161 amended Subsec. (b) to add the language concerning the seizure of dogs whose owners fail to comply with quarantine or restraining orders; P.A. 91-46 added Subsec. (e) concerning euthanasia and examination of potentially rabid dogs; P.A. 91-59 replaced references to "warden" and "regional canine control officer" with references to "municipal animal control officer" and "regional animal control officer"; P.A. 91-215 rephrased Subsec. (b) to require that dog attacks be reported and divided Subsec. (b) into Subsecs. (b) and (c) and changed subsequent Subsec. designators accordingly; P.A. 92-77 amended section to apply to cats and other animals, amended Subsecs. (a) and (d) to authorize police officers and state police to kill dogs observed pursuing certain animals and made technical changes; P.A. 93-381 replaced department of health services with department of public health and addiction services, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 95-257 replaced Commissioner and Department of Public Health and Addiction Services with Commissioner and Department of Public Health, effective July 1, 1995; P.A. 98-12 changed "canine control officer" to "animal control officer", effective July 1, 1998; P.A. 00-88 amended Subsec. (c) by increasing the fine from twenty-five to two hundred fifty dollars and making technical changes for the purposes of gender neutrality; P.A. 02-14 amended Subsec. (c) by requiring owner to pay all fees set forth in Sec. 22-333 rather than five dollars per day plus other legal fees due, effective July 1, 2002; P.A. 04-145 added Subsec. (g) requiring commissioner to adopt regulations re expedited appeal and hearing process re restraint or disposal of dogs, effective May 21, 2004; P.A. 05-175 repealed Subsec. (g), effective July 1, 2005.

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