CHAPTER 435

DOGS AND OTHER COMPANION ANIMALS.
KENNELS AND PET SHOPS

Table of Contents

Sec. 22-327. Definitions.

Sec. 22-329. Prevention of cruelty to dogs and other animals.

Sec. 22-329a. Seizure and custody of neglected or cruelly treated animals. Vesting of ownership of animal. Animal abuse cost recovery account.

Sec. 22-331. Municipal animal control officers. Assistants.

Sec. 22-331a. Regional animal control officers. Pounds.

Sec. 22-332. Impoundment and disposition of roaming, injured or mistreated animals. Authority to spay or neuter unclaimed dog. Liability for provision of veterinary care to injured, sick or diseased impounded animal.

Sec. 22-344f. Veterinarian examination of cat or dog imported into state by animal importer or person operating or maintaining animal shelter. Records of veterinary services rendered. Fines.

Sec. 22-351a. *(See end of section for amended version of subsection (c) and effective date.) Liability for intentionally killing or injuring companion animal.

Sec. 22-359f. Request for reduction of quarantine period after potential rabies exposure of animal.


Sec. 22-327. Definitions. As used in this chapter:

(1) “Animal” means any brute creature, including, but not limited to, dogs, cats, monkeys, guinea pigs, hamsters, rabbits, birds and reptiles;

(2) “Chief Animal Control Officer”, “Assistant Chief Animal Control Officer” and “animal control officer” mean, respectively, the Chief State Animal Control Officer, the Assistant Chief State Animal Control Officer and a state animal control officer appointed under section 22-328;

(3) “Commercial kennel” means a place maintained for boarding or grooming dogs or cats, and includes, but is not limited to, any veterinary hospital which boards or grooms dogs or cats for nonmedical purposes;

(4) “Commissioner” means the Commissioner of Agriculture;

(5) “Grooming facility” means any place, other than a commercial kennel, which is maintained as a business where dogs are groomed;

(6) “Keeper” means any person, other than the owner, harboring or having in his possession any dog;

(7) “Kennel” means one pack or collection of dogs which are kept under one ownership at a single location and are bred for show, sport or sale;

(8) “Municipal animal control officer” means any such officer appointed under the provisions of section 22-331;

(9) “Pet shop” means any place at which animals not born and raised on the premises are kept for the purpose of sale to the public;

(10) “Poultry” has the same meaning as provided in section 22-326s;

(11) “Regional animal control officer” and “assistant regional animal control officer” means a regional Connecticut animal control officer and an assistant regional Connecticut animal control officer appointed under the provisions of section 22-331a;

(12) “Training facility” means any place, other than a commercial kennel or grooming facility, which is maintained as a business where dogs are trained;

(13) “Service animal” has the same meaning as provided in 28 CFR 35.104 and includes any animal in training to become a service animal.

(1949 Rev., S. 3374; 1949, S. 709b; 1953, S. 1812d; 1959, P.A. 637, S. 2; 1961, P.A. 67; 1963, P.A. 613, S. 1; 1969, P.A. 81, S. 1; 423, S. 1; 1971, P.A. 872, S. 446, 448; 1972, P.A. 180, S. 1; P.A. 77-314, S. 1; P.A. 82-91, S. 14, 38; P.A. 91-46, S. 10, 12; 91-59, S. 1; P.A. 93-435, S. 29, 95; P.A. 98-12, S. 3, 22; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, S. 146(e); P.A. 04-189, S. 1; P.A. 19-156, S. 1; P.A. 21-90, S. 1, 2.)

History: 1959 act replaced commissioner of agriculture with commissioner of agriculture, conservation and natural resources; 1961 act replaced commissioner of agriculture, conservation and natural resources with commissioner of agriculture and natural resources; 1963 act defined “regional warden” and “pet shop”; 1969 acts replaced definitions re wardens with definitions re canine control officers, clarified definitions of “commercial kennel” and “pet shop” and defined “grooming facility”; 1971 act replaced commissioner of agriculture and natural resources with commissioner of agriculture; 1972 act substituted “animals” for “dogs” in definition of “pet shop” and defined “animals”; P.A. 77-314 defined “training facility”; P.A. 82-91 expanded definition of commercial kennel to include a veterinarian hospital boarding or grooming dogs for nonmedical purposes; P.A. 91-46 included references to cats in the definition of “commercial kennel”; P.A. 91-59 replaced references to “regional canine control officer”, “assistant regional canine control officer” and “local dog warden” with references to “regional animal control officer”, “assistant regional animal control officer” and “municipal animal control officer”, respectively; P.A. 93-435 made certain technical and grammatical revisions to conform section to Connecticut's standard statutory style, effective June 28, 1993; P.A. 98-12 changed “canine control officer” to “animal control officer” in Subdiv. (2), effective July 1, 1998; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6 replaced Commissioner of Agriculture with Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Protection, effective July 1, 2004; P.A. 04-189 repealed Sec. 146 of June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, thereby reversing the merger of the Departments of Agriculture and Consumer Protection, effective June 1, 2004; P.A. 19-156 redefined “commercial kennel” in Subdiv. (3), effective July 9, 2019; P.A. 21-90 amended Subdiv. (10) to redefine “poultry” and added Subdiv. (13) to define “service animal”, effective June 28, 2021.

Sec. 22-329. Prevention of cruelty to dogs and other animals. Any animal control officer or regional animal control officer appointed pursuant to section 22-328, 22-331 or 22-331a, as applicable, or any law enforcement officer may interfere to prevent any act of cruelty upon any dog or other animal, and any person who interferes with or obstructs or resists any such officer in the discharge of such duty shall be guilty of a class D misdemeanor.

(1949 Rev., S. 3376; 1953, S. 1814d; 1969, P.A. 81, S. 4; P.A. 91-59, S. 2; P.A. 93-435, S. 31, 95; P.A. 95-358, S. 1; P.A. 98-12, S. 5, 22; P.A. 12-80, S. 78; P.A. 21-90, S. 3.)

History: 1969 act replaced references to dog wardens with references to canine control officers of corresponding rank; P.A. 91-59 replaced reference to “warden” with reference to “municipal animal control officer”; P.A. 93-435 made certain technical and grammatical revisions, effective June 28, 1993; P.A. 95-358 added law enforcement officers to list of officials authorized to act under this section; P.A. 98-12 changed “canine control officer” to “animal control officer”, effective July 1, 1998; P.A. 12-80 replaced penalty of a fine of not more than $50 or imprisonment of not more than 30 days with a class D misdemeanor; P.A. 21-90 deleted references to commissioner and Chief Animal Control Officer, replaced reference to municipal animal control officer with reference to regional animal control officer and added reference to appointments pursuant to Sec. 22-328, 22-321 or 22-331a, effective June 28, 2021.

Sec. 22-329a. Seizure and custody of neglected or cruelly treated animals. Vesting of ownership of animal. Animal abuse cost recovery account. (a) Any animal control officer or regional animal control officer appointed pursuant to section 22-328, 22-331 or 22-331a, as applicable, may take physical custody of any animal when such animal control officer has reasonable cause to believe that such animal is in imminent harm and is neglected or is cruelly treated in violation of section 22-366, 22-415, 53-247, 53-248, 53-249, 53-249a, 53-250, 53-251 or 53-252, and, not later than ninety-six hours after taking physical custody, shall proceed as provided in subsection (c) of this section, except that if, in the opinion of a licensed veterinarian or the State Veterinarian, at any time after physical custody of such animal is taken, such animal is so injured or diseased that it should be euthanized immediately, such officer may have such animal humanely euthanized by a licensed veterinarian.

(b) Any animal control officer or regional animal control officer appointed pursuant to section 22-328, 22-331 or 22-331a, as applicable, may take physical custody of any animal upon issuance of a warrant finding probable cause that such animal is neglected or is cruelly treated in violation of section 22-366, 22-415, 53-247, 53-248, 53-249, 53-249a, 53-250, 53-251 or 53-252, and shall thereupon proceed as provided in subsection (c) of this section except that if, in the opinion of a licensed veterinarian or the State Veterinarian, at any time after physical custody of such animal is taken, such animal is so injured or diseased that it should be euthanized immediately, such officer may have such animal humanely euthanized by a licensed veterinarian.

(c) Such officer shall file with the superior court which has venue over such matter or with the superior court for the judicial district of Hartford at Hartford a verified petition plainly stating such facts of neglect or cruel treatment as to bring such animal within the jurisdiction of the court and praying for appropriate action by the court in accordance with the provisions of this section. Upon the filing of such petition, the court shall cause a summons to be issued requiring the owner or owners or person having responsibility for the care of the animal, if known, to appear in court at the time and place named.

(d) If physical custody of an animal has been taken pursuant to subsection (a) or (b) of this section and it appears from the allegations of the petition filed pursuant to subsection (c) of this section and other affirmations of fact accompanying the petition, or provided subsequent thereto, that there is reasonable cause to find that the animal's condition or the circumstances surrounding its care require that temporary care and custody be immediately assumed to safeguard its welfare, the court shall either (1) issue an order to show cause why the court should not vest in some suitable state, municipal or other public or private agency or person the animal's temporary care and custody pending a hearing on the petition, or (2) issue an order vesting in some suitable state, municipal or other public or private agency or person the animal's temporary care and custody pending a hearing on the petition. A hearing on the order issued by the court pursuant to subdivision (1) or (2) of this subsection shall be held not later than fourteen days after the issuance of such order. The service of such order may be made by any officer authorized by law to serve process, state police officer or indifferent person and shall be served not less than forty-eight hours prior to the date and time of such hearing. If the owner or owners or person having responsibility for the care of the animal is not known, notice of the time and place of the hearing shall be given by publication in a newspaper having a circulation in the town in which such officer took physical custody of such animal not less than forty-eight hours prior to the date and time of such hearing.

(e) If physical custody of an animal has not been taken pursuant to subsection (a) or (b) of this section, and such officer has reasonable cause to believe that an animal is neglected or is cruelly treated in violation of section 22-366, 22-415, 53-247, 53-248, 53-249, 53-249a, 53-250, 53-251 or 53-252, such officer may file a petition with the superior court which has venue over such matter or with the superior court for the judicial district of Hartford at Hartford, plainly stating such facts of neglect or cruel treatment as to bring the animal within the jurisdiction of the court and praying for appropriate action by the court to ensure the welfare of the animal including, but not limited to, physical removal and temporary care and custody of the animal, authorization of an animal control officer or regional animal control officer appointed pursuant to section 22-328, 22-331 or 22-331a, as applicable, or a licensed veterinarian to provide care for the animal on site, vesting of ownership of the animal, the posting of a bond in accordance with subsection (f) of this section and the assessment of costs in accordance with subsection (h) of this section. Upon the filing of such petition, the court shall cause a summons for an order to show cause to be issued requiring the owner or owners or person having responsibility for the care of the animal, if known, to appear in court at the time and place named. If the owner or owners or person having responsibility for the care of the animal is not known, notice of the time and place of the hearing shall be given by publication in a newspaper having a circulation in the town where the animal is located not less than forty-eight hours prior to the date and time of the hearing. If it appears from the allegations of the petition filed pursuant to this subsection and other affirmations of fact accompanying the petition, or provided subsequent thereto, that there is reasonable cause to find that the animal's condition or the circumstances surrounding its care require the immediate removal of the animal from the owner or owners or person having responsibility for the care of the animal to safeguard its welfare, the court shall issue an order vesting in some suitable state, municipal or other public or private agency or person the animal's temporary care and custody pending a hearing on the petition which hearing shall be held not later than ten days after the issuance of such order for such temporary care and custody. The service of such order may be made by any officer authorized by law to serve process, state police officer or indifferent person and shall be served not less than forty-eight hours prior to the date and time of such hearing.

(f) If the court issues an order vesting the animal's temporary care and custody in some suitable state, municipal or other public or private agency or person, the owner or owners shall either relinquish ownership of the animal or post a surety bond or cash bond with the agency or person in whom the animal's temporary care and custody was vested. The surety bond or cash bond shall be in the amount of five hundred dollars for each animal placed in the temporary care or custody of such agency or person and shall secure payment for the reasonable expenses of the agency or person having temporary care and custody of the animal in caring and providing for such animal until the court makes a finding as to the animal's disposition under subsection (g) of this section. The requirement that a bond be posted may be waived if such owner provides satisfactory evidence that such owner is indigent and unable to pay for such bond.

(g) (1) If, after hearing, the court finds that the animal is neglected or cruelly treated, it shall vest ownership of the animal in any state, municipal or other public or private agency which is permitted by law to care for neglected or cruelly treated animals or with any person found to be suitable or worthy of such responsibility by the court.

(2) If, after hearing, the court finds that the animal is so injured or diseased that it should be humanely euthanized, the court may order that such animal be humanely euthanized by a licensed veterinarian.

(3) If, after hearing, the court finds that the animal is not neglected or cruelly treated, it may cause the animal to be returned to its owner or owners or person having responsibility for its care or, if such owner or owners or person is unknown or unwilling to resume caring for such animal, it may vest ownership of the animal in any state, municipal or other public or private agency or person found to be suitable or worthy of such responsibility.

(4) If the court makes a finding under subdivision (1) or (2) of this subsection less than thirty days after the issuance of an order of temporary care and custody and the owner of the animal has posted a bond, the agency or person with whom the bond was posted shall return the balance of such bond, if any, to the owner. The amount of the bond to be returned to the owner shall be calculated at the rate of fifteen dollars per day per animal or twenty-five dollars per day per animal if the animal is a horse or other large livestock for the number of days less than thirty that such agency or person has not had temporary care and custody of the animal less any veterinary costs and expenses incurred for the welfare of the animal.

(5) If the court makes a finding under subdivision (3) of this subsection after the issuance of an order of temporary care and custody and the owner of the animal has posted a bond, the agency or person with whom the bond was posted shall return such bond to such owner.

(h) If the court finds that the animal is neglected or cruelly treated, the expenses incurred by the state or a municipality in providing proper food, shelter and care to an animal it has taken custody of under subsection (a) or (b) of this section and the expenses incurred by any state, municipal or other public or private agency or person in providing temporary care and custody pursuant to an order vesting temporary care and custody, calculated at the rate of fifteen dollars per day per animal or twenty-five dollars per day per animal if the animal is a horse or other large livestock until the date ownership is vested pursuant to subdivision (1) of subsection (g) of this section shall be paid by the owner or owners or person having responsibility for the care of the animal. In addition, all veterinary costs and expenses incurred for the welfare of the animal that are not covered by the per diem rate shall be paid by the owner or owners or person having responsibility for the animal.

(i) If the court vests ownership of the animal in the Commissioner of Agriculture or a municipality, the commissioner or the municipality may conduct or participate in a public auction of the animal under such conditions the commissioner or the municipality deems necessary or the commissioner or the municipality may consign the animal to an auction or sell the animal through an open advertised bid process whereby bid price and demonstration of sufficient knowledge and ability to care for such animal are factors for the commissioner's or municipality's consideration. All moneys collected from the sale of animals sold by the Commissioner of Agriculture through such open advertised bid process shall be deposited in the animal abuse cost recovery account established in subsection (j) of this section. All moneys collected from the sale of animals sold by a municipality through such open advertised bid process shall be deposited by the town treasurer or other fiscal officer in the town's general fund. The commissioner or the municipality may also vest ownership of any such animal in an individual or a public or private nonprofit animal rescue or adoption organization.

(j) There is established a separate, nonlapsing account within the General Fund, to be known as the “animal abuse cost recovery account”. All moneys collected from sales at public auction of animals seized by the Department of Agriculture pursuant to this section shall be deposited into the account. Deposits of moneys may be made into the account from public or private sources, including, but not limited to, the federal government or municipal governments.

(k) Notwithstanding any provision of the general statutes, any moneys received by the Department of Agriculture pursuant to subsection (j) of this section shall be deposited in the General Fund and credited to the animal abuse cost recovery account. The account shall be available to the Commissioner of Agriculture for the purpose of the housing, care and welfare of any animal seized by the department, until final disposition of such animal. Additionally, the account may be used for the purpose of providing reimbursement to any municipality for the costs of providing temporary care to such animal if such temporary care exceeded thirty days in duration and such costs exceeded the amount of any surety bond or cash bond posted pursuant to subsection (f) of this section provided the total annual reimbursement to municipalities from said account for such purpose shall not exceed twenty-five thousand dollars. Nothing in this section shall prevent the commissioner from obtaining or using funds from sources other than the account for the housing, care and welfare of any animal seized by the department pursuant to this section.

(P.A. 95-358, S. 2; P.A. 98-12, S. 6, 22; P.A. 04-145, S. 1; P.A. 07-230, S. 1; P.A. 12-20, S. 1; P.A. 14-205, S. 1; P.A. 21-90, S. 4.)

History: P.A. 98-12 changed “canine control officer” to “animal control officer” in Subsec. (a), effective July 1, 1998; P.A. 04-145 made a technical change in Subsec. (d) and added Subsecs. (g) authorizing commissioner to conduct public auction of animal and vest ownership of animal in public or private nonprofit animal rescue or adoption organization, (h) and (i) re animal abuse cost recovery account and (j) requiring annual report to General Assembly, effective May 21, 2004; P.A. 07-230 substantially revised section, including amending Subsec. (a) to replace authority of animal control officer to “lawfully take charge of any animal found neglected or cruelly treated” with authority to “take physical custody of any animal when such animal control officer has reasonable cause to believe that such animal is in imminent harm and is neglected or cruelly treated”, require officer to proceed as provided in Subsec. (c) not later than 96 hours after taking physical custody and authorize State Veterinarian, in addition to licensed veterinarian, to opine that the animal “at any time after physical custody of such animal is taken” is so injured or diseased that it should be destroyed immediately, adding new Subsec. (b) re taking physical custody of animal upon issuance of a warrant, redesignating existing Subsec. (b) as Subsec. (c) and amending same to allow petition to be filed with superior court for the judicial district of Hartford at Hartford, require petition to state such facts “of neglect or cruel treatment” as to bring the animal within jurisdiction of the court and delete provisions re service of summons and notice of hearing, redesignating existing Subsec. (c) as Subsec. (d) and amending same to revise process for assumption of temporary care and custody of the animal, adding new Subsec. (e) re process when animal control officer files a petition praying for court action to ensure the welfare of the animal when physical custody has not been taken pursuant to Subsec. (a) or (b), redesignating existing Subsec. (d) as Subsec. (f) and amending same to increase amount of required bond from $450 to $500 and provide that such bond shall secure payment of reasonable expenses until the court makes a finding as to the animal's disposition rather than until the court makes a finding as to the animal's disposition “or for thirty days, whichever occurs first”, redesignating existing Subsec. (e) as Subsec. (g) and amending same to provide in Subdiv. (1) that the court “shall”, rather than “may”, vest ownership in agency if it finds the animal is neglected or cruelly treated, provide in Subdiv. (4) that amount of the bond returned to owner shall be calculated at $15 per day per animal or $25 per day per animal if the animal is a horse or other large livestock, less veterinary costs and expenses, rather than $15 per day, redesignating existing Subsec. (f) as Subsec. (h) and amending same to provide that amount owner must pay for temporary care and custody of the animal shall be calculated at $15 per day per animal or $25 per day per animal if the animal is a horse or other large livestock, rather than $15 per day, and require owner or person having responsibility for the animal to pay all veterinary costs and expenses not covered by the per diem rate, redesignating existing Subsec. (g) as Subsec. (i) and amending same to authorize municipality in which ownership of an animal has been vested to conduct a public auction of the animal, authorize commissioner or municipality to “participate in” a public auction, authorize commissioner or municipality to sell the animal through an open advertised bid process and provide that moneys collected from sale through such bid process shall be deposited in animal abuse cost recovery account if sold by commissioner and in town's general fund if sold by municipality, redesignating existing Subsecs. (h) and (i) as Subsecs. (j) and (k), respectively, and amending same to replace “domestic animals” or “domestic animal” with “animals” or “animal”, respectively, and deleting existing Subsec. (j) requiring commissioner to annually report to certain legislative committees re activities and status of animal abuse cost recovery account; P.A. 12-20 amended Subsec. (i) by deleting conditions re commissioner's or municipality's authority to vest ownership of animal in an individual or certain animal rescue or adoption organizations; P.A. 14-205 amended Subsec. (f) by adding provision re bond in the amount of $500 for each animal placed in temporary care or custody of agency or person and amended Subsec. (k) by adding provision allowing account to be used for providing reimbursement to municipality for costs of providing temporary care to animal if temporary care exceeded 30 days and costs exceeded amount of bond posted, effective June 13, 2014; P.A. 21-90 amended Subsecs. (a) and (b) by changing references from the Chief Animal Control Officer and any animal control officer or municipal or regional animal control officer to any appointed animal control officer or regional animal control officer, and replacing “destroyed” with “euthanized” and “humanely destroy or cause such animal to be humanely destroyed” with “have such animal humanely euthanized by a licensed veterinarian”, amended Subsec. (e) by replacing “the Chief Animal Control Officer, any animal control officer or any municipal or regional animal control officer” with “such officer”, adding reference to appointed regional animal control officer and making a conforming change, and amended Subsec. (g)(2) by replacing “destroyed” with “humanely euthanized” and replacing provision re court order to destroy animal with provision re court order to euthanize animal by licensed veterinarian, effective June 28, 2021.

Sec. 22-331. Municipal animal control officers. Assistants. (a) In each municipality of the state having a population of more than twenty-five thousand which has adopted the provisions of chapter 113, or otherwise provided for a merit system for its employees, the chief of police, or such other appointing authority as the charter may designate, shall, appoint a full-time municipal animal control officer and such assistants as are deemed necessary, subject to the provisions of said chapter 113 or other merit system, to administer and enforce the laws relating to dogs or other domestic animals. Any person so appointed may be or become a member of the police department and for such purpose the legislative body of such municipality may waive any requirements as to age, sex, physical condition, education and training applicable to other members of the police department. Any person so appointed as a member of the police department shall be fully eligible to participate in the retirement system of such department.

(b) Except as provided in section 22-331a, the chief or superintendent of police in each other city or town having a police department and the selectmen or chief executive officer in each town which has no police department, or such other appointing authority as the charter of such town may designate, in their respective jurisdictions, shall appoint a municipal animal control officer and such assistants as are deemed necessary to administer and enforce the laws relating to dogs and other domestic animals. Such officer and assistants shall have such qualifications as the commissioner may prescribe and shall serve for a term of at least one year.

(c) Each appointment made under the provisions of this section shall be reported promptly to the commissioner. Each person appointed under the provisions of subsection (a) of this section shall, and any person appointed under the provisions of subsection (b) of this section may, be paid a salary and expenses in lieu of the fees provided in section 22-334 and the amount thereof shall be transferred from the dog fund account to the appropriation of the proper department.

(d) The municipal animal control officer so appointed in any municipality the limits of which are not coterminous with those of the municipality in which it is located shall have authority as such municipal animal control officer throughout such town, and the town treasurer or other fiscal officer shall annually reimburse the municipality, from the dog fund account, for the salaries and expenses of such officer or his or her assistants. The municipal animal control officer so appointed in any town having a borough within its limits shall have authority as such municipal animal control officer throughout the limits of such town. If, in any municipality, the officer or officers charged with such duty fail to report such appointment, the commissioner shall notify such officer or officers to make and report such appointment within ten days of receipt of such notification, and, if such appointment is not made within such time, the commissioner shall appoint a municipal animal control officer for such municipality.

(e) Notwithstanding any provision of the general statutes or any special act, municipal charter or ordinance, any chief elected official of any municipality or a regional animal control facility may appoint, on a temporary basis not to exceed ninety days, any animal control officer or regional animal control officer appointed pursuant to this section or section 22-331a, as applicable, to act as an animal control officer in such municipality or region. Any animal control officer or regional animal control officer who provides services pursuant to an appointment made in accordance with this subsection shall have all the powers and authority granted to such animal control officer in the municipality or region in which such officer is appointed. Any such appointment made pursuant to this subsection shall be made in writing and be approved by each of the chief elected officials of the municipalities affected by such appointment and by each regional animal control facility that is affected by such appointment. Such written appointment shall include, at a minimum, information concerning the compensation to be paid to such officer, insurance provided to such officer and the use of equipment, if any, for such officer. The Commissioner of Agriculture shall be notified, in writing, of any such appointment made pursuant to this subsection not later than five days following such appointment.

(1949 Rev., S. 3378; 1953, 1955, S. 1816d; 1963, P.A. 613, S. 4; February, 1965, P.A. 144, S. 1; P.A. 91-59, S. 4; P.A. 93-435, S. 33, 95; P.A. 15-103, S. 1; P.A. 21-90, S. 5.)

History: 1963 act made previous provisions Subsecs. (b) and (d), added provisions re appointment of wardens in towns of more than 25,000 population as Subsec. (a), restated provisions in Subsec. (b) re other towns and cities, added Subsec. (c) re report to commissioner of appointments made and allocations for appointees' salaries, revised Subsec. (d) to require town treasurer to reimburse city for wardens' salaries and expenses where town and city boundaries not coterminous and deleted previous provision re warden's power to employ assistants and his duty to report their appointment to commissioner; 1965 act added references to merit system for employees in Subsec. (a); P.A. 91-59 replaced references to “local dog warden” with references to “municipal animal control officer”; P.A. 93-435 made certain technical and grammatical revisions, effective June 28, 1993; P.A. 15-103 amended Subsec. (b) by adding “and other domestic animals”; P.A. 21-90 amended Subsec. (d) by changing references to “city”, “town” and “city or town” to “municipality” and making a technical change and added Subsec. (e) re temporary appointment of animal control officer or regional animal control officer, effective June 28, 2021.

Sec. 22-331a. Regional animal control officers. Pounds. Any two or more towns each of which has a population of less than fifty thousand, and which have or will provide a dog pound facility within their region, by action of their board of selectmen, town council or other governing body, may agree to be served by a regional animal control officer. Upon certification of such agreement to the commissioner with assurances from the towns so certifying that they will provide and continue to provide adequate facilities and compensation for such officer, the commissioner may, after giving due regard to the regional aspects of the proposed facilities and whether the proposed region would be in the best interests of the towns so certifying, establish such region. Each person so appointed shall have the same powers and duties within the region to which he is assigned as a municipal animal control officer in each town therein. All costs of maintaining and operating such pounds and administering and enforcing the laws relating to dogs within such regions shall be paid in accordance with the provisions of the agreement certified to the commissioner under this section. Any pound facility operated pursuant to this section shall meet the construction, maintenance and sanitation standards established pursuant to section 22-336 and any regulations adopted pursuant to said section, including, but not limited to, standards for the handling and transportation of dogs and other domestic animals.

(1963, P.A. 613, S. 5; 1967, P.A. 162, S. 1; 1969, P.A. 81, S. 3; P.A. 82-440, S. 1, 3; P.A. 91-59, S. 5; 91-131, S. 1, 4; P.A. 92-147, S. 3, 4; P.A. 19-8, S. 1; P.A. 21-90, S. 6.)

History: 1967 act combined Subsecs. (a) and (b), redesignating (c) accordingly, rephrased provisions and emphasized necessity for facilities for use as pound in order for regional program to exist; 1969 act replaced references to regional wardens with references to regional canine control officers; P.A. 82-440 amended Subsec. (a) by deleting provisions which made state via its dog fund account responsible for cost of canine control officers' salaries and of maintaining pounds and by making regional canine control officers subject to chapter 67 and amended Subsec. (b) by establishing a procedure for towns participating in regional dog pounds to pay the complete pro rata cost of such pounds; P.A. 91-59 replaced references to “regional canine control officer” and “local dog warden” with references to “regional animal control officer” and “municipal animal control officer”, respectively; P.A. 91-131 added interest and penalty provisions, effective July 1, 1991, and applicable to any assessment due on or after said date; P.A. 92-147 deleted former Subsec. (b) and rewrote section to remove state involvement in the appointment or payment of regional animal control officers; P.A. 19-8 changed requirement for regional facility from two or more contiguous towns each of which has a population of less than 25,000 to two or more towns each of which has a population of less than 50,000; P.A. 21-90 replaced “legislative bodies” with “board of selectmen, town council or other governing body” and added provision re pound facility meeting the construction, maintenance and sanitation standards established pursuant to Sec. 22-336, effective June 28, 2021.

Sec. 22-332. Impoundment and disposition of roaming, injured or mistreated animals. Authority to spay or neuter unclaimed dog. Liability for provision of veterinary care to injured, sick or diseased impounded animal. (a) Any animal control officer or regional animal control officer appointed pursuant to section 22-328, 22-331 or 22-331a, as applicable, shall be responsible for the enforcement of this chapter and shall make diligent search and inquiry for any violation of any of its provisions. Any such officer may take into custody (1) any dog found roaming in violation of the provisions of section 22-364, (2) any dog not having a tag or plate on a collar about its neck or on a harness on its body as provided by law or which is not confined or controlled in accordance with the provisions of any order or regulation relating to rabies issued by the commissioner in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, or (3) any dog or other domestic animal found injured on any highway, neglected, abandoned or cruelly treated. The officer shall impound such dog or other domestic animal at the pound serving the town where the dog or other domestic animal is taken unless, in the opinion of a licensed veterinarian, the dog or other domestic animal is so injured or diseased that it should be euthanized immediately, in which case the municipal animal control officer of such town may have such dog or other animal humanely euthanized by a licensed veterinarian or disposed of as the State Veterinarian may direct. The officer shall immediately notify the owner or keeper of any dog or other animal so taken, if known, of its impoundment. If the owner or keeper of any such dog or other domestic animal is unknown, the officer shall immediately tag or employ other suitable means of official identification of the dog or other domestic animal and shall promptly cause (A) a description of such dog or other domestic animal to be published once in the lost and found column of a newspaper having a circulation in such town or that has a state-wide circulation, and (B) a photograph or description of such dog or other domestic animal and the date on which such dog or other domestic animal is no longer legally required to be impounded to be posted on a national pet adoption Internet web site or an Internet web site that is maintained or accessed by the animal control officer and that is accessible to the public through an Internet search, except such posting shall not be required if: (i) The dog or other domestic animal is held pending the resolution of civil or criminal litigation involving such dog or other domestic animal, (ii) the officer has a good faith belief that the dog or other domestic animal would be adopted by or transferred to a public or private nonprofit rescue organization for the purpose of placing such dog or other domestic animal in an adoptive home even in the absence of such posting, (iii) the dog or other domestic animal's safety will be placed at risk, or (iv) such animal control officer determines that such dog or other domestic animal is feral and not adoptable. If any animal control officer does not have the technological resources to post such information on an Internet web site as required by subparagraph (B) of this subdivision, such officer may contact a public or private animal rescue organization and request that such organization post such information, at such organization's expense, on an Internet web site that is accessible to the public through an Internet search. To the extent practicable, any such posting by an animal control officer or a public or private animal rescue organization shall remain posted for the duration of such dog's or other domestic animal's impoundment in the municipal or regional dog pound.

(b) If such dog or other domestic animal is not claimed by and released to the owner within seven days after the date of publication, such officer, upon finding such dog or other domestic animal to be in satisfactory health, may have a licensed veterinarian spay or neuter such dog and sell such dog or other domestic animal to any person who satisfies such officer that such person is purchasing such dog or other domestic animal as a pet and that such person can give it a good home and proper care. Such officer may retain possession of such dog or other domestic animal for such additional period of time as such officer may deem advisable in order to place such dog or other domestic animal as a pet and may have a licensed veterinarian spay or neuter such dog. If, within such period, any dog or other domestic animal is not claimed by and released to the owner or keeper or purchased as a pet, the officer shall cause such dog or other domestic animal to be humanely euthanized by a licensed veterinarian or disposed of as the State Veterinarian may direct. Any veterinarian who so euthanizes a dog shall be paid from the dog fund account. No person who euthanizes a dog or other domestic animal shall be held criminally or civilly liable therefor nor shall any licensed veterinarian who spays or neuters a dog pursuant to this section be held civilly liable.

(c) The town treasurer or other fiscal officer shall pay from the dog fund account the advertising expense incurred under the provisions of this section upon receipt of an itemized statement together with a copy of the advertisement as published. Any person who purchases a dog as a pet shall pay a fee of five dollars and procure a license and tag for such dog from the town clerk, in accordance with the provisions of section 22-338. In addition to the five-dollar fee, any person who purchases a dog as a pet may be charged the cost the municipality incurred, if any, to spay or neuter and vaccinate the dog, provided such charge shall not exceed one hundred fifty dollars.

(d) No regional or municipal dog pound facility, municipality, animal control officer or regional animal control officer appointed pursuant to section 22-328, 22-331, or 22-331a, as applicable, or public or private nonprofit animal rescue organization that arranges for the provision of treatment by a licensed veterinarian to an injured, sick or diseased animal pursuant to a contract described in section 22-332e shall be held civilly liable for such actions unless such actions are performed in a wanton, reckless or malicious manner. No licensed veterinarian who provides treatment free of charge or for a reduced fee, to an injured, sick or diseased animal as a direct result of a contract described in section 22-332e shall be held civilly liable for the provision of such treatment unless such actions are performed in a wilful, wanton or reckless manner.

(1949 Rev., S. 3379; 1951, S. 710b; 1953, 1955, S. 1817d; 1961, P.A. 517, S. 21; 1963, P.A. 14, S. 3; 613, S. 35; 1969, P.A. 81, S. 4; 1971, P.A. 76; P.A. 74-183, S. 246, 291; P.A. 76-436, S. 212, 681; P.A. 78-280, S. 1, 127; P.A. 80-315, S. 1; P.A. 86-45, S. 1; P.A. 91-59, S. 6; P.A. 93-435, S. 34, 95; P.A. 96-243, S. 15, 16; P.A. 98-12, S. 8, 22; P.A. 03-137, S. 1; P.A. 11-111, S. 2; P.A. 13-105, S. 1; P.A. 14-122, S. 38; P.A. 15-103, S. 2; P.A. 16-89, S. 5; P.A. 21-90, S. 7.)

History: 1961 act substituted “prosecuting attorney for the circuit court of the circuit within which the dog is found” for “local prosecuting attorney”; 1963 acts divided section into Subsecs., allowed immediate destruction of animal if necessary, deleted provision that dog be kept for 120 hours, required notification of state warden if dog unclaimed after 3 days from published notice, revised and clarified provisions re disposition of dog if unclaimed after 7 days, replaced “dog license fund” with “dog fund account”, specified that hospitals, laboratories, etc. purchasing unclaimed dogs need not procure dog license and raised purchase fee for pets from $4 to $5; 1969 act replaced references to wardens with references to canine control officers as appropriate; 1971 act deleted provision in Subsec. (b) re warden to notify chief canine control officer of dog's capture and dog's description; P.A. 74-183 replaced circuit court with court of common pleas and “circuit” with “county or judicial district” in Subsec. (a); P.A. 76-436 replaced court of common pleas with superior court and “prosecuting attorney” with “office of the state's attorney”, effective July 1, 1978; P.A. 78-280 deleted reference to counties; P.A. 80-315 deleted provisions in Subsecs. (b) and (c) which had allowed hospitals, laboratories, etc. to purchase unclaimed dogs; P.A. 86-45 amended Subsec. (a) by deleting provision re reporting of violations to the state's attorney; P.A. 91-59 replaced references to “local dog warden” with references to “municipal animal control officer”; P.A. 93-435 made certain technical and grammatical revisions, effective June 28, 1993; P.A. 96-243 included “other animals” within the coverage of this section, effective June 6, 1996; P.A. 98-12 changed “canine control officer” to “animal control officer” in Subsec. (a), effective July 1, 1998; P.A. 03-137 amended Subsec. (b) to add provisions re authority to neuter or spay and re civil liability therefor; P.A. 11-111 amended Subsec. (a) by adding authority to publish description of animal in a newspaper with a state-wide circulation, adding requirement that a photograph or description of animal no longer required to be impounded be posted on a national pet adoption Internet web site or other Internet web site maintained or accessed by the animal control officer and adding exceptions to such requirement for animals held pending the resolution of litigation, animals that will otherwise be adopted, animals that will be placed at a safety risk by such a posting and animals that are not adoptable, and added Subsec. (d) re liability of dog pound facilities, municipalities, animal control officers, animal rescue organizations and veterinarians who arrange or provide veterinary treatment to an injured, sick or diseased animal pursuant to Sec. 22-332e; P.A. 13-105 amended Subsec. (c) by adding provision authorizing municipality to charge cost incurred to spay or neuter and vaccinate dog, not to exceed $150; P.A. 14-122 made a technical change in Subsec. (a); P.A. 15-103 amended Subsecs. (a) and (b) by adding references to other domestic animal and making technical changes; P.A. 16-89 amended Subsec. (a) to make a technical change, effective June 1, 2016; P.A. 21-90 amended Subsec. (a) by replacing reference to the Chief Animal Control Officer and any animal control officer or municipal animal control officer with any appointed animal control officer or regional animal control officer, replacing “destroyed” with “euthanized” and “cause the dog or other domestic animal to be mercifully killed” with “have such dog or other animal humanely euthanized”, deleting “domestic” before “animal”, deleting provision re officer to notify owner or keeper of any other domestic animal taken into custody, deleting provision re approval by Chief Animal Control Officer of means of identification and making technical and conforming changes, amended Subsec. (b) by replacing references to municipal animal control officer with such officer, replacing “mercifully killed” with “humanely euthanized”, replacing references to “destroys” and “so destroys” with “euthanizes” and deleting reference to liability for reconstructive neutical implantation surgery and amended Subsec. (d) by replacing reference to regional or municipal animal control officer with appointed animal control officer or regional animal control officer, effective June 28, 2021.

Sec. 22-344f. Veterinarian examination of cat or dog imported into state by animal importer or person operating or maintaining animal shelter. Records of veterinary services rendered. Fines. (a) Any animal importer and any person who operates or maintains an animal shelter, as defined in section 22-344, shall, not later than forty-eight hours after importing any dog or cat into this state and prior to the sale, adoption or transfer of such dog or cat to any person, provide for the examination of such dog or cat by a veterinarian licensed under chapter 384. Thereafter, such animal importer or person who operates or maintains an animal shelter shall provide for the examination of such dog or cat by a veterinarian licensed under chapter 384 every ninety days until such dog or cat is sold, adopted or transferred, provided no such dog or cat shall be sold, adopted or transferred to another person by an animal importer or person who operates or maintains an animal shelter unless (1) such dog or cat was examined by a veterinarian licensed under chapter 384 not more than fifteen days prior to the sale, adoption or transfer of such dog or cat, and (2) such veterinarian provides such animal importer or person who operates or maintains an animal shelter with a written certificate stating that such dog or cat is free of any symptoms of any illness, infectious, contagious or communicable disease. Such certificate shall list the name, address and contact information of such animal importer or person who operates or maintains an animal shelter. Any animal importer or person who operates or maintains an animal shelter who violates the provisions of this subsection shall be fined for a first violation, two hundred fifty dollars for each animal that is the subject of such violation, and for any subsequent violation, five hundred dollars for each animal that is the subject of such violation.

(b) Each animal importer and each person who operates or maintains an animal shelter shall maintain a record of the veterinary services rendered to each dog or cat imported into this state by such animal importer or person. Such record shall be maintained by such animal importer or person for a period of three years. Any animal importer or such person who violates the provisions of this subsection shall be fined two hundred fifty dollars for a first violation and five hundred dollars for any subsequent violation.

(P.A. 11-187, S. 2; P.A. 21-90, S. 8.)

History: P.A. 21-90 amended Subsec. (a) by adding references to person who operates or maintains animal shelter and changing fine from not more than $500 for each animal that is the subject of violation to $250 for each animal that is the subject of violation, for a first violation, and $500 for each animal that is the subject of such violation, for any subsequent offense, and amended Subsec. (b) by adding references to person who operates or maintains animal shelter and changing fine from $500 to $250 for a first violation and $500 for any subsequent violation, effective June 28, 2021.

Sec. 22-351a. *(See end of section for amended version of subsection (c) and effective date.) Liability for intentionally killing or injuring companion animal. (a) For the purposes of this section, “companion animal” means a domesticated dog or cat that is normally kept in or near the household of its owner or keeper and is dependent on a person for food, shelter and veterinary care, but does not include a dog or cat kept for farming or biomedical research practices.

(b) Any person who intentionally kills or injures a companion animal, except in defense of such person or another person or as otherwise authorized by law, shall be liable to the owner of such companion animal for economic damages sustained by such owner including, but not limited to, expenses of veterinary care, the fair monetary value of the companion animal and burial expenses for the companion animal.

*(c) In addition to any economic damages awarded pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, and except as provided in subsection (d) of this section, the court may award punitive damages in an amount not to exceed the jurisdictional monetary limit established by subsection (d) of section 51-15, together with a reasonable attorney's fee.

(d) The court shall not assess punitive damages and a reasonable attorney's fee pursuant to subsection (c) of this section against: (1) A veterinarian licensed pursuant to chapter 384 while following accepted standards of practice of the profession, (2) the state or any political subdivision of the state or any employee, officer or agent thereof while acting within the scope of such employee's, officer's or agent's employment or official duties, or (3) an employee of or volunteer for a nonprofit organization or nonprofit corporation organized and operated exclusively for the prevention of cruelty to animals or the protection of stray, abandoned or mistreated animals while acting within the scope of such employee's or volunteer's employment or duties.

(P.A. 04-239, S. 1.)

*Note: On and after July 1, 2022, subsection (c) of this section, as amended by section 14 of public act 21-197, is to read as follows:

“(c) In addition to any economic damages awarded pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, and except as provided in subsection (d) of this section, the court may award punitive damages in an amount not to exceed the jurisdictional monetary limit established by subdivision (1) of subsection (d) of section 51-15, together with a reasonable attorney's fee.”

(P.A. 04-239, S. 1; P.A. 21-197, S. 14.)

History: P.A. 21-197 amended Subsec. (c) to replace reference to Sec. 51-15(d) with reference to Sec. 51-15(d)(1), effective July 1, 2022.

Sec. 22-359f. Request for reduction of quarantine period after potential rabies exposure of animal. Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter, the Commissioner of Agriculture shall develop a waiver request process and form for the owner, keeper or veterinarian for any animal that was attacked and that may have been exposed to rabies as a result of such attack to request a reduction of the requisite quarantine period for such animal from six months to four months if such owner, keeper or veterinarian submits proof with such waiver request that such animal was vaccinated for rabies not more than ninety-six hours after such attack. Such waiver request process and form shall be: (1) Posted on the Internet web site of the Department of Agriculture, (2) made publicly available and accessible, and (3) made known to veterinarians throughout the state by said department.

(P.A. 21-90, S. 9.)

History: P.A. 21-90 effective June 28, 2021.