New Connecticut Legislation Can Affect Dog Owners in the State
If you're a dog owner, especially if your dog shares some time outside as well as inside, then you should pay attention to new legislation that could become a law in Connecticut.
The new proposal before the Planning and Development Committee would primarily address a new requirement for sheltering pets when weather conditions become extreme.
According to newstimes.com, the bill would give animal control officers the power to enforce rules if animals are being exposed to extreme weather conditions when they are tethered on a chain or leash outside the home.
Similar laws were passed back in 2013, but the existing law is not as clear as it has to be to let Animal Control Officers take action in these type of cases.
The latest bill would now define specific conditions and adequate shelters for the animal. The pet should be able to sit, lie down, and be able to have enough room to turn in his or her enclosure. Also, the shelter will need to be well constructed and enclosed and insulated during the winter months.
Other added stipulations to the bill would be if there is a weather advisory or warning for heat, cold, snow, or any type of severe weather issued by the National Weather Service, that may pose a safety or health risk to the pet, owners would be prohibited from keeping the animal tied up outside for longer than 15 minutes unless that pet is in an adequate shelter.
Also included in the new legislation would be a stipulation that says that the prior rules would only be enforced if the pets owner is not outside with the animal at the time of the warning or advisory.
This new proposal is not a slam dunk at getting passed as a few lawmakers have some reservations with the language of the bill. Some want more of a stipulation about different breeds of dogs like sporting dogs, who for the most part spend a great deal of time outside. Another concern is not making the proposal a one size fits all bill when your dealing with a complicated issue like sheltering and tethering. This has come back to bit Animal Control Officers in the past when they didn't have the specific language in the law to prosecute offenders.
Either way, the bill is receiving bipartisan backing in the General Assembly, and received overwhelming public support at a hearing last month, so look for it to become the new law of the land very soon.
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