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Connecticut

Connecticut General Statutes Annotated. Title 53. Crimes. Chapter 945. (Offenses Against Humanity and Morality) Cruelty to Animals. Title 29. Public Safety and State Police. Chapter 530A. Connecticut Humane Society.

Statute Details
Printable Version
Citation: CT ST 53-242 - 254; 29-108a - 108i

Citation: C. G. S. A. 53-242 - 254; 29-108a - 108i


Last Checked by Web Center Staff: 11/2013

Summary:   This Connecticut section contains the state's anti-cruelty and animal fighting provisions.  Any person who overdrives, drives when overloaded, overworks, tortures, deprives of necessary sustenance, mutilates or cruelly beats or kills or unjustifiably injures any animal, or fails to give an animal in his or her custody proper care, among other things shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned not more than one year or both; a subsequent offense is a Class D felony.  Any person who maliciously and intentionally maims, mutilates, tortures, wounds or kills an animal is also guilty of a Class D felony. Animal fighting is also prohibited under this section as a Class D felony.  Connecticut has a cruelty to poultry law that provides that any crate or other container used for the purpose of transporting, shipping or holding for sale any live poultry must be in a sanitary condition with sufficient ventilation and warmth to prevent unnecessary suffering.  Other provisions include laws against dyeing chicks and rabbits, docking horses' tails, and the use of animals, birds, or reptiles to solicit money.


Statute in Full:

Title 53. Crimes.  Chapter 945. (Offenses Against Humanity and Morality) Cruelty to Animals.

Enforcement provisions for §§ 53-247to 53-251

§§ 53-242 to 53-246. Repealed. (1969, P.A. 828, § 214, eff. Oct. 1, 1971.)

§ 53-247. Cruelty to animals. Animals engaged in exhibition of fighting. Intentional injury or killing of police animals or dogs in volunteer canine search and rescue teams

§ 53-248. Sale or treatment of animals unable to work

§ 53-249. Cruelty to poultry

§ 53-249a. Sale or gift of dyed fowl or rabbits prohibited

§ 53-250. Use of animals, reptiles and birds

§ 53-251. Docking of horses' tails

§ 53-252. Transportation of animals on railroads

§ 53-253. Notice of arrest of offender to be given

§ 53-254. Repealed. (1969, P.A. 828, § 214, eff. Oct. 1, 1971.)

§§ 53-255 to 53-258. Repealed. (1969, P.A. 828, § 214, eff. Oct. 1, 1971.)

Title 29. Public Safety and State Police. Chapter 530A. Connecticut Humane Society.

§ 29-108a. Definitions

§ 29-108b. Appointment of agents as special police officers

§ 29-108c. Prevention of cruelty to animals

§ 29-108d. Disposition of animal or vehicle of person arrested

§ 29-108e. Detention and disposition of neglected or cruelly treated animals

§ 29-108f. Repealed. (1992, P.A. 92-242, § 2.)

§ 29-108g. Destruction of animal in the charge of the society

§ 29-108h. Use of high altitude euthanasia devices prohibited

§ 29-108i. Officers and agents to have certificates or badges

 

 

Title 53. Crimes.  Chapter 945. (Offenses Against Humanity and Morality) Cruelty to Animals.

§ 53-247. Cruelty to animals. Animals engaged in exhibition of fighting. Intentional injury or killing of police animals or dogs in volunteer canine search and rescue teams

(a) Any person who overdrives, drives when overloaded, overworks, tortures, deprives of necessary sustenance, mutilates or cruelly beats or kills or unjustifiably injures any animal, or who, having impounded or confined any animal, fails to give such animal proper care or neglects to cage or restrain any such animal from doing injury to itself or to another animal or fails to supply any such animal with wholesome air, food and water, or unjustifiably administers any poisonous or noxious drug or substance to any domestic animal or unjustifiably exposes any such drug or substance, with intent that the same shall be taken by an animal, or causes it to be done, or, having charge or custody of any animal, inflicts cruelty upon it or fails to provide it with proper food, drink or protection from the weather or abandons it or carries it or causes it to be carried in a cruel manner, or fights with or baits, harasses or worries any animal for the purpose of making it perform for amusement, diversion or exhibition, shall, for a first offense, be fined not more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than one year or both, and for each subsequent offense, shall be guilty of a class D felony.

(b) Any person who maliciously and intentionally maims, mutilates, tortures, wounds or kills an animal shall be guilty of a class D felony. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to any licensed veterinarian while following accepted standards of practice of the profession or to any person while following approved methods of slaughter under section 22-272a, while performing medical research as an employee of, student in or person associated with any hospital, educational institution or laboratory, while following generally accepted agricultural practices or while lawfully engaged in the taking of wildlife.

(c) Any person who knowingly (1) owns, possesses, keeps or trains an animal engaged in an exhibition of fighting for amusement or gain, (2) possesses, keeps or trains an animal with the intent that it be engaged in an exhibition of fighting for amusement or gain, (3) permits an act described in subdivision (1) or (2) of this subsection to take place on premises under his control, (4) acts as judge or spectator at an exhibition of animal fighting for amusement or gain, or (5) bets or wagers on the outcome of an exhibition of animal fighting for amusement or gain, shall be guilty of a class D felony.

(d) Any person who intentionally injures any animal while such animal is in the performance of its duties under the supervision of a peace officer, as defined in section 53a-3, or intentionally injures a dog that is a member of a volunteer canine search and rescue team, as defined in section 5-249, while such dog is in the performance of its duties under the supervision of the active individual member of such team, shall be guilty of a class D felony.

(e) Any person who intentionally kills any animal while such animal is in the performance of its duties under the supervision of a peace officer, as defined in section 53a-3, or intentionally kills a dog that is a member of a volunteer canine search and rescue team, as defined in section 5-249, while such dog is in the performance of its duties under the supervision of the active individual member of such team, shall be fined not more than ten thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

Credits

(1949 Rev., § 8571; 1971, P.A. 99; 1984, P.A. 84-181; 1989, P.A. 89-121; 1990, P.A. 90-325, § 30, eff. June 6, 1990; 1991, P.A. 91-35, § 3, eff. April 22, 1991; 1993, P.A. 93-36; 1996, P.A. 96-243, § 8, eff. June 6, 1996; 2004, P.A. 04-241, § 4; 2012, P.A. 12-86, § 1; 2013, P.A. 13-258, § 114.)

 

 

§ 53-248. Sale or treatment of animals unable to work

Any person who sells, offers for sale, trades or gives away any horse for the purpose of being worked, which could not be worked in this state without violating the provisions of section 53-247, or any person who leads, rides or drives an animal on any public highway for any purpose except that of conveying the animal to a suitable place for its humane keeping or killing or for medical or surgical treatment, which animal could not be worked in this state without violating the provisions of said section, shall be fined not more than two hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than six months or both.

CREDIT(S)

(1949 Rev., § 8572.)

 

§ 53-249. Cruelty to poultry

Any crate or other container used for the purpose of transporting, shipping or holding for sale any live poultry shall be in a sanitary condition and shall be constructed so as to provide sufficient ventilation and warmth, and such poultry, while in such container, shall receive such reasonable care as may be required to prevent unnecessary suffering. Any person who violates any provision of this section shall be guilty of a class D misdemeanor.

Credits

(1949 Rev., § 8573; 2012, P.A. 12-80, § 106.)

 

 

§ 53-249a. Sale or gift of dyed fowl or rabbits prohibited

Any person who sells or offers for sale at retail or gives away, living chickens, ducklings, other fowl or rabbits, which have been dyed, colored or otherwise treated so as to import to them an artificial color, shall be fined not more than one hundred fifty dollars.

CREDIT(S)

(1965, Feb.Sp.Sess., P.A. 82, § 1; 2010, P.A. 10-32, § 149, eff. May 10, 2010.)

 

§ 53-250. Use of animals, reptiles and birds

Any person who uses any animal, reptile or bird for the purpose of soliciting any alms, collection, contribution, subscription, donation or payment of money, or uses any animal or bird as a prize or award in the operation of any game or device, or exhibits any wild animal in connection with any business for the purpose of attracting trade upon any street, highway or public park or at any fair, exhibition or place of amusement, recreation or entertainment, or owns, keeps or has in his custody any animal, reptile or bird for any such purpose, shall be guilty of a class D misdemeanor, but no provision of this section shall be construed so as to apply to the exhibition of any animal, reptile or bird by any educational institution or in a zoological garden or in connection with any theatrical exhibition or circus or to the use of any animal in a cow-chip raffle.

Credits

(1949 Rev., § 8574; 1990, P.A. 90-325, § 31, eff. June 6, 1990; 1991, P.A. 91-35, § 4, eff. April 22, 1991; 2012, P.A. 12-80, § 107.)

 

§ 53-251. Docking of horses' tails

(a) Any person who cuts the bone of the tail of any horse for the purpose of docking the tail or who cuts the muscles or tendons of the tail of a horse, or otherwise operates upon it in any manner for the purpose or with the effect of altering the natural carriage of the tail, or who causes or knowingly permits such cutting or operation to be done upon premises of which he is the owner, lessee, proprietor or user, or assists in or is present at such cutting or operation, shall be fined not more than three hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than one year or both. Any horse with a tail set or apparently with a tail set shall be accessible and subject to inspection by any officer or agent of the Connecticut Humane Society.

(b) If a horse is found with the bone, muscles or tendons of its tail so cut and with the wound resulting from such cutting unhealed upon the premises of any person, such facts shall be prima facie evidence that the person who occupies or has the use of the premises on which such horse is so found has committed the offense described in subsection (a). If a horse is found with the bone, muscles or tendons of its tail so cut and with the wound resulting from such cutting unhealed in the charge or custody of any person, such facts shall be prima facie evidence that the person having the charge or custody of such horse has committed the offense charged in said subsection (a).

(c) No provision of this section shall be construed to prevent the operation by a registered veterinarian upon the tail of a horse when such operation is necessary for the health of the horse or is the means of effecting the natural carriage of its tail.

CREDIT(S)

(1949 Rev., § 8575.)

 

§ 53-252. Transportation of animals on railroads

No railroad company, in transporting animals, shall permit them to be confined in cars more than twenty-eight consecutive hours, except when transported in cars in which they have proper food, water, space and opportunity for rest, without unloading them for food, water and rest, for at least five consecutive hours, unless prevented by storm or other accidental cause; and, in estimating such confinement, the time during which the animals have been confined, without such rest, on connecting roads from which they are received, shall be included. Animals so unloaded shall be properly fed, watered and sheltered during such rest by the owner or person having their custody or, on his neglect, by the railroad company transporting them, at his expense; and such company shall, in such case, have a lien upon such animals for food, care and custody furnished and shall not be liable for any detention of them for such purpose. Any such company or the owner or custodian of such animals, who does not comply with the provisions of this section, shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars. The knowledge and acts of agents of, and of persons employed by, such company, in regard to animals transported, owned or employed by it or in its custody, shall be held to be its acts and knowledge.

CREDIT(S)

(1949 Rev., § 8577.)

 

§ 53-253. Notice of arrest of offender to be given

Any person making an arrest for a violation of the laws relating to cruelty to animals shall use reasonable diligence to give notice thereof to the owner of animals found in the charge or custody of the person arrested and shall properly care and provide for them until their owner takes charge of them, provided the owner shall take charge of them within sixty days from the date of such notice; and the person making such arrest shall have a lien on such animals for the expense of such care and provision.

CREDIT(S)

(1949 Rev., § 8578.)

 

§ 53-254. Repealed. (1969, P.A. 828, § 214, eff. Oct. 1, 1971.)

 

§§ 53-255 to 53-258. Repealed. (1969, P.A. 828, § 214, eff. Oct. 1, 1971.)

 

Title 29. Public Safety and State Police. Chapter 530A. Connecticut Humane Society.

§ 29-108a. Definitions

The terms “animals” and “animal”, as used in this chapter and in sections 53-247, 53-252 and 53-253, shall include all brute creatures and birds.

CREDIT(S)

(1949 Rev., § 2915; 1958 Rev., § 17-22.)


§ 29-108b. Appointment of agents as special police officers

The Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection may appoint, at the request of the Connecticut Humane Society, accredited agents of that society as special police officers to serve for two years from the date of their respective appointments, subject to removal by said commissioner. Such officers shall serve without pay, except their regular compensation as agents of said society. They shall receive no fees for service or return of any criminal process and shall have, throughout the state, the powers of constables and police officers to arrest and detain any person violating any provision of the statutes concerning cruelty to animals.

CREDIT(S)

(1949 Rev., § 2917; 1958 Rev., § 17-23; 1977, P.A. 77-614, § 486, eff. Jan. 1, 1979; 1988, P.A. 88-156, § 11; 2000, P.A. 00-99, § 137, eff. Dec. 1, 2000; 2011, P.A. 11-51, § 134(a), eff. July, 1, 2011.)


§ 29-108c. Prevention of cruelty to animals

Any officer or agent of the Connecticut Humane Society may lawfully interfere to prevent the perpetration of any act of cruelty upon any animal in his presence, and any person who interferes with or obstructs or resists any such officer or agent in the discharge of his duty shall be fined not more than fifty dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty days.

Credits

(1949 Rev., § 2916; 1958 Rev., § 17-24.)


§ 29-108d. Disposition of animal or vehicle of person arrested

When any person arrested under any provision of the laws relating to cruelty to animals is, at the time of such arrest, in charge of any vehicle drawn by or containing any animal cruelly treated, any agent or officer of the Connecticut Humane Society may take charge of such animal and of such vehicle and its contents, and shall give notice thereof to the owner, if known, at his last-known address by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, and if the owner is not known, by publication in a newspaper having a circulation in the town in which the society took charge of such animal. The society shall care and provide for the animal and the vehicle and its contents until their owner takes charge of them or, if the state claims such seized property is a nuisance, until they are destroyed or disposed of in accordance with section 54-33g. The society shall have a lien on any such animal and vehicle for the expenses of such care and provision.

CREDIT(S)

(1949 Rev., § 2918; 1958 Rev., § 17-25; 1988, P.A. 88-325, § 2.)


§ 29-108e. Detention and disposition of neglected or cruelly treated animals

(a) Any officer or agent of the Connecticut Humane Society may lawfully take charge of any animal found neglected or cruelly treated, in violation of sections 22-366, 22-415 and 53-247 to 53-252, inclusive, and shall thereupon proceed as provided in subsection (b) of this section, except that if, in the opinion of a licensed veterinarian, such animal is so injured or diseased that it should be destroyed immediately, such officer or agent may humanely destroy or cause such animal to be humanely destroyed.

(b) Such officer or agent shall file with the superior court which has venue over such matter a verified petition plainly stating such facts 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, which summons shall be served not less than fourteen days before the date of the 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 the society took charge of such animal not less than fourteen days before the date of the hearing. Such court shall further give notice to the petitioner of the time and place of the hearing not less than fourteen days before the date of the hearing.

(c) If it appears from the allegations of the petition 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 its custody be immediately assumed to safeguard its welfare, the court shall either (1) issue an order to the owner or owners or person having responsibility for the care of the animal to show cause at such time as the court may designate why the court shall not vest in some suitable 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 agency or person the animal's temporary care and custody pending a hearing on the petition which hearing shall be held within ten days from the issuance of such order on the need for such temporary care and custody. The service of such orders may be made by any officer authorized by law to serve process, state police officer or indifferent person.

(d) (1) If, after hearing, the court finds that the animal is neglected or cruelly treated, it may vest ownership of the animal in any private or public 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 destroyed, the court may order that such animal be humanely destroyed.

(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 private or public agency or person found to be suitable or worthy of such responsibility.

(e) Unless the court finds that the animal is not neglected or cruelly treated, the expense incurred by the society in providing proper food, shelter and care to an animal it has taken charge of under subsection (a) of this section and the expense incurred by an agency or person in providing temporary care and custody to an animal under subsection (c) of this section shall be paid by the owner or owners or person having responsibility for the care of the animal and the society or such agency or person shall have a lien upon such animal for such expense.

CREDIT(S)

(1949 Rev., § 2920; 1958 Rev., § 17-27; 1988 P.A. 88-325, § 3; 1992, P.A. 92-242, § 1.)


§ 29-108f. Repealed. (1992, P.A. 92-242, § 2.)

 

§ 29-108g. Destruction of animal in the charge of the society

Any agent or officer of the Connecticut Humane Society may lawfully take charge of and humanely destroy, or cause to be humanely destroyed, any abandoned, lost, strayed or homeless animal or animal unsuitable for adoption in his charge if upon examination a licensed veterinarian certifies, in writing, or if two persons called to view the animal in the presence of an agent or officer of the society find that the animal is injured, disabled or diseased past recovery, infirm or unsuitable for adoption, or if the owner consents in writing to such destruction. In the absence of such certification or finding or redemption by the owner, the society may, after five days, humanely destroy any animal in its charge pursuant to this section. In lieu of such destruction or redemption by the owner, the society may, in its discretion and without liability, deliver such animal, after five days, to a person other than the owner.

CREDIT(S)

(1949 Rev., § 2922; 1958 Rev., § 17-29; 1988, P.A. 88-325, § 5.)


§ 29-108h. Use of high altitude euthanasia devices prohibited

No person or organization shall use any high altitude device for the purpose of destroying any animal, and on or after January 1, 1981, no person or organization shall possess any high altitude device for such purpose.

CREDIT(S)

(1958 Rev., § 17-29a; 1979, P.A. 79-155, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1980.)


§ 29-108i. Officers and agents to have certificates or badges

Officers and agents of said society shall be provided by said society with certificates that they are such officers or agents, in such form as the directors of said society may choose, or with badges bearing the name or seal of said society, and shall, if requested, show such certificates or badges when acting officially.

CREDIT(S)

(1949 Rev., § 2923; 1958 Rev., § 17-30.)

 



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