A bill has been signed into law by Governor Malloy, aimed at improving conditions at brick and mortar private nonprofit animal shelters. They would be required to register with the Department of Agriculture and to comply with local zoning requirements. The bill was introduced by Monroe Representative J.P. Sredzinski, House Republican Leader Themis Klarides and Representatives Brenda Kupchick and Nicole Klarides-Ditria.
Kupchick brought this legislation forward in 2012 after a number of animals died at a private animal facility, which was run by Fred Acker. Last year, the Klarides sisters went to adopt a cat from a Monroe-based animal shelter run by Acker. They found the animals sick due to deplorable conditions.
Under the bill, the Department of Agriculture must issue a registration to an applicant upon application and payment of a $50 fee if the applicant complies with applicable state regulations and, for an initial registration, municipal zoning requirements. A registration is effective until the second December 31 following issuance, may be renewed biennially by December 31, and may be transferred to another premise with the commissioner’s approval.
The bill authorizes the commissioner, or his agent, to inspect an animal shelter at any time. If, in his judgement, the shelter is not being maintained in a sanitary and humane manner that protects public safety, or if he finds that contagious, infectious, or communicable disease or other unsatisfactory conditions exist, he may fine the shelter up to $500 for each affected animal, issue orders necessary to correct the conditions, and quarantine the premises and animals.
In addition, if a shelter fails to comply with the commissioner’s regulations or orders or any state law relating to animals, the commissioner may revoke or suspend its registration. The order may appeal to Superior Court.
Anyone operating a shelter without a valid registration is subject to a fine of up to $200.