What You Need to Know About Connecticut Dog Laws

At Hebron Veterinary Hospital, we believe it’s important for you to know everything possible about taking care of your dog. We do our part to help you keep your best friend healthy. We also encourage you to keep them legal by knowing and understanding Connecticut Dog Laws.

Unless you’re a legal professional, you’ve probably never read Connecticut General Statutes, Chapter 435, Section 22. It contains a long list of laws that govern dog ownership, responsibilities, behavior, and legal issues. These statures are not that difficult to read or understand. If you prefer not to wade through the legalese, here are a few important Connecticut dog laws you should know about.

Liability for Dog Bites

As the American Veterinary Medical Foundation warns us, “…the cuddliest, fuzziest, sweetest pet can bite if provoked.” Dogs feel provoked over situations you wouldn’t consider. They bite to protect their territory, they bite when they’re sick and for many other reasons. It’s up to you to monitor your dog and prevent situations where they may feel provoked and attack someone.

Under Section 22-357, Damage by dogs to persons or property, you are liable for your dog’s actions. It’s a strict liability statute. That means an injured person doesn’t have to prove that you were negligent or that you knew your dog was vicious.

There are a few exceptions. Strict liability doesn’t apply if a bitten person was trespassing on your property or tormenting your dog. These statutes apply differently children under age seven, who are not considered trespasser. Strict liability doesn’t apply to a police officer with a police dog residing on their property.

Your landlord could be liable for your dog’s actions

A recent Connecticut Supreme Court Decision established that a landlord could be found negligent for your dog’s actions as well. This isn’t a strict liability law situation. To find a landlord negligent, an injured person must prove the landlord knew their dog was vicious and didn’t do anything to prevent a mishap.

Section 22-358 cites conditions where Animal Control may quarantine your dog for 14 days, or proceed with other actions if your dog has bitten someone.

Dog Protection

Section, 22-329 Prevention of cruelty to dogs and other animals, allows an officer to interfere to protect a dog subjected to acts of cruelty. When a person interferes with an officer’s dog protection efforts, the officer can charge them with a class D misdemeanor.

Section, 22-329a, Seizure and custody of neglected or cruelly treated animals, gives an Animal Control Officer authority to take custody of animals that are being treated cruelly. Section 22-329b requires an officer to report incidents of suspected cruelty within 48 hours after suspecting harm, neglect, or cruel treatment.

Section 22-332 Connecticut impounding and disposition of roaming… gives Animal Control the authority to impound roaming, unlicensed, neglected, or injured dogs. It outlines potential disposition through adoption, lost and found ads, and other options. In most cases impounding is a protective measure.

Nuisance Dogs

Section 22-363 Nuisance makes it illegal to harbor a dog that is a nuisance due to a vicious disposition, excessive barking or other disturbance. The first violation is fined as a class D misdemeanor. After subsequent violations, a court may arrange the nuisance dog’s restraint or disposal.

Contact Hebron Veterinary Hospital

These are just a few of the important Connecticut Dog Laws. Call us at (860) 228-4324 if you want to know more.