HB 5344 "AN ACT CONCERNING SUPPORT FOR ANIMALS THAT ARE NEGLECTED OR TREATED CRUELLY"
Desmond's Law has passed the House! We now need the bill to pass the Senate. Please ask your State Senator to support HB 5344!
When you call or email your State Senator, simply provide your name, town of residence, and ask your Senator (or their legislative aide) to please "co-sponsor HB 5344" You can also use some of the talking points below.
About Desmond's Law:
Animal cruelty is an act of violence that rarely occurs in isolation. Too often, our state's courts seem to overlook this fact. Abusers get away with a hand slap, or worse yet, are not even prosecuted at all. Desmond, pictured above right, was severely abused and tortured to death, but his abuser got away with Accelerated Rehabilitation. After 2 years his record is erased of this incident.
80% of the animal cruelty charges brought against individuals in Connecticut are dismissed. For these cases, there is no justice for the abused animal, and potentially violent criminals are permitted to walk free.
Accumulating evidence demonstrates a strong link between violence to animals and violence to people. In recognition of that link in 2011 CT enacted a law requiring Cross Reporting of Child Abuse and Animal Cruelty. And this January, for the first time ever, the FBI began collecting data on animal abuse cases.
HB 5344 also known as Desmond’s Law will aid the judicial process in animal cruelty cases by providing an independent advocate to represent the interests of justice. HB 5344 will:
- Establish a program that is discretionary and under the supervision of the Court;
- Provide a no-cost, volunteer advocate from a list of attorneys and law students with knowledge of the sociology of animal cruelty;
- Ensure that law students’ participation will be governed by the Connecticut Practice Book;
- Allow advocates to access facts, records and other information regarding the animal, readily share information with each party, and make recommendations to the Court, hastening case resolution.
Desmond’s Law would utilize qualified pro-bono lawyers and volunteer law students to provide investigative insight not readily available to the court, resulting in a more fair and efficient process and more meaningful outcomes in animal abuse cases.
You can help by forwarding this information to your friends, colleagues, and neighbors. The more people who speak, the more powerful our voice for animals.
CT Votes for Animals is a proud participant in the Food For Thought campaign, which encourages animal organizations to adopt a vegan menu policy for events they sponsor. Please see more information on their Web site here, and consider adding your organization as well: http://www.foodforthoughtcampaign.org/
CVA's policy is as follows: "It is the policy of Connecticut Votes for Animals to provide only plant-based (vegan) menus when sponsoring events. For potlucks, attendees are strongly encouraged to bring plant-based food. If CVA participates in a larger event with other organizations, CVA will advocate for a humane menu, as far as possible. "
Join the conversation on municipal animal shelters
7-12-2015 The "Task Force for Humane Treatment of Animals in Municipal and Regional Shelters" is meeting monthly at the Legislative Office Building (LOB) in Hartford. See their Web site
, which includes the Task force's charge, their membership, meeting agendas and minutes, and other documents.
Please note that the next Task Force meeting will be held on Friday, August 7. All meetings are open to the public, and typically the agenda includes a period during which the public is welcome to testify or comment on any matter pertaining to municipal shelters and related issues.
These meetings provide a rare opportunity to publicly express your ideas for improving our municipal and regional shelter systems! If you would like to speak, please attend one of their meetings.
Help Spread the Word About CT's Dog Chaining Laws
CVA Volunteers have developed an informational poster describing CT's dog chaining laws - including this summer's new law prohibiting dogs from being tied outside during official weather advisories. Please post this flyer in veterinary offices, pet supply stores, local shelters, and anywhere animal-friendly people will see it! Click the image below to download and print, and/or Share on Facebook