Animal Control Division
CT Department of Agriculture
165 Capitol Avenue, Hartford, CT 06106
Phone: (860) 713-2506 Fax: (860) 713-2515
Raymond Connors, Supervisor
The Connecticut Department of Agriculture's Animal Control Division is responsible for the investigation of property damage,
injury and nuisance caused by dogs. The Division is charged with the enforcement of laws pertaining to the licensing and control of dogs, the licensing and inspection of pet facilities and rabies control. In addition, the Division is the only law enforcement entity that investigates and makes arrests in association with complaints of animal cruelty. The Division also operates a large animal rehabilitation center which holds and rehabilitates evidence animals in on-going cruelty prosecutions. It also supports and educates the public and local or municipal animal control officials in enforcement of Connecticut dog law and behavior.
Dog Licensing, Dog Health and Control of Dogs
- Dogs six months of age or older must be licensed.
(download Application for Dog License 81 KB, .pdf *NOTE: This application must be mailed to your Town Clerk.)
- Division staff assist municipal animal control officers and local officials through training and counseling in dog licensing and licensing enforcement procedures
- All dogs three months of age or older and must be vaccinated against rabies and rabies vaccinations must be kept current Division staff takes an active role enforcing the Connecticut Rabies Laws by investigating, documenting and reporting to the Department of Public Health positive rabies contacts with humans
- No dog under 8 weeks of age may be sold or imported into the state without its dam
- Dogs imported into the state that are over 3 months of age and staying more than 30 days must be accompanied by a health certificate and a current rabies vaccination certificate
- Dogs imported into the state between the age of 8 weeks and 3 months and staying more than 30 days must be accompanied by a health certificate
- All dogs must be under control and must not be allowed to run at large
- It is illegal to transport a dog in the back of a pick-up truck unless the dog is secured in a cage, container or otherwise secured
Property Damage, Injury and Nuisance – Dogs
- Dogs are personal property and owners are responsible for damages caused by their dog
- Claims of alleged damage by dogs to livestock, poultry or other animals for the purposes of reimbursement are investigated, assessed and appraised by Division staff
- Quarantines of dogs associated with bites (human or dog on dog) or disease outbreak are established and enforced where required and necessary
The Bureau staff works with state and local authorities in dealing with rabid and suspect rabid animals, verify rabies vaccination status for dogs and cats, and provide transportation and handling of specimens for testing. As of June 22, 2008, 6,069 cases of rabies have been confirmed throughout the state. Most of these cases involved wildlife such as raccoons and skunks, however, more than 140 cases involved domestic animals such as dogs, cats, cows and horses.
For further information regarding rabies, visit the Department of Agriculture's page which has the Rabies Manual
and Department of Environmental Protections page Rabies Information
Licensing, Inspection of Pet Facilities -
- Municipal dog pounds
- Division staff offer technical advice regarding plans and construction of municipal-owned dog shelters and boarding kennels in order to ensure conformance with regulations and is responsible for regular inspections
- Pet shops, commercial kennels, day boarding facilities, grooming facilities and mobile grooming vehicles, dog training facilities
- Breeders of two or more litters of dogs per year must apply for a “town kennel license”
Division staff is responsible for regular inspections and for investigating complaints on town kennel licensees
The Animal Control Division investigates small companion and livestock animal cruelty complaints
including illegal animal fighting and animal hoarding. If sufficient evidence pursuant to Section 53-247 of the Connecticut General Statutes is gathered, Division staff prepare a request for a search warrant.
Large Animal Rehabilitation Center
The Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Inspection and Regulation - Animal Control Division, is charged (Connecticut General Statutes Sections 22-329, 22-329a) with the prevention of cruelty to and seizure of abused animals. In response to this charge, in 2002, the DOA constructed a large animal rehabilitation facility designed to hold horses or other large animals that have been seized in cases of substantiated charges of animal cruelty. For further information about this facility, visit "Second Chance Large Animal Rehabilitation Facility".