Connecticut joins state ranks preempting breed-specific laws

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy has signed a bill that preempts municipalities from regulating dogs on the basis of breed. HB6311, which was co-sponsored by 31 state representatives and senators, addressed only the issue of breed-specific legislation.  It provides that “no municipality shall adopt breed-specific dog ordinances.” HB6311 sailed through the state legislature, virtually unopposed.  The House of Representatives voted 142-0 in favor.  The Senate passed the bill 30-4, an overwhelming majority.  Governor Malloy signed the bill on Thursday, June 6. The near-unanimous support reflects the fact that no Connecticut municipality currently regulates dogs on the basis of breed.  The few that have considered breed regulation recently have rejected the idea in favor of laws that focus on owner responsibility, regardless of what kind of dog the owner chooses to have. Connecticut becomes the 15th state to enact a state-wide measure prohibiting breed-specific legislation.  Most recently, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval signed a preemption law on May 24thJust as happened in Nevada late last month, Connecticut has recognized that there is no evidence from which to conclude that one group of dogs should be considered disproportionately dangerous.  Nor has regulating dogs on the basis of breed improved community safety. Public policy based on a responsible pet ownership model improves community safety.