State Representative Fred Camillo (R-Greenwich) praised the passage of two bills he introduced, H.B. 5312, An Act Concerning Recommendations by the Department of Motor Vehicles Regarding the Motor Vehicle Statutes, and S.B. 523, An Act Concerning an Animal Abuse Registry, on the final day of the 2018 Session, May 9, 2018.
“Animal abuse and neglect is an incomprehensible crime, and we have a moral obligation as a state to ensure their safety and protection,” Rep. Camillo said. “H.B. 5312 will protect “Good Samaritans” from civil or criminal action if they rescue an animal from a vehicle, and S.B. 523 will require those convicted of animal abuse to register with the state. I am proud to have cosponsored these bills because if we do not begin to address these heinous acts, who will? These crimes must be held accountable and cannot go unpunished, while those who intervene to save these animals should not be punished.”
H.B. 5312 would protect an individual from civil damage or criminal penalties if they enter a vehicle to rescue an animal or child left inside the vehicle during extreme weather conditions. This legislation protects those “good Samaritans” who believe that the animal is in immediate danger, and allows the responding individual to use reasonable force to remove it.
S.B. 523 requires individuals convicted of certain animal abuse crimes to register with the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection. Convicted individuals must appear before law enforcement annually to update their information. Released individuals must register within two weeks of their release. First time abusers must remain on the list for two years, while repeat offenders must remain on the list for five years.
“These bills deal with public safety, consumer protection, and animal welfare – all areas that I am passionate about,” added Rep. Camillo.
H.B. 5312 and S.B. 523 passed the House and the Senate with strong bipartisan support on the final day of the 2018 Session, May 9, 2018. The bills now await Governor Malloy’s signature.