GREENWICH, Conn. -- "Buddy's Law," a new law championed by Greenwich Rep. Fred Camillo (R-151st District) that allows only licensed veterinarians to euthanize dogs and cats, was officially passed by the Connecticut General Assembly.
The bill was inspired by a 5-year-old German shepherd named “Buddy” who was a resident at the Westport Animal Shelter with no prior history of biting. Within 24 hours of Buddy's arrival in a new home, he was shot in the back of the head after one of the owners claimed Buddy bit her. Buddy's owners were not charged with any wrongdoing.
Camillo was a co-sponsor of the bill and has been pushing for the passage of the law since he first heard of Buddy's story.
"Since we first learned of Buddy's tragic killing three years ago, it has become a mission for me to draw people's attention to a problem that is often overlooked and at best, an afterthought: animal cruelty," Camillo said in a statement. "By passing this bill out of the Connecticut House of Representatives by a wide margin, we are sending a message that acts of violence against defenseless and most often innocent animals will not be tolerated."
The bill passed unanimously in the state Senate and 131-13 in the House.
Any person who violates “Buddy’s Law” will be subject to a fine up to $1,000, or imprisoned for up to a year, or both.
According to the text of the bill, exceptions would be made in situations where a dog is attacking and is considered to be threatening the life of a person or if the pet is in extreme pain and waiting to bring it to a veterinarian would be considered inhumane.
The bill was co-sponsored by Rep. Camillo’s Greenwich colleagues Livvy Floren (R-149) and Stephen Walko (R-150). “Buddy’s Law” is now on its way to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s desk, where he is expected to sign the bill into law.