(CBS Connecticut) — Lawyers representing several dog owners this afternoon asked a federal judge to temporarily halt the euthanasia of all dogs accused of biting people in Connecticut.
Attorney Thompson Page says society’s attitudes towards their dogs have changed over the decades, and the law needs to catch up.
“We don’t typically go into court and say ‘People love their dog like their child today, so therefore things should be different,'” Page said after the hearing. “We go into court and say we have got a body of law in this country on property law, and the constitutional protections we as citizens are entitled to for ourselves and our property.”
The lawyers argue that dog owners’ property rights are being violated, when the animals are put down.
They claim it can take years to get an appeal hearing scheduled, and that the process itself should be much more rigorous.
But on the stand, the state Agriculture Department’s commissioner testified that he follows the uniform administrative procedures act, a law that applies to a range of government hearings.
State Agriculture Commissioner Steven Reviczky defended his agency’s actions on the witness stand.
“If a victim wants to come in and testify, that’s one thing, but it is certainly something different to victimize that individual again by forcing that person to come into Hartford and testify,” Reviczky said after the hearing.
The lawyers for the dog owners are seeking class action status to represent the owners of all dogs accused of biting people.