Of the 14 state campgrounds in Connecticut, only four are dog-friendly. Sen. Edward Meyer thinks that’s too few.
As chairman of the environment committee, Meyer introduced a bill
that would encourage the state Department of Environmental Protection to
adopt regulations that would allow dogs at up to seven state
campgrounds, and the bill passed the Senate on a 34-2 vote last week and
is currently awaiting a vote in the House of Representatives.
The bill also includes provisions meant to protect campers.
It would limit the number of dogs a person may have at a campsite and
require owners to prove that their pet has been vaccinated. It would
also require people to control their dogs.
The bill is not a mandate and allows the DEP to use its
discretion. Meyer called it a family-values bill in the sense that many
families want to vacation with their pets. Meyer himself has a Labrador
retriever named Mo and said he would like to take her more places.
Alysia Duke of Manchester, owner of two miniature schnauzers, said she has fond memories of childhood camping
trips with her family. Although she has not been camping in years,
Duke, president of the nonprofit Manchester Dog Owners Group, said she
believes that responsible dog owners should be able to share camping
experiences with their pets.