Unnecessary Changes Proposed To New Hampshire Cruelty Statute - Express Opposition Now!

New Hampshire House Bill 497 seeks to make significant changes to the state’s animal cruelty...

New Hampshire House Bill 497 seeks to make significant changes to the state’s animal cruelty statutes.  The American Kennel Club (AKC) and the Dog Owners of the Granite State (DOGS), AKC’s New Hampshire federation, both oppose HB 497 as unnecessary.  Concerned New Hampshire dog owners are encouraged to contact the members of the NH House Environment and Agriculture Committee, who will consider the bill on February 5th, and ask them to oppose HB 497.

The American Kennel Club's mission includes working to protect the rights of all dog owners and promoting responsible dog ownership. The AKC has a zero-tolerance policy regarding animal cruelty. We strongly support the humane treatment of all dogs, including providing an adequate and nutritious diet, clean living conditions, regular veterinary care, kind and responsive human companionship, and training in appropriate behavior. The AKC supports reasonable and enforceable laws that protect the welfare and health of all dogs without restricting the rights of owners or breeders who take their responsibilities seriously.

As introduced, HB 497 would create a new definition of “negligence” as part of the cruelty statute, to mean when “a person acts inattentively or carelessly when he or she fails to become aware of a substantial and unjustifiable risk that exists or will result for the animal from his or her conduct.”  The AKC recognizes the well-meaning intent behind the proposed definition, however believes that this definition is unnecessary.  The AKC believes that New Hampshire’s current animal cruelty statute already provides a complete system by which citizens can report and law enforcement can address negligent treatment of animals.


Concerned dog owners in New Hampshire are strongly encouraged to contact the members of the House Environment and Agriculture Committee, who will consider the bill on February 5th, 2013, at 1PM, in Room. 303 of the Legislative Office Building, 33 N. State Street, Concord, NH 03301.  Respectfully express your opposition to HB 497, and ask them to vote HB 497 as “inexpedient to legislate.”  You may contact all members of the House Environment and Agriculture Committee members by emailing HouseEnvironmentandAgricultureCommittee@leg.state.nh.us.

Representative Tara Sad, Committee Chair
82 North Rd.
Walpole, NH 03608-4705

Representative Wayne Moynihan, Committee Vice Chair
138 Plain Rd.
Dummer, NH 03588-5110

Representative Jane Johnson, Committee Clerk
329 Sawyers Crossing
Swanzey, NH 03446-3637

Representative Christy Bartlett  
77 Sanborn Rd.
Concord, NH 03301-1819

Representative Peter Bixby
69 Glenwood Ave.
Dover, NH 03820-2305

Representative Rebecca Brown
80 Post Rd.
Sugar Hill, NH 03586-4320

Representative Scott Burns
P.O. Box 507
Franklin, NH 03235-0507

Representative Janice Gardner
165 Dover Point Rd.
Dover, NH 03820

Representative Linda Lauer
P.O. Box 147
Bath, NH 03740-0147

Representative David Miller
7 Harding St.
Rochester, NH    03867-3722

Representative Alan Turcotte
3 High Ridge Trl.
Allenstown, NH  03275-2128

Representative Lisa Whittemore
40 Griffin Rd.
Londonderry, NH 03053-3935

Representative Robert Haefner 
1 St. John Street
Hudson, NH 03051-3733

Representative Warren Groen
17 Alice Lane
Rochester, NH 03867-8502

Representative Stephen Palmer
8 Border St.
Milford, NH 03055-3800

Representative Guy Comtois
P.O. Box 186
Center Barnstead, NH 03225-0186

Representative John O'Connor
13 Arrowhead Rd.
Derry, NH 03038-3715

Representative James Parison
40 Old Rindge Rd.
New Ipswich, NH 03071-3225

Representative Michele Peckham
14 Lafayette Rd .
North Hampton, NH 03862-2306

Representative Richard Gordon
4 Burnt Swamp Rd.
East Kingston, NH 03827-2102


For more information, contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3720, or email doglaw@akc.org; or contact AKC’s New Hampshire federation, the Dog Owners of the Granite State at nhdogs@gmail.com