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New Hampshire SB 370 Targets Dog Breeders In The Granite State

(Friday, January 06, 2012)

New Hampshire Senate Bill 370, which seeks to impose ownership limits and other restrictions on responsible dog breeders and owners, has been introduced and will be considered by the Senate Executive Departments and Administration Committee on Thursday, January 19, 2012. The American Kennel Club and our New Hampshire federation, the Dog Owners of the Granite State, both oppose this measure as it is currently written. We encourage all responsible dog breeders and owners in New Hampshire to contact the committee members listed below. Respectfully urge them to not move this bill out of committee without significant amendments.

The American Kennel Club strongly supports the humane treatment of dogs, including an adequate and nutritious diet, clean water, clean living conditions, regular veterinary care, kind and responsible human companionship, and training in appropriate behavior. The AKC also supports reasonable and enforceable laws that protect the welfare and health of purebred dogs and do not restrict the rights of breeders and owners who take their responsibilities seriously.

The AKC opposes several provisions in the bill as introduced, including:

  • Limiting any person from owning more than 50 intact dogs over the age of six months for the purpose of breeding those animals and selling any offspring for use as a pet. The AKC opposes laws that limit the number of dogs a responsible owner may own as well as unreasonable limitations on pet ownership. AKC believes that numerical limits do not address potential underlying issues of irresponsible ownership and/or improper dog care.
  • Requiring any person having more than 10 female dogs covered by the statute to provide specific care and conditions requirements. This includes limits on the frequency of breeding females. Such limitations are arbitrary, do not take into consideration health considerations of a dog, and effectively put the state in charge of issues that are best left to the specialized expertise of veterinary health care providers. The AKC believes a better alternative is to remove this limitation, which will help ensure that individual health care decisions made by the dog’s owner and its veterinarian.
  • Mandating that all debarking, tail docking, and surgical births be done by a licensed veterinarian and with anesthesia. The bill defines ”tail docking” as the docking, cutting off, causing, or procuring the docking or cutting off of the tail of a dog over five days old. However, a six-day old puppy would not be able to endure the anesthesia required by this bill. A better alternative would be to leave the decisions regarding the best care to a treating veterinarian.
  • Authorizing any duly-appointed agent of a humane society, SPCA incorporated in New Hampshire, or animal control officer to investigate possible violations on the Agriculture Commissioner’s initiative or pursuant to complaints. This may effectively deputize individuals not trained or sworn in as public officers, and allow them to enter and seize private property.

 

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

All responsible dog breeders and owners in New Hampshire are encouraged to attend the Senate Executive Departments and Administrative Committee’s meeting on Thursday, January 19, and respectfully testify in opposition to SB 370 as currently written.

Hearing Information:
Thursday, January 19, 2012
10:45AM
Room 100
State House
107 North Main Street
Concord, New Hampshire 03301

Additionally, it is imperative that all responsible dog breeders and owners in New Hampshire contact the committee members listed below. Respectfully yet strongly let them know that you oppose SB 370 as introduced, and urge them to pursue reasonable and enforceable alternatives.

For a customizable sample letter, click here.

Senator Sharon Carson, Chairman
Statehouse
Room 107
107 North Main Street
Concord, NH 03301
Phone: (603) 271-1403
Email: Sharon.carson@leg.state.nh.us

Senator Fenton Groen, Vice Chairman
Statehouse
Room 107
107 North Main Street
Concord, NH 03301
Phone: (603) 271-2609
Email: fenton.groen@leg.state.nh.us

Senator Sylvia Larsen
Statehouse
Room 120
107 North Main Street
Concord, NH 03301
Phone: (603) 217-3207
Email: sylvia.larsen@leg.state.nh.us

Senator Jim Luther
Statehouse
Room 105-A
107 North Main Street
Concord, NH 03301
Phone: (603) 271-4151
Email: jim.luther@leg.state.nh.us

Senator Raymond White
Statehouse
Room 107
107 North Main Street
Concord, NH 03301
Phone: (603) 271-2609
Email: raymond.white@leg.state.nh.us

For tips on how to communicate effectively with legislators, click here.

For more information, contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3720, or e-mail doglaw@akc.org.