Monday, May 6, 2019
New Hampshire residents are encouraged to contact their state representative and respectfully urge them to vote “YES” on SB 77 as AMENDED BY HOUSE ENVIRONMENT AND AGRICULTURE COMMITTEE. The bill is expected to be debated on Wednesday, May 8, or Thursday, May 9.
To identify your representative and their contact information go to https://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/house/members/default.aspx.)
Amended SENATE BILL 77 provides that in cases where animals are confiscated by an arresting officer,
- a preliminary hearing will be held by the court within 14 days
- mandates courts to ban a person convicted of felony cruelty from owning animals, and permits courts to limit ownership of those convicted of misdemeanor cruelty
- establishes a municipal cost of care fund to provide for animals during the legal process
- immediately identifies any co-owners to care for animals confiscated and prohibits permanent alteration of the animals prior to final adjudications of the cruelty case.
Some special interest groups prefer the Senate’s version of the bill, and are pressing members of the House to strike the House Committee text and insert the adopted Senate text instead. Unfortunately, the Senate’s approved version of SB 77 does not provide protections # 3 or # 4 above. Instead, it requires a defendant to post bond to retain a legal interest in their animals through any appeal process.
The American Kennel Club believes New Hampshire residents will be better served by the version of SB 77 as amended by the House Environment and Agriculture Committee. AKC Government Relations (AKC GR) will provide additional information as developments warrant. For more information, contact AKC GR at firstname.lastname@example.org; or the Dog Owners of the Granite State at www.nhdogs.org.