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December 28, 2023

On Thursday, January 4, 2024, the New Hampshire (NH) Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hear public testimony on SB 541, which will restrict newly defined “retail pet stores,” including anyone with a physical facility who transfers more than 30 dogs per year at retail.  Residents and New Hampshire breeders are strongly encouraged to contact the committee in opposition (Scroll down for contact information.)


Senate Bill 541 would:

  • create a new pet vendor definition for “retail pet store” as any licensed pet vendor that transfers animals at retail to the public from a physical facility;
  • cap these “retail pet stores” to the transferring of cats and dogs at 2023 levels;
  • prohibit the sale of “retail pet stores” to anyone but family members; and
  • require future NH “retail pet stores” to source dogs and cats only from animal shelters.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) opposes these changes. In 2019, NH removed the legal distinctions between those who sell animals as “pet vendors/shops or dealers”, and those who produce and raise animals as “breeders/commercial and hobby breeders”.

Anyone simply transferring more than 30 dogs per year must be licensed as a “pet vendor”. Under SB 541, licensed pet vendor breeders would now be newly categorized as “retail pet stores” if they operate a physical facility. These breeders would be limited to transferring no more than the number transferred in 2023 and unable to sell their kennel facility and business to anyone but family. Licensed pet vendor shops would also be restricted this way, with future shops required to only source dogs and cats from animal shelters.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:  New Hampshire residents are strongly encouraged to electronically register your opposition by emailing members of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

Consider including the following talking points:

  • This push to eliminate purposeful responsible NH dog breeding falsely claims SB 541 will stop out of state puppy mills.
  • The choice of a purebred dog permits the prospective dog owner to select the desired size, appearance, disposition and instincts with assurance that a puppy purchased will possess those defined characteristics.
  • Consumers deserve choices regarding the best pet for their family.


  1. Click on the Senate standing committee list here.
  2. Scroll down to “Energy and Natural Resources” Committee
  3. Select “Email Entire Committee”
  4. Your email will populate with members’ email addresses
  5. In the subject line, type “Oppose SB 541”

In addition, you may speak in person at the January 4, 2024, Senate Committee hearing in Room 103 of the State House, 107 North Main Street, Concord, NH 03301.  Sign in to testify when you arrive.  The hearing on SB 541 starts at 9:45 AM.

For more information on these or other legislative issues in New Hampshire, contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at 919-816-3720 or; or the Dog Owners of the Granite State at