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In January, the American Kennel Club (AKC) issued an action alert noting the New Hampshire Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee was accepting public testimony on SB 164, relative to biodiverse environments and land-use requirements.  Section 11 of the bill would have changed the legal status of animals by formalizing the creation of private contracts between animal owners and willing “guardians” who would be responsible for preserving animal rights listed in the contract.  Failure of the owner to meet their obligations would result in the guardian being granted “legal standing” in a court of law to enforce those obligations.  The American Kennel Club (AKC) and the New Hampshire Dog Owners of the Granite State (NH DOGS), along with other stakeholders, strongly opposed this proposed bill text at the January 31 public hearing.   

We are pleased to report that prior to voting for passage on February 15, the committee adopted an amendment that eliminated problematic Section 11 and reduced the scope of SB 164 to an acknowledgement of the importance of biodiversity in the land and community heritage investment program.  

AKC is grateful to Chairman Avard, Vice-Chair Pearl, and the members of the committee for avoiding the serious consequences impacting the legal classification of animals as originally provided noted in SB 164.

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