On August 17, Governor Chris Sununu signed two animal bills of high importance to the American Kennel Club (AKC) and New Hampshire Dog Owners of the Granite State (NH DOGS) into law. Our deepest appreciation is extended to Representative Howard Pearl, Chairman of the House Committee on Environment and Agriculture, as these successes would not have been possible without his leadership. We are also grateful for the efforts of Agriculture Commissioner Shawn Jasper, Senator Jeb Bradley, and Representative Peter Bixby, who helped ensure these bills were presented to the Governor with his support.
Animal Shelter Requirements:
HB 249 clarifies the requirements that animal shelters must meet when transferring dogs, including positive identification and rabies vaccination requirements. Dogs transferred from out of state must be quarantined before re-homing. It also requires shelters to alert an owner of record, as indicated by microchip scan, as soon as possible but not to exceed 72 hours, that their animal has been taken in and is available to be reclaimed. If listed owners cannot be located or refuse to reclaim possession, every effort must be made to contact any secondary owner listed by microchip registries. These provisions take effect in 60 days after receiving Governor Sununu’s signature.
Pet Vendor License Fixes:
HB 250 increases, from 25 to 30, the number of dogs a person can transfer in one year before needing to obtain a state pet vendor license. The law will now provide protection to those who previously did not meet the pre-2019 requirements for licensure as a pet vendor (50 dogs transferred) but who transfer more than 30 and would be required to obtain a license, by providing an opportunity to apply to the commissioner for an exemption from licensure as a pet vendor if certain criteria are met. It also fixes a statutory dilemma created in 2019, by eliminating the need to submit municipal zoning approval with a pet vendor license application, unless the applicant transfers more than 50 dogs a year. These changes take effect immediately upon being signed by the governor.
For more information on these or other legislative issues in New Hampshire, contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at 919-816-3720 or firstname.lastname@example.org; or the Dog Owners of the Granite State at email@example.com.