Legislative Summary Report on 2014 Session

Dog Owners of the Granite State (DOGS)

2014 NH Legislation Summary Report

July 2014

 

During the 2014 NH Legislative Session, DOGS was actively engaged on 17 bills that would impact ownership, breeding, training and working with dogs and other companion animals. Again, this year, numerous members of DOGS responded to our “Calls to Action”.  The efforts of DOGS’ members made a difference in the outcome of several bills.  Our members testified at public hearings, contacted legislators and had letters to the editor published in local papers. In fact, at many hearings, DOGS was the only voice speaking out on animal ownership, safety, breeding and veterinary issues.

 

DOGS legislative advocacy prevented bills from passing that would have required dogs health certificates be issued by accredited veterinarians,  increased the cost of notification of forfeiture for not licensing a dog, removed wolf hybrid dogs from the jurisdiction of the State Veterinarian and banned them from entering the state for any reason.  We were able to secure amendments to bills that passed. Some bills that DOGS supported did not pass such as removing the exemption that shelters have from providing a health certificate at sale/transfer.  Nevertheless, each bill provided opportunities to educate legislators and lay groundwork for better understanding in the future.  

 

DOGS appreciates the tireless work of Representatives Jan Gardner, Bob Haefner, Tara Sad, John Hunt, and Linda Massimila who supported our concerns.  DOGS is grateful for the House Environment & Agriculture Committee’s commitment to protecting the rights of animal owners and the safety and health of animals.  The final dispositions of the major bills that DOGS was involved with are summarized below. 

 

Please remember to vote in the September Primary and November General Elections. Don’t hesitate to ask candidates about their positions on pet issues.   Contact DOGS if your group is interested in a presentation that will include a summary of the 2014 Legislative Session and a preview of 2015 issues and concerns.

 

New Laws – Legislation Enacted in 2014

 

Bill #               Summary                    Status                           DOGS’ Comments

 

HB

1121

 

Repeals the duty of property tax assessors to compile a list of dogs in the municipality. Signed into law by the Governor. Effective 7/26/14. Chapter Law 43.  A copy of the enacted bill is at: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2014/HB1121.pdf  DOGS supported. This information is collected and updated annually by the city/town clerk during the dog licensure.

HB 1144

Creates a committee to study access to arrest information. Signed into law by the Governor. Effective 7/11/14. Chapter Law 172.  A copy of the enacted bill is at: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2014/HB1144.pdf DOGS recognizes the need to better protect the privacy of those who are charged but not convicted of a crime, such as animal abuse. 

HB 1261

Increases the fee for notice of civil forfeiture of an unlicensed dog from $5 to “not to exceed” $7. Signed into law by the Governor. Effective 7/1/14. Chapter Law 178.  A copy of the enacted bill is at: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2014/HB1261.pdf DOGS opposed the original version of the bill that allowed each municipality to set its own fee. We advocated for an increase that reflected the cost of mailing a certified letter.

HB

1367

Exempts birds from the requirement to provide a health certificate at sale/transfer. Signed into law by the Governor. Effective.. Chapter Law xx. A copy of the enacted bill is at: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2014/HB1367.pdf  There are no vaccination requirements for birds. DOGS understands that for birds a health certificate may be impractical.

HB 1410

Allows animals to be included in protective domestic orders. Signed into law by the Governor. Effective. 7/21/14. Chapter Law 238. A copy of the enacted bill is at: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2014/HB1410.pdf DOGS joined in with the NH Chiefs of Police Assoc. to advocate for the bill’s passage..

HB 1451

Establishing March 13th as Canine Veterans Day. Signed into law by the Governor. Effective. 8/15/14. Chapter Law 127. A copy of the enacted bill is at: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2014/HB1451.pdf DOGS supported.

HB 1568

Increases the penalties for “willful” injury to a service dog and for impersonating a service dog. . Also, adopts training standards of the International Assn. of Dog Partners. Signed into law by the Governor. Effective. 1/1/15. Chapter Law 66. A copy of the enacted bill is at: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2014/HB1568.pdf DOGS successfully advocated the removal of language that presumed the companion animal/owner was at fault in an altercation with a service dog.

HB 1579

Increases the penalties for illegally set traps that cause the death of a domestic animal.Requires trapping education for license applicants who have not held a trapping license in this state during any of the previous 3 years. Signed into law by the Governor. Effective. 1/1/15. Chapter Law 155. A copy of the enacted bill is at: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2014/HB1579.pdf The original bill banned certain traps that are necessary to protect livestock from harm and alternative traps were not feasible.  DOGS supported the final version of the bill.

HB 1636

Allows reduced spay/neuter fees for families at or below 130% of poverty level. Signed into law by the Governor. Effective 7/11/14. Chapter Law 187. A copy of the enacted bill is at: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2014/HB1636.pdf DOGS supported.  The bill was requested by the Department of Agriculture (State Veterinarian).

 

Held for Study

The following bills may be scheduled for study meetings during the summer and fall.  The Committee retaining the bill schedules and conducts the meetings. Since 2014 is the end of the legislative biennium, the bill will need to be reintroduced to be considered in 2015.

 

Bill #               Summary                    Status                            DOGS Comments

 

HB 1578

Sets forth record keeping requirements for licensed animal transferors. Retained for study by the Retained for study by the House Environment & Agriculture Committee. A copy of the bill is available at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2014/HB1578.pdf

 

DOGS supported reasonable record keeping requirement for licensees.

SB 407

Transfers jurisdiction over wolf hybrid dogs from the Dept. of Agriculture to the Dept. of Fish and Game. Also, bans wolf hybrids in NH (including for competitive events). Retained for study by the House Environment & Agriculture Committee. A copy of the bill is available at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2014/SB0407.pdf

 

DOGS opposes.  The American Kennel Club has approved several “stock breeds” that can compete in AKC Companion Events.  One is the Czechoslovakian Vlcak  (cross between a German Shepard and a Carpathian Wolf).

 

 

Defeated Bills – Killed in 2014

 

Bill #               Summary                         Status                   DOGS Comments

 

HB 110

 

Requires persons who record cruelty to livestock to report it and submit the recording to law enforcement.

 

Tabled and Killed in the House.

 

DOGS supported. Recordings of suspected animal abuse are evidence and should be turned over to law enforcement for appropriate action prior to being edited or released to the public. Prompt reporting of suspected abuse best protects animal safety.

HB 1178

Repeals the exemption that shelters have from providing a health certificate at the sale/transfer of a dog.    

Killed in the House.

DOGS supported. Providing a health certificate is a matter of public health and safety.

HB

1179

Provides a refund or retain option if a health certificate cannot issue after the sale/transfer of a dog or cat. Also repeals the shelter’s health certification exemption.  

Killed in the House

DOGS supported the repeal of the shelter exemption and requested changes be made in the remainder of the bill.

HB 1492

Allows municipalities to recover the full cost of notifying the owner of a civil forfeiture due to an unlicensed dog. Killed in the House DOGS opposed.  A uniform sum certain  (such as the cost of a certified letter) ensures that the cost will be reasonable.

HB 1598

 

Creates a “friends of animals” license plates to fund animal welfare organizations  

Killed in the House.

DOGS proposed an amendment which would dedicate the funds to the Spay/Neuter Fund and the Veterinary Diagnostic Lab.
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2014 NH Legislative Update #16

MORE “DOGS” INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE ON FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/pages/NH-DOGS and TWITTER: http://twitter.com/NHDogs

Upcoming Public Hearings & Legislative Meetings

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Senate Internal Affairs Committee, Room 100 State House

2:05PM:  Public Hearing on HB 1451 – Establishing a NH Canine Veterans Day on March 13th.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Senate Judiciary Committee, Room 100 State House

10:30 AM: Public Hearing on HB 1410 – including pets in domestic protection orders.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee, Room 101 LOB

9:30AM: Public Hearing on HB 1636 – allowing reduced spay/neuter fees for families at or below 130% of poverty level.

UPDATES:

Neither the Dept. of Agriculture nor the Dept. of Fish & Game wants jurisdiction over wolf hybrid dogs. The House Fish & Game Committee has recommended SB 407 be sent to interim study so that the issue who should be in charge of protecting these pets and the public can be sorted out. Meanwhile, the issue has brought to the surface that the Dept. of Agriculture feels that oversight of domestic pets should not be among its duties. DOGS is pondering what agency, commission, or whatever should be getting the licensing and pet food fees to support this activity? 

Unfortunately, HB 1178 (requiring shelters to provide health certificates) was killed in the Senate – the cost of a health certificate for dogs, cats and ferrets that originate in NH was seen as too burdensome for shelters. at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/Senate/members/wml.aspxhttp://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/Senate/members/wml.aspx

 

2014 NH Legislative Status Summary

 

SB 407: As amended in the Senate; defines and regulates the possession of wolf hybrid dogs. Prohibits anyone from newly acquiring or breeding a wolf hybrid. Requires those currently owned to be spayed/neutered. Gives the Fish & Game Dept. authority to inspect and adopt rules. Repeals the exemption allowing them in the state temporarily for competitive events. 

STATUS: Passed the Senate with amendments. House Fish & Game Committee recommends Interim Study – House votes on 4/23.  A Copy of the bill can be obtained at: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2014/SB0407.pdf

DOGS Position:  The NH statutes already prohibited anyone from newly acquiring a wolf hybrid and requires spay/neutering (RSA466-A:3). The Senate amendment to the current law and the new chapter dedicated to Wolf Hybrids is unnecessary. The Dept. of Agriculture should retain jurisdiction as these are not the kind of “wild” animals that Fish & Game oversees.

HB 1144: As amended, creates a committee to study access to arrest records and case disposition information dissemination. A copy of the bill can be obtained at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2014/HB1144.pdf

STATUS: Passed House. Passed Senate with amendment (removes Senate members on study).  

DOGS Position:  DOGS supports studying the issue of internet harassment that can ensue when someone is charged with a crime, such as animal cruelty, but not convicted. This bill was requested by someone harassed on the internet after an animal cruelty charge.

HB 1178: Removes the animal shelter exemption from the requirements prior to sale/transfer of dogs, cats, ferrets. A copy of the bill can be obtained at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2014/HB1178.pdf

STATUS: Killed in Senate. Passed House (157-145 vote).  

DOGS Position:  Support removing animal shelter exemptions. Animal shelters should comply with the health certificate for sale/transfer.

HB 1261: Increases the fee for notice of civil forfeiture of an unlicensed dog from $5 to $10. Senate amendment changes the fee to the cost of mail delivery of the notice. A copy of the bill can be obtained at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2014/HB1261.pdf

STATUS: Passed House. Passed Senate with Amendment, awaiting House concurrence.

DOGS Position:  Support; the fee increase is reasonable, and reflects a municipality’s cost to send the notice by certified mail.  

HB 1410: Allows animals to be included in domestic protective orders. A copy of the bill can be obtained at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2014/HB1410.pdf

STATUS: Passed House. Senate Judiciary Committee public hearing on 4/29 at 10:30am.

DOGS Position:  Support; including household pets in domestic protective orders may be necessary to protect the owner’s and pet’s safety.

HB 1451: Establishing New Hampshire Canine Veterans’ Day on March 13th. A copy of the bill can be obtained at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2014/HB1451.pdf

STATUS: Passed House. Public hearing in Senate on 4/24.

DOGS Position:  Support.

HB 1568: As amended by the House: Increasing the penalties for “willfully” injuring a service dog to include replacement of the dog, and requires service dogs to meet the minimum training standards for public access as set by the International Association of Assistance Dog Partners.  A copy of the bill is at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2014/HB1568.pdf

STATUS: Passed House as amended. Passed Senate with House amendment.  

DOGS Position:  The requirement to leash one’s animal in the proximity of a service dog was removed from the bill and the threshold of culpability for injuring a service dog was changed back to “willingly” (currently in statute).

HB 1579: As amended, the bill allows the traps but increases the fines and penalties. A copy of the bill can be found at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2014/HB1579.pdf

STATUS: Passed House with amendment. Passed Senate with amendment, awaiting House concurrence.

DOGS Position:  DOGS supports the amended version of the bill. The bill is in response to an incident in 2012 when a dog was fatally injured when caught in a conibear trap that was illegally set.  Trapping wild animals is necessary to protect livestock, control infectious diseases and avoid property damage.

HB 1636: Allowing reduced fee spay/neuter for families at or below 130% of the poverty level. A copy of the bill can be found at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2014/HB1636.pdf

STATUS: Passed the House. Senate public hearing on 4/30.

DOGS Position:  DOGS supports.

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Animal activist watch: Pet traffickers are some sick pups (Mulshine)

Several years ago I noticed a trend. I’d be on the beach with my dog Betty when she’d meet another dog. They’d play and I’d get chatting with the dog’s owner. When I’d ask what kind of dog it was, the owner would tell me it was a “rescue dog.”

Did some doggie version of the Titanic sink off the Jersey Shore? Nope. It turned out this was a new term for what was known as “a mutt from the pound” when I was a kid.

It was also around that time that I first saw the term “puppy mill.” It was on a billboard I saw off the Pennsylvania Turnpike as I was driving to visit a friend of mine who owns a farm in the Amish country.

Read More

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10 Tips for Attending a City Council Meeting or Public Hearing Where Discriminatory Dog Laws are Being Discussed”

Everyone should print these out and have them handy before attending a legislative hearing.

(1) Stay for the entire meeting. I recently attended a public hearing in Middletown, New York, where a new dog ordinance was first on the agenda for discussion. After the dog discussion ended, the dozens of advocates in attendance left the hearing; I was one of two people who stayed put. Several of the council members voiced disgust over this….

To read them all (and they are good advice!), here’s the link:
http://ifdogscouldtalk.tumblr.com/post/20788627225/tips

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DOGS Legislative Update #15 – April 11, 2014

4/11/2014

2014 NH Legislative Update #15

MORE “DOGS” INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE ON FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/pages/NH-DOGS and TWITTER: http://twitter.com/NHDogs

Upcoming Public Hearings & Legislative Meetings

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

House Fish & Game Committee, Room 307 LOB

10:15 AM:  Subcommittee meeting to discuss SB 407 – Banning wolf hybrid dogs and giving Fish & Game Dept. jurisdiction for the enforcement.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Senate Judiciary Committee, Room 100 State House

10:30 AM: Public Hearing on HB 1410 – including pets in domestic protection orders.

CALL TO ACTION – Shelters should provide health certificate

Unfortunately, the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee voted 5-0 to kill HB 1178 (requiring shelters to provide a health certificate issued within 14 days of the sale/transfer of a dog, cat or ferret). While health certificates are required for pets imported into the state, they are not for those that originate in NH.  The Senate Committee agreed with the shelters that the cost of providing a health certificate was too burdensome for these nonprofits. The Senate will vote on the recommendation on April 17th. You are encouraged to contact your state senator – ask them to vote to overturn the committee report and vote to pass the bill. Find your senator and their contact information at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/Senate/members/wml.aspxhttp://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/Senate/members/wml.aspxhttp://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/Senate/members/wml.aspx

Remind senators that health certificates and rabies vaccination are provided to protect public and pet health (including other pets that come into contact with the newly acquired pet). This nominal cost seems little to ask for the protection from infectious diseases.

at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/Senate/members/wml.aspxhttp://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/Senate/members/wml.aspx

2014 NH Legislative Status Summary

SB 407: As amended in the Senate; defines and regulates the possession of wolf hybrid dogs. Prohibits anyone from newly acquiring or breeding a wolf hybrid. Requires those currently owned to be spayed/neutered. Gives the Fish & Game Dept. authority to inspect and adopt rules. Repeals the exemption allowing them in the state temporarily for competitive events. 

STATUS: Passed the Senate with amendments. Subcommittee meeting of the House Fish & Game Committee on 4/15 at 10:15am.  A Copy of the bill can be obtained at: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2014/SB0407.pdf

DOGS Position:  The NH statutes already prohibited anyone from newly acquiring a wolf hybrid and requires spay/neutering (RSA466-A:3). The Senate amendment to the current law and the new chapter dedicated to Wolf Hybrids is unnecessary. The Dept. of Agriculture should retain jurisdiction as these are not the kind of “wild” animals that Fish & Game oversees.

HB 1144: As amended, creates a committee to study access to arrest records and case disposition information dissemination. A copy of the bill can be obtained at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2014/HB1144.pdf

STATUS: Passed House. Senate committee recommends passage.  

DOGS Position:  DOGS supports studying the issue of internet harassment that can ensue when someone is charged with a crime, such as animal cruelty, but not convicted. This bill was requested by someone harassed on the internet after an animal cruelty charge.

HB 1178: Removes the animal shelter exemption from the requirements prior to sale/transfer of dogs, cats, ferrets. A copy of the bill can be obtained at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2014/HB1178.pdf

STATUS: Recommended Inexpedient to Legislate (5-0), Full Senate vote on 4/17. Passed House (157-145 vote).  

DOGS Position:  Support removing animal shelter exemptions. Animal shelters should comply with the health certificate for sale/transfer.

HB 1261: Increases the fee for notice of civil forfeiture of an unlicensed dog from $5 to $10. Proposed senate amendment changes the fee to the cost of mail delivery of the notice. A copy of the bill can be obtained at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2014/HB1261.pdf

STATUS: Passed House. Senate Public & Municipal Committee recommends passage with amendment, Senate votes 4/17.

DOGS Position:  Support; the fee increase is reasonable, and reflects a municipality’s cost to send the notice by certified mail.  

HB 1410: Allows animals to be included in domestic protective orders. A copy of the bill can be obtained at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2014/HB1410.pdf

STATUS: Passed House. Senate Judiciary Committee public hearing on 4/29 at 10:30am.

DOGS Position:  Support; including household pets in domestic protective orders may be necessary to protect the owner’s and pet’s safety.

 HB 1451: Establishing New Hampshire Canine Veterans’ Day on March 13th. A copy of the bill can be obtained at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2014/HB1451.pdf

STATUS: Passed House. Awaiting public hearing in Senate.

DOGS Position:  Support.

HB 1568: As amended by the House: Increasing the penalties for “willfully” injuring a service dog to include replacement of the dog, and requires service dogs to meet the minimum training standards for public access as set by the International Association of Assistance Dog Partners.  A copy of the bill is at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2014/HB1568.pdf

STATUS: Passed House as amended. Senate committee recommends passage.  

DOGS Position:  The requirement to leash one’s animal in the proximity of a service dog was removed from the bill and the threshold of culpability for injuring a service dog was changed back to “willingly” (currently in statute).

HB 1579: As amended, the bill allows the traps but increases the fines and. A copy of the bill can be found at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2014/HB1579.pdf

STATUS: Awaiting vote in Senate. Passed House with amendment.

DOGS Position:  DOGS supports the amended version of the bill. The bill is in response to an incident in 2012 when a dog was fatally injured when caught in a conibear trap that was illegally set.  Trapping wild animals is necessary to protect livestock, control infectious diseases and avoid property damage.

HB 1636: Allowing reduced fee spay/neuter for families at or below 130% of the poverty level. A copy of the bill can be found at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2014/HB1636.pdf

STATUS: Passed the House. Awaiting Senate public hearing.

DOGS Position:  DOGS supports.

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This summary report on NH Legislation provides a snapshot of the viewpoints and status of the significant bills that are being considered during the 2014 NH Legislative Session. Yvonne Nanasi, DOGS Legislative Consultant, prepares the “Update”. She can be contacted at yln@comcast.net.

DOGS is An American Kennel Club affiliated federation. Our members are involved in all aspects of pet ownership. To become a supporting member of DOGS’ programs and legislative advocacy efforts contact Joyce Arivella, DOGS President, at DOGS@NHdogs.org 

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