As the content of the 2015 bills becomes available, we expect to be adding more bills. At this time, we are waiting for the bills to issue. Here is an overview of what information we have at this time.
Please note, the LSR # is not the bill number – it’s the drafting request number. Also, when bills numbers are noted (HBxx or SBxx), we have embedded a hyperlink that will get you to a copy of the bill. Hyperlinks are embedded in Committee names to access legislative committee members’ contact information. We hope this will encourage you to proactively reach out to legislators and when doing so make sure to “cc” email@example.com. If you need help contacting or writing to legislators, contact Yvonne at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SB 15 – Requiring owners of companion animals to leash such animals in the presence of a service dog. Failure to leash will be a misdemeanor. Sponsor: Sen. John Reagan. Status: Awaiting scheduling of public hearing in Senate Public & Municipal Affairs Committee.
LSR 322 – Relative to the cost of animal care in cruelty cases. Sponsor: Rep. Efstathia Booras.
We anticipate that this bill will be our biggest challenge. We understand that it was brought forth at the request of HSUS. If animals are seized under the animal cruelty statute, a judge would determine whether the animal(s)’ owner would be required to post a bond to cover the cost of care during the disposition of the cruelty charges.
This new process raises several questions and concerns. We are concerned that the costs could be prohibitive for owners of multiple animals. If the owners cannot afford to post bond, would they be forced to relinquish their animal(s). What would happen if the owner is subsequently found innocent or the charges were dismissed? Can low income individuals obtain free legal counsel for the bond hearing? Should the owner be found not guilty, would a refund be forthcoming?
Current NH law requires that if one is convicted of animal cruelty, then they must pay reimbursement for the costs of caring for the animals involved. This seems to be a fair and equitable way to deal with the costs. Similar legislation has been proposed and enacted in other states. We urge you to start thinking about the implications of this bill and alert others. More details will be forthcoming in the next DOGS Legislative Newsletter.
LSR 673 – Relative to recordkeeping for sold or transferred animals. Sponsor: Rep. Jan Gardner. We understand that Rep. Gardner’s bill will be similar to a bill that DOGS supported in 2014.
LSR 139 – Prohibiting driving while holding an animal in the driver’s seat. Sponsor: Rep. Herbert Richardson.
LSR 593 – Relative to acceptance of risk in outdoor recreational activities. Sponsor: Rep. Rebecca Brown
LSR 693 – Transferring the fish and game department to the department of safety. Sponsor: Rep. John Burt.
LSR 930 – Relative to harassment of hunting, fishing, or trapping. Sponsor: Sen. David Watters
LSR 828 – Relative to Lyme disease awareness. Sponsor: Rep. Pamela Brown