Come celebrate New Hampshire’s #1 Dog. ‘Reckon’, an Australian Shepherd from Kensington, NH, was named Best of Show at the 10th Annual AKC/Eukanuba National Championship, beating out 2,500 other canines vying for the title. He and his owners will be presented with a Governor’s commendation at a press conference on Tuesday, January 18th, at noon in the Legislative Office Building lobby in Concord.
2011 NH Legislative Session has Commenced
UPDATE – DOGS OPPOSES HB 57:
Report on House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee Public Hearing
HB 57: Establishing a committee to study the penalties for menace, nuisance, or vicious dogs
On Thursday, January 13th, Joyce Arivella and Nancy Holmes (DOGS Board members) testified in opposition to HB 57. Representative Shurtleff from Penacook, sponsor of HB 57, became concerned about the clarity of the dog laws after Hillsborough law enforcement officials were confused about how to cite the owner of a pit bull that bit a child. The dog was tethered in the owner’s yard when the bite occurred.
Joyce Arivella speaking for DOGS at the House Criminal Justice Committee’s public hearing noted that “Although we sympathize with the child and her parents, NH has good dog laws that have stood the test of time. The law allows for the police or Animal Control Officer to deal with any dog deemed a threat to public safety. In fact, many towns have their own ordinances about vicious dogs.” Joyce provided copies of the ordinances from Bennington, New Durham and Sugar Hill.
In Nancy Holmes’ statement to the committee opposing the bill, she explained that “the effective answer to the issue of dog bites is not found in changing the penalty section of the laws but rather in education. The focus on the penalty section of the law will not reduce or end such bite incidents, as this bill will concentrate on after the fact punishment. What is needed is a proactive solution focusing on prevention. Such a solution might be to have education in our schools, through the animal shelters, by local trainers or even through local dog clubs to promote appropriate training for dogs, children and adults”. Nancy provided the committee with examples of education materials from an excellent website http://www.safekidssafedogs.com/ . The website is written by Karen Peak of West Wind Dog Training and former NH resident.
HB 57 is one of a handful of bills that the House Criminal Justice Committee has scheduled for a committee vote on Tuesday, January 18th starting at 1pm in room 204 LOB.
UPCOMING LEGISLATIVE HEARINGS AND BILLS
CACR3: Providing that referenda to enact laws may be initiated by petition.
DOGS Position: DOGS Opposes. Although the idea of N.H. being a referendum state might be appealing, one only has to look at what occurred in Missouri last fall. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and its supporters spent well over $4M to pass their “puppy mill” proposal. Not to mention Florida where, through a referendum, HSUS was able to add protection for pigs to the Florida constitution.
STATUS: House Election Law Committee – Public Hearing: 1/18/2011 at 11:00 AM Room 308 LOB.
DOGS have selected some 20 bills from the legislative service filings. Most of these are still in the drafting process and do not have bill numbers at this time. These include:
- HB 30 – Relative to license reciprocity for Veterinarians. Prime Sponsor: Rep. Sad Committee Hearing: 1/18/11, 1pm, Rm303 LOB
- HB 79 – Certification of Dogs for law enforcement work. Prime Sponsor: Rep. Welch Committee Hearing: 1/13/11, 11:30am, Rm204 LOB
The text is not available for the following bills:
- LSR 93 – Relative to the purchase of ill animals from licensed animal vendors and inspections of animal vendor premises by the state veterinarian. (NH Dept. of Agriculture request). Prime Sponsor: Rep. Sad
- LSR 336 – Relative to landowner consent for administrative inspection. Prime Sponsor: Rep. Weyler
- LSR 557 – Relative to service animals. Prime Sponsor:Rep. Schlachman
- LSR 587 – Requiring registration of persons convicted of animal abuse. Prime Sponsor: Rep. Blakenbeker
- LSR 613 – Requiring adding a bittering agent to antifreeze products. Prime Sponsor: Sen. Odell
- LSR 625 – Relative to an additional fee for licensing & restraining dogs. Prime Sponsor: Rep. Cooney
- LSR 641 – Prohibiting night vision enhancement for hunting. Prime Sponsor: Rep. Reed
- LSR 676 – Relative to municipal liability for dog bites. Prime Sponsor: Rep. Greazzo