Last week Senator Bradley held the Stakeholder meeting for the upcoming Animal Cruelty legislation. Rep. O’Connor, Rep. Bixby, among others, were in attendance.We were presented with the two bills that are planned to come out of the Senate, sponsored by Sen. Bradley.We are expecting a few more bills to come out of the House. Stay tuned and when the bills are available online we will share them.
I am pleased to announce that Angela Ferrari and Sosanna Folz have agreed to take over the leadership of Dog Owners of the Granite State. Many of you may know them from the excellent work they did last winter fighting the HSUS bill, sponsored by Sen Bradley. Sosanna and Angela did an exceptionable job against long odds and lots of money to promote HSUS’s national agenda. HSUS had hired an entire high-powered lobbying firm at a cost of more than $20,000.
The sad thing is that HSUS will be back again this year. Rather than trying to reach a real, constructive compromise beneficial for New Hampshire’s dogs and that all sides could agree to, HSUS has spent this summer pushing their bill and blaming the AKC, D.O.G.S., and “New Hampshire’s responsible dog “breeders” for its defeat. They still seem to be equating owning an unspayed bitch to being a commercial breeder. They certainly don’t seem to accept the scientific evidence that says that spaying a bitch increases the chance of cancer, can lead to aggression, and is unnecessary, if the only reason for doing it is so they won’t be bred.
So, please, in the months to come, give your support to Angela and Sosanna. They can be reached at dogs.nh@gmail or through our Facebook page and, remember, when you vote this year, that how candidates stand on animal issues is important.
We are taking a well deserved summer vacation – enjoying our dogs and doing some gardening. We may interrupt it for an occasional post, but, for now, we’ll see you in the fall when legislative season starts again.
Meanwhile, don’t forget there is an election coming up in November. Take the time to get to know your candidates for State Representative and State Senator. Please don’t just assume that because they belong to one party or the other, that they are on our side. Remember that the SB569 had both sponsors and opponents from both parties (Roll Call – here ), so ask the candidates questions about where they stand on animal issues. Educate them and let them know your viewpoint.
It has come to our attention that the Humane Society of the United States and its New Hampshire affiliate are accusing the AKC of “handing out a $1,000 reward” to D.O.G.S. for the defeat of SB569. This is flat-out NOT true, and we hope that HSUS and HSUS-NH will make a correction.
The AKC presented the “Walter Bebout Memorial Award for Leadership in Canine Legislation” to D.O.G.S., with its accompanying check, in the beginning of MARCH before SB 569 had even passed out of the Senate. The defeat of SB569 didn’t occur until over two months later at the end of MAY.
D.O.G.S. was very honored to receive this award. D.O.G.S. received this recognition for being a leader for over a quarter century in ensuring the health, safety and welfare of New Hampshire’s household pets and their owners. During those 25 years+, DOGS has advocated for everything from the creation of the first-in-the nation State Spay/Neuter fund for low-income owners, funded solely by dog license fees to the first-in-the-nation requirement that shelters check incoming strays for microchips to a holding period for stray cats in shelters – at the time the shelters were euthanizing cats the day they arrived; and to ensure that search and rescue dogs and their owners couldn’t be turned away from a motel when responding to an official request for help.
After the requirement to scan for microchips was inadvertently omitted from the law last year when NH- RSA437 was rewritten, Rep. Steven Smith, in response to our request sponsored a bill to make sure that all animal shelters in New Hampshire will once again check pets for microchips or other permanent forms of identification. This will ensure the best possible chance for lost pets to be reunited with their owners. In support of this bill, the American Kennel Club has offered to supply up to 20 shelters with free universal scanners.
After three meetings in three days, the conference committee, consisting of three senators and four representatives, was unable to reach an agreement and SB 569 – relative to animal cruelty will not become law.
First, a big thank you to everyone who came to Concord to testify or just sign in opposed to the senate version of SB 569 as well as those who wrote and called about the bill. You did a wonderful job explaining the concerns of people who raise dogs as an avocation, not as a commercial enterprise.
The House Environment and Agriculture Committee spent long hours working on the bill and their efforts produced a bill we could support. The House version a clear and easily enforceable definition of who should hold a state license as a commercial breeder – recognizing the difference between private citizens who own dogs and participate in the many wonderful dog activities held in our State, and commercial kennels whose primary focus is breeding animals for sale. (more…)