During the 2010 NH Legislative Session, DOGS earmarked some 20 bills that would impact ownership, breeding, training and working with dogs and other companion animals. The numerous members of DOGS that testified at public hearings and contacted legislators certainly had an impact in legislators making informed voting decisions.  Due to the tireless involvement of our members, all of the bills had favorable outcomes. The final dispositions of the major bills that we were involved in are summarized below.

In August, the House Environment & Agriculture Committee will hold meeting to discuss  the “puppy mill” issues that were raised by HB 1624. The supporters of placing restrictions on dog breeding are expected to present information to encourage 2011 legislation.

2010 is an election year for all NH state house members and senators, and the governor (2 year terms). DOGS encourages you to get to know who is running for the House and Senate seats, ask them about their positions on companion animal issues, and knowledgeably exercise your right to vote in the September Primary and the November General Election.

DOGS is An American Kennel Club affiliated federation that represents NH dog and other companion animal owners. Our members are involved in all aspects of pet ownership. To become a supporting member of DOGS’ programs and our legislative advocacy efforts contact Joyce Arivella, DOGS President, at  DOGS@NHdogs.org .  Contact Joyce if your organization is interested in a legislative presentation that will include a review of which legislators supported our positions and a preview of the 2011 DOGS’ legislative initiatives at your next meeting.

New Laws – Legislation Enacted in 2010

Bill # Summary Status DOGS’ Comments



Allows any agent authorized by the commissioner of the department of agriculture to enforce humane slaughter laws. Signed into law by the Governor. Effective 7/13/10. Chapter Law 302. A copy of final bill is at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2010/HB1359.html DOGS supported this bill.



Allows the restaurants owner’s dog to accompany him/her in certain areas of the establishment as long as a notice is posted. Signed into law by the Governor. Effective 9/11/10. Chapter Law 305. A copy of the final bill is at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2010/HB1417.html DOGS supported this bill. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Butler, owns an Inn and the new health inspector maintains that the owner’s dogs having access to the dining room was a violation of state health regulations.



Allowing appropriately trained physical therapists to practice on animals and gives the board of veterinary medicine jurisdiction over physical therapists practicing on animals. Signed into law by the Governor. Effective 6/17/10. Chapter Law 170.A copy of the final bill is available at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2010/HB1525.html DOGS supported the bill. It further fine tunes a bill enacted last year and is the result of a collaboration of the state veterinarians’ and the physical therapists’ associations.

HB 1690

Repeals several committees including the Pet Overpopulation Study Committee. Signed into law by the Governor. Effective 12/31/10. Chapter Law 368. A copy of the bill is at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2010/HB1690.html DOGS supported the bill. The Pet Overpopulation Committee has not met for five years.

HB 630

Prohibits live greyhound racing in New Hampshire Signed into law by the Governor. Effective 1/1/11. Chapter Law 272. A copy of the final bill is at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2010/HB0630.html DOGS did not agree with the supporters of the bill who claimed that the licensed NH racing establishments were mistreating the dogs.
BudgetBill SSHB1 Includes a provision increasing the pet store, animal shelters and commercial breeder annual state licensing fees from $200 to $350. Signed into law by the Governor. Chapter Law 1.A copy is at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2010/SSHB0001.html An advocacy group representing those licensees had no problem with the increase.  While DOGS did not have a position, we monitored it closely to insure that it was not expanded to include hobby breeders.

Defeated Bills – Killed in 2010

Bill # Summary Status DOGS’ Comment


HB 1

Both Senate and House bills contained provisions that eliminated the position of Animal Population Control Assistant and required the Commissioner of Agriculture to outsource the program to a private contractor not to exceed $20,000 a year. Final version of the budget bill retains the position and the program’s management within the Dept. and funds it from the Spay/Neuter Fund rather than the General Fund. DOGS opposed the elimination of the position and outsourcing the program to a private contractor.  Other states’ experience shows that this is costly and inefficient.


Requiring certain engine coolants and antifreeze to include an aversive (bittering) agent so that they are rendered unpalatable. Killed in Conference Committee While DOGS supported the bill, recent studies have shown that the addition of a bittering agent to antifreeze has not had the effect that was hoped for in children.


Allowing the use of long-term antibiotics for the treatment of Lyme disease in humans. Killed in Conference Committee.



Renames service dogs as assistance dogs, Provides an option for assistance dogs wear an identifying tag, Allows the advisory council on emergency preparedness to use New Hampshire assistance dog identification tag registration information to prepare for emergencies. Killed in the House DOGS provided information to the sponsor and the Health & Human Services Committee at the public hearing that the bill has serious conflicts with the Federal Disabilities law that need to be resolved even if the tab is optional.


Changes the time period by 15 days during which dog owners who have failed to license their dogs shall be notified of the civil forfeiture of each unlicensed dog and increases the warrant fee from $5 to $10. Killed in the House. The bill was requested by the municipal clerks’ organization.  After attending the public hearing, DOGS still didn’t understand why the bill was needed.
HB1612 Restriction of the use and sale of carisoprodol, tramadol hydrochloride, and temazepam Killed in the House DOGS opposed this bill as it could have interfered with veterinarians prescribing and dispensing medications for pets.



Required that any breeder with more than 10 intact dogs over 4 months old comply with the regulations (AGR 1702) that apply to pet shops, adopting animal shelters and commercial kennels. The method of anesthesia or pain reduction for tail docking, surgical birth or debarking were proscribed in the bill. Killed in the House. DOGS opposed the bill. It was proposed to stop “puppy mills” but it imposed unnecessary and onerous requirements on responsible dog owners and breeders. It dictated in statute veterinary medical decision practices and procedures disregarding the needs of the breed of dog, the unique circumstances, or the veterinarian’s and owner’s decisions.



Creates a new section in the animal cruelty laws that sets specific requirements for dog tethering including the length and type of tether as well as duration. It also amended RSA 644:8, IV-a(a), the animal cruelty statute, to allow an animal, suspected of being abused or neglected, to be taken into custody without a warrant. Killed in the House DOGS opposed  the bill. The House Criminal Justice Committee voted 13-2 to kill the bill.  The committee report stated that the bill contained “requirements for a proper tether which the majority felt was unduly intrusive.  Current statutes are adequate at this time because this bill, if enacted, would punish all animal owners, including mushers, rather than the occasional animal abuser.”
SB365 Required that animal shelters and rescue organizations cannot sell, give away, adopt, or otherwise transfer ownership of any dog or cat unless it has been sexually sterilized. Killed in the House At the House public hearing, a veterinarian raised concerns about enforcement especially with regards to animals transported from other states and the potential for requiring neuter/spaying of all pets as the “next step” that alarmed many committee members.
2010 NH Legislation Summary Report
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