A lot has been happening since our last update. Please find details below, along with some related articles. 

Also, please continue to contact your Senators and Representatives to ensure they hear your thoughts and concerns on all of the bills this year. If you have questions on how to best do this, don’t hesitate to reach out. 
If you have any questions on a bill below, or one not listed, please let us know.

SB 77 -FN, relative to costs of care for animals seized in cruelty cases and prohibiting the future ownership of animals in certain animal cruelty cases.
Attached please find the latest version of the bill which they have added a return of unused bond if found innocent, but not a full refund. Also read the first two articles below as the recent Supreme Court ruling could have impacts on bills like this.

SB 161relative to the definition of pet vendor.
They moved amphibians, reptiles, fish, or small mammals to rulemaking, which lets the Dept of Ag determine threshold, but have done nothing to address the numbers for dogs, cats, or birds to a reasonable threshold. Dropping the current transfer number from 50 to 20 for dogs is a 60% decrease from current law and would label even the small-time breeder a Pet Vendor.

HB 501 -FNestablishing a cost of care fund to assist municipalities caring for animals during animal cruelty cases.
Retained in Committee.

HB 688 -FNrelative to transfer and inspection of animals.
No update at this time.

HB316 -FN, relative to the law governing training permits for the training of bird dogs and trail or tree hounds.
Voted Inexpedient to Legislate

HB 426establishing a committee to study allowing town clerks to accept proof of certain exemptions from the rabies vaccine for the purpose of registering dogs.
The hearing was Tuesday and was met with many in support, as well as many who opposed due to the study behind rabies titers not being complete.

HB 331relative to the duties of a veterinarian.
The hearing was Tuesday and similar to HB 426 as this also deals with rabies titers and vaccine dosage amounts.

HB 371adding cats to the definition of commercial kennel.
The hearing was Tuesday and was met with majority of support as the cat community would like to avoid being considered Pet Vendors in current definitions. With SB 161 removing the commercial kennel definition altogether, the topic was discussed briefly as well, and aside from HSUS many made it clear that a one-size-fits-all definition was not appropriate, including Rep. Flanagan who sponsored the bill.

HB 376establishing a commission to study best practices for companion animal groomers.
This hearing was Tuesday and the bill was opposed as written by most due to not including a professional groomer on the study commission. There were questions about if licensing groomers in NH is needed and a voluntary registration idea was raised. It seems the commission will be tasked with determining if this is needed, or if more education on best practices would be a good step.

Full list of bills

At this time only the following hearing is scheduled. Stay tuned for an update once the calendar comes out on Friday.

March 6 at 10:00am, LOB Room 302
House Commerce and Consumer Affairs
HB389: requiring the department of business and economic affairs to prepare materials for businesses relative to service dogs
This bill requires the availability, upon request, of the items below for businesses:
(a) A decal suitable for posting in a front window or door stating that service dogs are welcome and that misrepresentation of a dog as a service dog is violation of RSA 167-D:8.
(b) A brochure detailing permissible questions a business owner may ask in order to determine whether a dog is a service dog, proper answers to those questions, and guidelines defining behavior by the business owner that may violate the Americans with Disabilities Act. Such brochure shall also contain language stating that persons who have asthma or are allergic to animals may also be protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
2019 Legislation Update #5