Public Hearing Update – SB 137 (eliminating Plan A from the spay/neuter program)

SB 137 had previously been the bill to create an animal friendly license plate to help fund the state’s spay/neuter program.  Senator Roberge recognized that the license plate initiative needed more work and amended the bill on the floor of the senate to delete the license plate initiative.  Now, the new SB 137 eliminates Plan A from the state spay/neuter program thereby providing additional funding for Plan B.  Plan A allows the animal shelters to provide a voucher to reduce the cost of spaying/neutering a dog/cat that is adopted at a shelter.  There are no income criteria for being able to qualify for this voucher.  SB 137 retains Plan B that provides dog or cat spay/neutering for a nominal co-pay for persons that participate in certain low-income programs.

The April 16th public hearing on SB 137 was certainly a landmark event in the history of DOGS legislative advocacy.  Senator Roberge, Dr. Crawford (the state veterinarian), Joyce Arivella, Jan Gardner, Jay Phinizy, Peter Marsh and the representative from Bedford Animal Shelter testified in support of the bill.  Nevertheless, some committee members are concerned about the need to reach out to cat owners and those who are not participants in the state’s low-income programs that may need low cost spay/neuter services.

This coming week, please take a few minutes to send a brief note to the members of the House Environment & Agriculture Committee (see contact list below) urging them to support the passage of SB 137, as amended by the Senate.

Talking Points to include in your request to Support the new “SB 137”:

  • During this difficult economic period, it is crucial to target the state spay/neuter program funding to the target population where it will do the most good – those that qualify as low-income.
  • Low income persons are those least able to afford to spay/neuter their dog or cat and are least likely to be able to afford to care for their pet’s offspring.
  • Those who do not qualify as low-income under Plan A, can access low-cost services at local shelters were spay/neuter is offered as part of the adoption service or consult their veterinarian for which programs in their locality offer assistance in the procedures.
  • Nothing in SB 137 would prohibit the shelters who currently use Plan A to conduct their own spay/neuter program for pets as several do at this time utilizing their own funds or the services of other organizations.  SB 137 allows shelters to offer the Plan B spay/neuter subsidy to those who qualify as low-income.

Members of the House Environment and Agriculture Committee

Chair, Representative Tara Sad, Cheshire- District 02
PO Box 909
Walpole, NH  03608-0909
Phone: (603)756-4861
Email: tara.eric@gmail.com

Vice-Chair, Representative Jane Beaulieu, Hillsborough- District 17
609 South Main St
Manchester, NH  03102-5134
Phone: (603)203-8440
Email: jane.beaulieu@leg.state.nh.us

Representative Suzanne Smith, Grafton- District 07
20 Brookside Ln.
Hebron, NH  03241-7200
Phone: (603)744-8871
Email: zanne1@metrocast.net

Representative Derek Owen, Merrimack- District 04
580 Brockway Road
Hopkinton, NH  03229-2012
Phone: (603)225-2252
Email: owen31@juno.com

Representative Peter Allen, Cheshire- District 06
25 Seaver Road
Harrisville, NH  03450-5538
Phone: (603)827-5530

Representative Leigh Webb, Merrimack- District 02
PO Box 154
Franklin, NH  03235-0154
Phone: (603)934-8222
Email: leigh.webb@leg.state.nh.us

Representative Roger Beauchamp, Hillsborough- District 17
25 Legacy Dr
Manchester, NH  03102-2136
Phone: (603)624-8332
Email: roger.beauchamp@leg.state.nh.us

Representative Steven Lindsey, Cheshire- District 03
89 Marlboro St Apt 1
Keene, NH  03431
Phone: (603)547-7375
Email: steven.lindsey@leg.state.nh.us

Representative Brian Poznanski, Hillsborough- District 26
32 McKenna Dr
Nashua, NH  03062-1825
Phone: (603)888-1543
Email: bpoznanski@anselm.edu

Representative Susan Wiley. Carroll- District 03
222 Diamond Ledge Rd
Ctr Sandwich, NH  03227-3207
Phone: (603)284-6990
Email: stephmwv@ncia.net

Representative Robert Haefner, Hillsborough- District 27
1 St. John St.
Hudson, NH  03051-3733
Phone: (603)889-1553
Email: bobhaefnerjp@comcast.net

Representative Irene Messier, Hillsborough- District 17
40 New Gate Circle
Manchester, NH  03102-5147
Phone: (603)622-9146

Representative Burton Williams, Grafton- District 08
222 Cardigan Mtn Rd
Bristol, NH  03222-4701
Phone: (603)744-8797

Representative J. David Knox, Carroll- District 04
PO Box 102
Wolfeboro, NH  03894-0102
Phone: (603)569-2530
Email: jdknox@worldpath.net

Representative Laura Gandia, Hillsborough- District 27
Three Chamberlin Dr
Litchfield, NH  03052-2464
Phone: (603)424-1071
Email: laura.gandia@leg.state.nh.us

Representative Warren Groen, Strafford- District 01
17 Alice Lane
Rochester, NH  03867-8502
Phone: (603)332-8988
Email: warrengroen@gmail.com

Representative Stephen Palmer, Hillsborough- District 06
8 Border St
Milford, NH  03055-3800
Phone: (603)673-5272
Email: spalmer_peanuts@msn.com

Representative Pamela Tucker, Rockingham- District 17
15 Eagle Ct
Greenland, NH  03840-2336
Phone: (603)431-8982
Email: pamzt@comcast.net

April 18th Legislative Update, SB137