During this time of the 2011 Legislative Session, DOGS has identified bills that still require our attention. The following two bills raise issues that impact our members. Senators are now deliberating these House bills need to hear from you about these concerns.

HB 532 – Repealing municipal liability statutes for damages done by dogs.

As noted in the discussions on the bill when it went before the House, it is intended to remove out-dated statutes from the books.  Dog Owners of the Granite State (DOGS) is concerned that HB 532 may result in unintended consequences.  We are concerned that repeal of the statutes listed in HB 532 will remove the basis for the dog licensing laws.

When these laws were enacted (1863-1891) they were intended to resolve the problems of a rural agricultural community.  The fees collected from licensing dogs were dedicated to paying for the damages incurred by dogs to livestock and farm operations.

Today, dog licensing accomplishes many public safety and service functions.  It serves to insure that dogs are properly vaccinated against diseases that are a danger to society.  It assists in identifying  owners of dogs that are lost or running at large. Moreover, the fees collected from dog licensing are critical for funding municipal animal control operations and the state’s spay/neuter fund.   Over the past ten years, the state’s spay/neuter fund has been very successful in controlling the dog population.

A copy of the bill is available at

STATUS: Awaiting a public hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Passed the House.

ACTION NEEDED: Contact your Senator and those listed below on the Senate Judiciary Committee

HB 225 – Requires the return of personal property confiscated by law enforcement within 5 business days after the acquittal or dismissal of the proceedings against a person charged with a crime. An agency or entity that fails to comply with this requirement shall pay a civil fine of $100 per day up to a maximum of  $10,000.  A copy of the bill is available at

STATUS: Public hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee scheduled for April 28th at 2pm in room 101 Legislative Office Bldg.  Passed the House.

ACTION NEEDED: DOGS supports this bill and asks you to urge your Senator and Senators on the Judiciary Committee to vote for its passage. The fines provided for in this bill should be an incentive for agencies who are in possession of confiscated pets to be prepared to return the animals should the owner be found not guilty.

Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to Contact for These Bills are:

Matthew S. Houde, Chairman, Legislative Office Building, Room 101-A
33 N. State Street
Concord NH 03301
(603) 271-2118

Sharon M. Carson, V Chairman, Statehouse Room 106
107 N. Main Street
Concord NH 03301
(603) 271-2674

Fenton L. Groen, Statehouse Room 107
107 N. Main Street
Concord NH 03301

Jim Luther

Statehouse Room 105-A
107 N. Main Street
Concord NH 03301
(603) 271-2246


April 21, 2011 Legislative Update