The DOGS Legislative Briefing Newsletter was suspended for few weeks while the legislature took a vacation break and the House cleared up a backlog of action on other bills. The diligent advocacy activities of DOGS members made a significant difference in the outcome of several bills. Every bill that DOGS opposed has been killed. The bills that remain for the last half of the NH legislative session require our support – a way to help those that have helped us and show that DOGS is pro-active.
NH LEGISLATIVE ACTION UPDATE
HB 1639 : Dog Tethering Requirements & Unlawful Taking
The House Criminal Justice Committee voted 13-2 to kill the bill (Inexpediant to Legislate). Representative Gagne in the committee report stated that the bill contained “requirements for a proper tether which the majority felt was unduly intrusive. We also felt that the 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.” On March 11th, the House voted to accept the committee recommendation and the bill is killed for this year.
Many thanks to all who made the extra effort to testify in opposition and send numerous messages to the committee and your local representatives.
HB 1624: placing undue restrictions on dog breeders and owners under the guise of eliminating “puppy mills”.
STATUS: Killed in the House on February 10th.
SB 365: requires that animal shelters (including dog rescue shelters) cannot sell, give away, adopt, or otherwise transfer ownership of any dog or cat unless it has been sexually sterilized. DOGS supported the bill which was requested by animal shelter advocates. DOGS requested an amendment that added essential protections for animals and animal owners such as; an exemption for health reasons and an animal reclaimed by its owner. The amendment was incorporated into the bill. Further amendments are being prepared for the House Committee public hearing by DOGS in coordination with the State Veterinarian.
STATUS: Passed the Senate with Amendment. DOGS’ requested amendments were incorporated into the bill. A Senate floor amendment was accepted that requested by Sen. Roberge, bill’s sponsor, that provided for an exemption for shelters that can demonstrate that at least 85% of the dogs transferred had been sterilized in the previous year through the voucher system or private means. Next step: public hearing before the House Environment & Agriculture Committee to be announced.
HB 1417: allowing companion dogs in certain areas of restaurants at the owners’ discretion. 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 is a violation of the state regulations. DOGS is supporting the bill.
STATUS: The House Commerce Committee is recommended the bill for passage and it passed the House. Next step – Senate Commerce Committee public hearing to be announced.
HB 1525: allowing appropriately trained physical therapists to practice on animals. The bill adds language to the statute passed last year that is agreeable to the therapists and the NH veterinarian’s association. DOGS supports the bill.
STATUS: Passed the House. Next step: Senate public hearing to be scheduled.
HB 1596: 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. The bill was requested by the municipal clerks’ organization. After attending the public hearing, DOGS still didn’t understand why the bill was needed.
STATUS: House voted to kill the bill.
HB 431: requiring certain engine coolants and antifreeze to include an aversive agent so that they are rendered unpalatable. DOGS supports this bill.
STATUS: Awaiting a recommendation from the House Criminal Justice Committee on the penalty provisions in the bill. Previously, it was approved for passage by the House Commerce Committee for the commerce provisions.