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UPDATED. Advocacy Alert! Animal Cruelty Prevention Bill

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UPDATE FEB 16 

Please contact your senators and urge support of SB 569.  Groups that are opposed to this bill have already begun contacting senators even though the bill has not been voted out of the Senate Energy Committee. We must do the same! Sen. Energy is expected to vote on Tuesday, February 20 which would mean the full Senate vote will fall on March 8.

New Hampshire lawmakers will be voting on legislation to crack down on animal cruelty and the excessive financial burden it puts on taxpayers and animal shelters.

Currently, the town in which cruelty occurs, and by extension its taxpayers, are legally required to pay for the costs to care for the seized animals while criminal cruelty charges are prosecuted. These costs can reach hundreds of thousands of dollars. Ultimately, the financial burden is passed down to the shelters and protectors that have rescued the animals. The courts order restitution at times from the those found guilty of animal cruelty. Unfortunately, in our experience, most restitution is never paid, or paid so slowly that it would take decades to pay off. Additionally, the definitions found in the current law for ‘commercial breeder’ and ‘felony cruelty’ are too broad to ensure that commercial breeders are providing appropriate animal care and that acts of cruelty are penalized accordingly. 

SB 569-FN will strengthen regulations for commercial dog breeders, pass a cost of animal cruelty law and ensure felony penalties for purposeful cruelty that results in the death of an animal. This legislation will also require mandatory, unannounced inspections by the Department of Agriculture.

TAKE ACTION


Calling is the one of the most effective actions you can take. Please make a brief, polite phone call to your New Hampshire state senator to urge their support for SB 569-FN. Look up your legislator's phone number. You can say, “As your constituent, I urge you to support SB 569-FN to address animal cruelty in New Hampshire and to ease the taxpayers' burden of covering the cost of care for seized animals."

After your call,  please email a  follow-up message. Find your state senator's contact info here:http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/Senate/members/wml...

Sample Email:  

Your Message

Support SB 569-FN to address animal cruelty in New Hampshire

Dear Senator,

As your concerned constituent, I urge your support of SB 569-FN.

The cost of care for animals seized in animal cruelty cases creates an enormous financial burden on taxpayers. Additionally, the definitions found in the current law do not ensure adequate state regulation and enforcement.

This legislation will strengthen regulations for commercial breeders, ensure appropriate penalties for heinous acts of cruelty and address the enormous financial burden this abuse puts on New Hampshire tax payers.

Please support SB 569-FN to prevent local towns and their taxpayers from incurring huge costs, to redefine what constitutes a commercial breeder and to expand the definition of 'cruelty' to include penalties for behavior that results in the death of, or serious bodily injury, to an animal.

Thank you.

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UPDATE: FEB 7, 2018

The hearing room on February 6 was packed with concerned citizens! After four hours of testimony, the Committee has scheduled a continuation of the hearing for next Tuesday, February 13th at 9:15am in the State House Lobby, Room 103 giving citizens an extra week to submit their comments in support and offers an opportunity for those who couldn't attend today to sign in to support the bill next week. 

Please contact your senator and members of the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee and ask them to give their support to SB 569-FN.

Senate Bill 569-FN is a comprehensive animal cruelty prevention bill that will receive its first public hearing with the Senate Energy & Natural Resources THIS TUESDAY, February 6th at 9:15am in the State House, Room 103, 107 North Main St., Concord. The public is welcome to attend. We will need everyone's voice to ensure its passage and this is the first important step for this legislation.

Summary of Senate Bill 569-FN

Relative to Animal Cruelty, sponsored by Senator Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfeboro), will 1) seek to strengthen regulations for commercial dog breeders ensuring they meet basic animal care standards through mandatory, unannounced inspections and licensing requirements and clearly defines what constitutes a commercial breeder 2) clarify that felony animal cruelty penalties be applied to purposeful cruelty that results in the death or serious bodily injury of an animal, and 3) pass a cost of animal care law to address the enormous financial burden placed on New Hampshire taxpayers and non-profits to care for animals who are seized lawfully as part of an animal cruelty investigation.

Here's how you can help:

BEFORE TUESDAY, PLEASE CONTACT THE SENATE ENERGY & NATURAL RESOURCES COMMITTEE and urge their support of SB 569-FN.

This committee is comprised of five Senators including the bill's sponsor, Senator Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfeboro) and one of the bill's many co-sponsors, Senator Dan Innis (R-New Castle). Please email the committee's aide, Griffin Roberge at Griffin.Roberge@leg.state.nh.us with your comments prior to Tuesday.

Subject Line: Support SB 569-FN: Relative to Animal Cruelty

Greeting: Dear Chairman Avard and Members of the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee

Body: State your reasons for requesting their support and be sure to include your name and your town.

If YOUR state Senator sits on this committee, follow-up with a phone call.

You can find your state Senator at https://goo.gl/3HEA5h and the committee makeup at https://goo.gl/3HEA5h

This is the beginning of the legislative process for this bill and we will be calling on citizens to voice their support each step of the way. Please keep your written comments handy!

IF YOU ARE ABLE TO ATTEND THE PUBLIC HEARING ON FEBRUARY 6TH:

You can: 1) sign in to support the bill; 2) submit written testimony to the committee; or 3) testify verbally (note: if you plan to speak, you are limited to three minutes and should bring six printed copies of your comments for the committee). If you are not testifying, you do not need to stay for the duration, you can simply stop by and sign in. HSUS will have volunteers on hand to direct you to the room and show you the process. Please plan to arrive by 9:00am or earlier if you intend to stay for the entire hearing, which may take a few hours, as there will be limited seating. Dress is professional, however, we recommend wearing comfortable shoes as it is likely to be standing room only.

NEXT STEPS FOR THIS BILL

February 6th - Senate Energy Committee public hearing

Mid-February – Full Senate Vote

March 28th - Humane Lobby Day – A Chance to meet your legislators and encourage their support

April - Date TBD - House Committee public hearing

Thank you for your advocacy!


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