Legislative Alert: January 4, 2016
New Hampshire Federation of Humane Organizations
OPPOSE: HB 661:
Animal Shelter Reporting Bill
This bill will be voted upon on Wednesday, January 6, by our New Hampshire House of Representatives.
Prime Sponsor: Representative Janice Gardner (D-Dover)
Call or email your state representatives and urge them to vote NO on HB 661
Frequently Asked Questions:
Myth: Licensed shelters and rescues are already required to submit these statistics to other agencies.
Fact: The NH Department of Agriculture, Markets & Food, which licenses shelters and rescues, does not require these organizations to submit programming statistics. The NH Federation of Humane Organizations (NHFHO), a coalition of 12 licensed shelters and six licensed rescues, compiles internal annual statistics to follow trends in the homeless animal population. Many shelters and rescues also include their annual statistics in annual reports.
Myth: There is no oversight for licensed shelters and rescues that include lifesaving programs to transport dogs from other parts of the country to New Hampshire where they can find loving homes.
Fact: There are stringent legal requirements under RSA 437 (under the jurisdiction of the NH Department of Agriculture) which require any animal transferred across state lines to a licensed shelter or rescue to be fully vaccinated (including against rabies), to receive a health certificate by a licensed veterinarian both in the state of origin and again by a NH licensed veterinarian showing the animal is free of contagious disease, to be heartworm negative, and to be free of both internal and external parasites (roundworms, fleas, etc.). Furthermore, all animals who cross state lines as part of these programs must be quarantined in a licensed facility for at least 48 hours prior to being transferred into a new home.
The NHFHO is deeply concerned about those organizations which do not follow current law. To that end, the NHFHO, in conjunction with the NHVMA and funded, in part, by a grant from The Humane Society of the United States, created NHPetSave which seeks to educate through PSAs and a website, potential adopters who are considering adopting an animal they have found online. This public service campaign advises potential adopters to ask three questions: 1) is the source of this pet a licensed business by the state of NH?, 2) what type of health protections does this pet come with? and 3) are you able to meet this pet before spending any money?
Furthermore, the NHFHO created internal regulations in 2003, prior to any state law requirement that created guidelines for animal transports. These internal recommendations were updated again in 2015. Creating new regulations for licensed shelters and rescues that are already following (and, in many cases, going above and beyond) existing state law will not solve the issues with organizations that are not. Resources to enforce existing law is what is needed.
Myth: Other non-profit organizations have to report programming statistics to the state.
Fact: According to the Division of Charitable Trusts, no other non-profit is currently required to submit these types of statistics. This bill unfairly targets NH shelters and rescues in this requirement. If reporting is needed, the Department of Agriculture, Markets & Food should oversee those requirements as part of licensing. Furthermore, the other licensee categories within RSA 437:2 (commercial kennels, brokers and pet stores) are not included in this reporting requirement even though many of them also transport animals into the state. If the concern is around animals entering the state from other parts of the country, all licensees should be included.
Call or email your state representive and tell them you oppose HB 661
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