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Thank you to those who were able to attend
the "Million Dog March" on October 14, 2007!

The March was just the beginning of our campaign for better standards of shelter for our beloved canine friends. You'll find more pictures - here.


HB 1143 Update - Now it's the law!

On On June 24, 2008, Governor Lynch signed House Bill 1143 into law, making 2008 the last year of suffering for New Hampshire's backyard dogs.

House Bill 1143 amends our animal cruelty statute ( RSA 644:8) to provide better shelter requirements for dogs that live outside. Effective Jan 1 2009, necessary shelter for dogs must be structurally sound, and give protection from all types of weather. Shelter must provide adequate air circulation, protection from sunlight, and be sufficient to keep the dog clean, warm and dry. Failure to provide adequate shelter is a misdemeanor on a first offense, and a Class B felony on a subsequent offense.

To many people these requirements will seem rudimentary, even minimal, but they are far, far better than what we had prior to HB 1143, and we are certain that a law enforcement officer who is motivated to help a suffering dog can use the new standards to intervene to legally require a sufficient shelter.
The process for HB 1143 began over a year ago when all NH legislators were contacted to ask them to sponsor a bill to amend our animal cruelty statute to provide better requirements for shelter for outside dogs. A handful of legislators responded... the most enthusiastic was Representative Carla Skinder of Cornish, who became our prime sponsor. The bill was co-sponsored in the NH Senate by long time animal advocate, Senator Sheila Roberge of Bedford.

On October 14, 2007, we inaugurated our new bill with the Million Dog March at the State House n Concord New Hampshire. While we didn't exactly reach our goal of a Million Dogs, we were happy that so many turned out to say, "Give Us Shelter !" Take a look at photos from the event here.
Our first legislative stop was at the House of Representatives Environment and Agriculture Committee. We've been before this Committee with this idea several times before, but this time it was different. About 80 people came to the hearing, members of the Committee told us they'd never had so many people at a public hearing before. Most important, the members of the Committee listened to us ! They amended our bill, changed the technical details, but ... they passed it unanimously and we were happy!
Then the bill went before the entire House of Representatives and passed on the Consent Calendar on March 5, 2008.

Next, over to the Senate, where we had our final hearing before the Public and Municipal Affairs Committee on May 7, 2008. Due to the remarkable negotiating skills of our sponsor, Rep. Skinder, every organization that previously opposed the bill withdrew their opposition and, once again, HB 1143 passed unanimously through the Committee . A week later the bill passed the full Senate. The Governor signed in on June 24, 2008, and now it's law.
The legislative process is long and complex, with many dangerous twists and turns . HB 1143, in its final form, is not as strong as we would have liked, but it's a beginning and it's far better that what existed previously.

We have a long way to go to ensure humane treatment of our canine friends. Read about our next efforts here, and sign our Guestbook to be on our mailing list for updates.

Thank you, and WOOF !!!

Jean

 

 

Contact e-mail: info@give-us-shelter.com

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