Update: February 28, 2019
House Bill 688 has been laid on the table. This means legislators may vote on this bill in the future, but for now it has been set aside. But Alley Cat Allies is asking New Hampshire residents to keep pushing for this bill. If you haven’t already, please ask your representative to consider HB 688 this session!
New Hampshire legislators are considering a bill that would increase regulation of animal shelters and other facilities that adopt out or transfer ownership of animals.
The New Hampshire House Environment and Agriculture Committee is holding a hearing on Thursday, Feb. 7, on House Bill 688, which aims to increase oversight of animal shelters and other facilities such as hobby breeders or pet vendors. Alley Cat Allies is asking New Hampshire residents to speak out in support of this important bill.
If passed into law, HB 688 would create a specific division within the Hew Hampshire Department of Agriculture, Markets, and Food to oversee and regulate animal facilities, including animal shelters. The bill would require any facility that adopts out or transfers animals to be licensed, and also would create a database of licensed pet vendors and animal shelters.
Inspections of these facilities would be required upon application for a license, and at least every five years. Shelters also would need to keep records that identify the animals in their facilities, indicate where they came from, and where they were transferred after leaving the facility.
Each shelter would be required to have a microchip scanner on hand to scan animals upon intake—this helps get animals back to their homes, instead of staying in shelters where they’re at risk of being killed.
When oversight of animal shelters and other facilities is strengthened, it helps ensure they are properly caring for animals. Likewise, when shelters are transparent, the public knows that tax dollars are being used to support humane and effective policies that improve the lives of animals. Transparency also helps shelters increase adoption rates, attract volunteers, and gain community support. People want to support a shelter they know is working hard to save lives.