To New Hampshire Senator Jeb Bradley for introducing legislation that would curb breeding of puppies by backyard breeders and puppy mills.
Last year, NHES wrote about a case of animal cruelty from the town of Wolfesboro, New Hampshire, where about 75 Great Dane dogs and puppies were seized by police from a single residence. The owner of the residence had been breeding the dogs and selling the puppies for profit. The floors were covered in excrement and many of the dogs were suffering from malnutrition and parasite infestation.
At the time, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu expressed a desire to work with legislators to improve the state’s commercial breeding laws to prevent cases like this from occurring again. That legislation has now been introduced, by Senator Jeb Bradley.
The bill SB0569 would better define “commercial breeder” in the state code. Under current law, the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture requires breeders to obtain a license only when the breeder sells 10 or more litters of puppies (or 50 total puppies) in one year. This bill would require a license for any breeder possessing five or more breeding female dogs. Furthermore, the bill would allow more cruelty acts to be charged as felonies and require (unannounced) inspections of pet stores, animal shelters, private animal rescues, and commercial breeders every two years.
The bill would also set up a process to hold animal cruelty offenders financially responsible for caring for the seized animals. Currently, taxpayers absorb the cost of providing care, shelter, and treatment to abused animals.
Residents of New Hampshire,contact your legislators and urge them to support legislation to limit commercial breeding and sale of companion animals, and provide greater oversight of institutions that care for animals. Feel free to send our sample action letter below.
Re: SB0569 to Increase Accountability for Puppy Breeders in New Hampshire
Dear Senator _____________,
My name is [Your Name] and I am writing to ask that you support SB0569 to allow greater accountability for breeders who sell puppies in the state of New Hampshire. While there are some responsible hobby breeders, who breed for health, care for pups and mothers, and screen purchasers, many do not. When these breeders attempt to maximize profit by minimizing care, the puppies and dogs, consumers, and animal shelters and courts left to deal with the aftermath are the ones who suffer. Please support legislation to better ensure the humane raising of dogs and puppies.