AGRICULTURE, HORTICULTURE AND ANIMAL HUSBANDRY
COST OF CARE FUND
437-B:1 Cost of Care Fund.
I. There is established in the department of agriculture, markets, and food a nonlapsing fund to be known as the cost of care fund which shall be kept distinct and separate from all funds. The cost of care fund is established to assist municipalities in covering the costs of care incurred from caring for animals pending the resolution of any action brought for animal cruelty under RSA 644:8 or RSA 644:8-a.
II. The treasurer shall deposit in the cost of care fund court-ordered restitution for care in animal cruelty cases under RSA 644:8 or RSA 644:8-a as specified in paragraph VI and moneys received from RSA 435:20, IV provided the balance in the cost of care fund shall not exceed $2,000,000.
III. The arresting officer or his or her designee may apply to the commissioner of the department of agriculture, markets, and food for a grant from the cost of care fund to reimburse costs incurred caring for animals in animal cruelty cases brought under RSA 644:8 or RSA 644:8-a during pretrial care, for the period between when the animals are seized and until the final disposition of the case. The commissioner of the department of agriculture, markets, and food and the state veterinarian shall review such applications, respond to such applications within 15 days, and distribute no more than $500,000 per application.
IV. The commissioner shall establish rules under RSA 541-A relative to:
(a) The administration and disbursement of the cost of care fund, including guidelines to ensure that multiple applicants would have equitable access to grants.
(b) The application process by an arresting officer or his or her designee for financial assistance to cover the cost of emergency veterinary treatment.
V. The commissioner may accept private gifts and donations of any kind for the purpose of supporting the cost of animal care which shall be deposited into the cost of care fund.
VI. If a person is convicted of animal cruelty and is ordered by the court to make restitution, the municipality shall report such restitution to the department of agriculture, markets, and food. If the restitution exceeds the costs incurred by the municipality in caring for the seized animals, that excess shall be remitted to the department and shall be deposited into the cost of care fund.
Source. 2019, 346:300, eff. July 1, 2019. 2020, 37:98, eff. July 1, 2020.