7Apr2021... 0349h







AN ACT relative to animal shelter facilities.


SPONSORS: Rep. Pearl, Merr. 26; Rep. Lang, Belk. 4; Rep. Moffett, Merr. 9


COMMITTEE: Environment and Agriculture






This bill:


I.  Allows animal shelters to own or lease their facilities.


II.  Clarifies which exemptions apply to animal shelters.


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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

7Apr2021... 0349h 21-0300





In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty One


AN ACT relative to animal shelter facilities.


Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:


214:1  Definitions; Animal Shelter Facility.  Amend RSA 437:1, I to read as follows:

I.  "Animal shelter facility" means a facility, including the building and the immediate surrounding area, which is used to house or contain animals and which is owned or leased, operated and maintained by a duly incorporated humane society, animal welfare society, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, or other nonprofit organization devoted to the welfare, protection and humane treatment of animals, and also a public pound for the housing of strays or a pound operated by any person, excluding veterinarians, who contracts with a municipality to serve that function.

214:2  Health Certificates for Dogs, Cats, and Ferrets; Animal Shelters.  Amend RSA 437:8, V to read as follows:

V.  Animal shelter facilities, as defined in RSA 437:1, I, are exempt from the requirements of this section relative to transferring dogs, cats, and ferrets except that:

(a)  All dogs, cats, or ferrets transferred out of an animal shelter facility shall have a form of positive identification, including, but not limited to a tattoo, collar, microchip, ear tag, or any other permanent form of identification approved by the commissioner.  

(b)  All dogs, cats, or ferrets 3 months of age or older shall be vaccinated against rabies in accordance with RSA 436:100 before transfer, if proof of rabies vaccination is not available.

[(a)] (c)  All animal shelter facilities shall have on premises a microchip scanner and shall maintain a file of recognized pet retrieval agencies, including but not limited to national tattoo or microchip registries.

[(b)] (d)  Where an owner is not known, all animal shelter facilities shall inspect for tattoos, ear tags, or other permanent forms of positive identification and shall scan for a microchip upon admission of an unclaimed or abandoned animal as defined in RSA 437:18, IV and prior to transferring ownership of an unclaimed or abandoned animal. Registered owners or agents shall be contacted as soon as possible, not to exceed 72 hours, and alerted that the animal has been taken in and is available to be reclaimed.

(e) If listed owners or agents cannot be located or refuse to reclaim possession of the animal, every effort shall be made to contact the secondary owner listed by microchip registries as soon as possible, not to exceed 72 hours.

(f) No animal shelter shall transfer any dog, cat, or ferret that is received from outside of the state without an official health certificate and until the quarantine requirements in RSA 437:8, IV have been met.

214:3  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.


Approved: August 17, 2021

Effective Date: October 16, 2021