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Letter: A sad reality when we can’t protect dogs


Monday, August 13, 2018

This week, another large-scale animal cruelty case involving an unlicensed breeder occurred. This time, it involved 52 Labradors from Marlborough.

This will make the fifth such case in less than two years in New Hampshire.

Sen. Jeb Bradley of Wolfeboro led the effort to strengthen oversight of commercial breeders and to pass a cost of animal care law, which would have placed some of the costs to care for the rescued animals on the defendant charged with cruelty rather than the taxpayer. Animal shelters, rescues and pet stores all must be licensed and inspected by the Department of Agriculture regardless of the number of dogs they transfer. But breeders? Only if they sell a whopping 10 litters of puppies in a year.

Only five breeders are currently licensed in this state. This obvious carve-out is the result of years of lobbying by the American Kennel Club.

I’ve watched the politics of these issues play out, and the same groups that opposed a ban on animal sexual abuse, animal fighting penalties and common-sense protections for outdoor dogs opposed Sen. Bradley’s bill despite widespread public support and a wide margin of bipartisan backing in the N.H. Senate and it failed.

When will responsible breeders, veterinarians and legislators finally address these problems?

I urge citizens who care about these issues to contact their legislators. It’s going to take leaders like Sen. Bradley to protect dogs in unregulated commercial breeder operations and to protect taxpayers from millions of dollars of animal care expenses.

PATRICIA FINOS

Meredith