New Hampshire bill seeking feline equality sent to governor

  • On July 27, 2018, Arrow, is pictured. The cat’s death has inspired legislation to put cats on equal footing with dogs, at least when they are run over. Arrow’s owner, New Hampshire State Rep. Daryl Abbas, is the sponsor of a bill that would require drivers who injure or kill cats to notify police or the animals’ owners. The reporting requirement already is in place for dogs. Courtesy of Daryl Abbas

Associated Press
Published: 6/10/2021 5:20:08 PM

A bill seeking justice for run-over cats in New Hampshire is heading to the governor’s desk, minus the name of the animal that inspired it.

State law already requires drivers who injure or kill dogs to notify police or the animals’ owners, or else face a $1,000 fine, but Rep. Daryl Abbas, R-Salem, sponsored a bill to give cats equal footing after the death of his 5-year-old cat, Arrow.

The House passed the bill in April, as did the Senate, but the latter objected to dubbing it “Arrow’s Law.” The House agreed Thursday to drop the name and advance the bill to Gov. Chris Sununu, who has said he will sign it.

Rep. Thomas Walsh, chair of the House Transportation Committee, urged his colleagues to support the bill despite the change.

“While we will always remember Arrow, there was no objection from the committee,” said Walsh, R-Hooksett.

In any state, hitting an animal with a car could be a potential violation as destruction of property, but animal advocates say the New Hampshire bill is part of a trend of states going further. In Massachusetts, the law includes cats and dogs, New York requires drivers to report injuries to dogs, cats, horses or cattle and Rhode Island’s statute covers all domesticated animals.

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