Letter: Tell representatives to support animal ‘cost of care’ bill

Monday, April 02, 2018

Should taxpayers have to pay for someone else’s cruelty to animals?

According to current New Hampshire law, municipalities (i.e. taxpayers) are responsible for paying the cost of care for animals legally taken into custody in cruelty cases.

A cruelty case can take months to prosecute, and the animals cannot be released until the case is settled. And many rescued animals need immediate and critical medical attention. So, the care could cost a city or town thousands of dollars.

Fortunately, some nonprofits have stepped in to help with the financial burden. But they don’t have to. Municipalities, however, continue to have the legal obligation to provide care.

Those who abused the seized animals should have to pay the cost of the animals’ care. Thirty states, including Maine and Massachusetts, have laws that place the financial obligations of the rescued animals’ care upon the abusers, not the taxpayers. New Hampshire should do the same.

The New Hampshire Senate took a positive step recently to relieve taxpayers of this burden. It passed Senate Bill 569, which requires those who abused the seized animals to pay for their care. Now the bill goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.

New Hampshire taxpayers: Please contact your state representatives and ask them to support SB 569, the “cost of care” bill.