04Mar2009… 0311h

08Apr2009… 1188h

20May2009… 1702eba





AN ACT allowing physical therapists to practice on animals.

SPONSORS: Rep. Hodges, Hills 7; Rep. Taylor, Graf 2; Rep. Pilotte, Hills 16; Rep. R. Holden, Hills 7; Sen. Roberge, Dist 9

COMMITTEE: Environment and Agriculture


This bill allows licensed physical therapists to obtain special certification to practice on animals.

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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

04Mar2009… 0311h

08Apr2009… 1188h

20May2009… 1702eba




In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Nine

AN ACT allowing physical therapists to practice on animals.

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

311:1 New Paragraphs; Definitions; Animal Physical Therapy. Amend RSA 328-A:2 by inserting after paragraph XIII the following new paragraphs:

XIV. “Animal physical therapist” means a person who is licensed to practice physical therapy in New Hampshire pursuant to this chapter and has obtained a certification to practice animal physical therapy.

XV. “Animal physical therapy” means the practice of physical therapy on animals.

311:2 New Section; Animal Physical Therapy Certification. Amend RSA 328-A by inserting after section 15-a the following new section:

328-A:15-b Animal Physical Therapy Certification.

I. Any physical therapist practicing physical therapy on any animal shall meet the requirements of this section and any additional requirements set by the board of veterinarians pursuant to RSA 332-B:7-a, XIV and shall be certified by the physical therapy board.

II. A physical therapist shall be eligible for animal physical therapy certification if he or she:

(a) Is a graduate of a singular certification program in animal physical therapy or animal rehabilitation affiliated with an AVMA accredited veterinary school with a minimum of 120 course hours.

(b) Provides proof of liability/malpractice insurance coverage for the practice of physical therapy on animals.

(c) Paid the initial fee for certification as set by the board.

III. Physical therapists certified as animal physical therapists are eligible for renewal of their licenses if they:

(a) Have not violated this chapter or RSA 328-F nor demonstrated poor moral character.

(b) Annually complete 7.5 hours of the required bi-annual 30 hours of continuing education directly related to animal rehabilitation and any other continuing competency requirements established by the physical therapy board or the veterinary board in rules adopted pursuant to RSA 541-A.

(c) Pay the annual renewal fee for certification as set by the board. Certifications shall expire on December 31 of each year. The board may waive the payment of the renewal fee of an animal physical therapist during the period when the person is on active duty with any branch of the armed services of the United States, not to exceed 3 years or the duration of a national emergency, whichever is longer.

IV. Before treating an animal, an animal physical therapist shall receive a referral from a veterinarian licensed under RSA 332-B. Such referral shall be oral or written and an oral referral shall be followed by a written referral filed within 7 days of the first treatment by the animal physical therapist. The written referral shall contain the following:

(a) The name of the animal;

(b) The name of the owner;

(c) A description of the animal;

(d) A veterinary diagnosis; and

(e) The referring veterinarian’s signature.

V. An animal physical therapist treating an animal shall provide to the referring veterinarian:

(a) A written evaluation within 7 days after initial evaluation;

(b) Any additional progress notes every 30 days; and

(c) Notice of discharge or termination of treatment.

311:3 New Paragraph; Rulemaking; Physical Therapy Board; Animal Physical Therapy. Amend RSA 328-A:4 by inserting after paragraph VII the following new paragraph:

VIII. Regarding the establishment, criteria, fees, and renewal of, and disciplinary proceedings for certified animal physical therapists under RSA 328-A:15-b.

311:4 New Paragraph; Rulemaking; Board of Veterinarians; Animal Physical Therapists. Amend RSA 332-B:7-a by inserting after paragraph XIII the following new paragraph:

XIV. Additional criteria for the certification and continuing education requirements of animal physical therapists under RSA 328-A:15-b.

311:5 Effective Date. This act shall take effect January 1, 2010.

Approved: August 7, 2009

Effective Date: January 1, 2010