AN ACT relative to the tethering of dogs.

SPONSORS: Rep. Kepner, Rock 15

COMMITTEE: Criminal Justice and Public Safety


This bill adds tethering of dogs for extended periods of time to the definition of criminal animal cruelty.

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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.




In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Ten

AN ACT relative to the tethering of dogs.

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

1 Tethering of Dogs; Cruelty to Animals. RSA 644:8, III(f) is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

(f) Tethers a dog for more than 14 cumulative hours in any 24-hour period. The tether shall:

(1) Be 5 times the length of the dog, from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail;

(2) Terminate at either end with a swivel;

(3) Not weigh more than 1/8 the dog’s weight;

(4) Be free of tangles;

(5) Be connected to the dog by a non-choke type collar or body harness made of nylon or leather; and

(6) Secure the dog in an area free of injury-causing or entangling debris.

(g) Otherwise negligently permits or causes any animal in his possession or custody to be subjected to cruelty, inhumane treatment or unnecessary suffering of any kind.

2 Cruelty to Animals; Seizure of Animals. Amend RSA 644:8, IV-a(a) to read as follows:

IV-a.(a) Except as provided in subparagraphs (b) and (c) any appropriate law enforcement officer, animal control officer, or officer of a duly licensed humane society may take into temporary protective custody any animal when there is probable cause to believe that it has been or is being abused or neglected in violation of paragraphs III or III-a or when there is a clear and imminent danger to the animal’s health or life and there is not sufficient time to obtain a court order. Such officer shall leave a written notice indicating the type and number of animals taken into protective custody, the name of the officer, the time and date taken, the reason it was taken, the procedure to have the animal returned and any other relevant information. Such notice shall be left at the location where the animal was taken into custody. The officer shall provide for proper care and housing of any animal taken into protective custody under this paragraph. If, after 7 days, the animal has not been returned or claimed, the officer shall petition the municipal or district court seeking either permanent custody or a one-week extension of custody or shall file charges under this section. If a week’s extension is granted by the court and after a period of 14 days the animal remains unclaimed, the title and custody of the animal shall rest with the officer on behalf of the officer’s department or society. The department or society may dispose of the animal in any lawful and humane manner as if it were the rightful owner. If after 14 days the officer or the officer’s department determines that charges should be filed under this section, the officer shall petition the court.

3 Effective Date. This act shall take effect January 1, 2011.





AN ACT relative to the tethering of dogs.