HB1164 (2020) Detail

Concerning support for cats and dogs that are neglected or treated cruelly.










AN ACT concerning support for cats and dogs that are neglected or treated cruelly.


SPONSORS: Rep. Burroughs, Carr. 1; Rep. Rich, Straf. 18; Rep. Abbott, Ches. 1; Rep. Schultz, Merr. 18; Rep. Bushway, Rock. 21; Rep. Read, Rock. 17; Sen. Watters, Dist 4


COMMITTEE: Judiciary






This bill creates a special advocate for cats and dogs that are neglected or otherwise treated cruelly.


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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.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


AN ACT concerning support for cats and dogs that are neglected or treated cruelly.


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


1  New Section; Animal Cruelty and Neglect; Special Advocate.  Amend RSA 644 by inserting after section 8-g the following new section:

644:8-h  Animal Cruelty and Neglect; Special Advocate.

I.  In all proceedings for violations of RSA 644:8, the court may upon its own motion or the motion of any party appoint a special advocate to represent the interests of and involving the welfare or custody of any cat or dog that was the victim of such violation.  The court may, in its order of appointment, specify the concerns to be addressed by the special advocate and otherwise limit the scope of the appointment.  The special advocate may be appointed to continue to serve after the final disposition of the case.  

II.  Any person accepting appointment as special advocate shall agree to serve as an officer of the court and shall have such standing in the proceedings as the court deems appropriate and may, upon approval of the court, utilize the service of others found necessary by the court to represent the interests and welfare of the cat or dog.

III.  The special advocate may:

(a)  Monitor the case;

(b)  Consult any individual with information that could aid the judge or fact finder and review records relating to the condition of the cat or dog and the defendant’s actions, including, but not limited to, records from animal control officers, veterinarians, and police officers;

(c)  Attend hearings; and

(d)  Present information or recommendations to the court pertinent to determinations that relate to the interests of justice, provided such information and recommendations shall be based solely upon the duties undertaken pursuant to this section.

IV.  The commissioner of the department of agriculture, markets, and food shall compile and maintain a list of attorneys and law students with knowledge of animal issues and the legal system.  Such attorneys and law students shall be eligible to serve on a voluntary basis as advocates under this section.

2  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.


HB1164 at GenCourtMobile
HB1164 Discussion

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Jan. 28, 2020 House Hearing
March 3, 2020 House Exec Session
House Floor Vote
March 11, 2020 House Floor Vote

Bill Text Revisions

HB1164 Revision: 6795 Date: Dec. 2, 2019, 10:45 a.m.


March 12, 2020: Inexpedient to Legislate: MA VV 03/12/2020 HJ 8 P. 127

March 11, 2020: Committee Report: Inexpedient to Legislate for 03/11/2020 (Vote 13-6; RC) HC 10 P. 60

: Committee Report: Inexpedient to Legislate (Vote 13-6; RC)

March 3, 2020: Executive Session: 03/03/2020 01:00 pm LOB 208

Jan. 28, 2020: Public Hearing: 01/28/2020 10:30 am LOB 208

Jan. 8, 2020: Introduced 01/08/2020 and referred to Judiciary HJ 1 P. 12