New Hampshire says ‘never again’ on puppy mill abuse

By on August 18, 2017 with 14 Comments By Wayne Pacelle

Yesterday, in the company of three adorable puppies whose mother had endured the misery of a Wolfeboro mansion that doubled as the nation’s most unusual puppy mill, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu announced his support for comprehensive reforms to strengthen the state’s animal cruelty laws and update its commercial breeder regulations.

At the Wolfeboro property, 84 Great Danes had been living in a mansion that looked grand on the outside but was rotten on the inside. Animal waste covered the walls and floors, remains of raw chicken parts were strewn about, and the smell of ammonia hung thick in the air. Some of the dogs had been confined in cages. Many were riddled with infections, open sores and cuts, and were in extremely poor health. Some had irritated eyes, made bright red or swollen shut like human boxers who had taken too many hits in a long fight.

Many of the dogs have a long road ahead to full recovery, but they are all now safe and caregivers are enjoying the experience of seeing their individual personalities emerge. Almost every day is better than the one prior, and the dogs are enjoying a variety of toys and enrichment activities, including obstacle courses and scavenger hunts at their temporary shelter.

Gov. Sununu, who pledged his full support for stronger animal cruelty laws, is also aware of and will address the enormous financial burden placed upon taxpayers and non-profit animal welfare organizations that care for animals seized in cruelty investigations. The governor’s executive order directs authorities to begin “determining possible funding sources for animal-cruelty related costs.”

We estimate that care for the Great Danes, by the time the case runs its course, will cost The HSUS half a million dollars, even though our organization has long warned lawmakers and citizens about the evils of puppy mills and demanded policies to prevent these animal crises from developing. The HSUS is holding the animals at an emergency shelter, and the trial against the home owner is not slated to begin until October, due to a delay instigated by the defendant’s lawyer. Without laws in place to provide for such expenses, the cost of caring for animals seized in cruelty cases during lengthy court proceedings is borne by taxpayers or, in this case, a non-profit animal protection organization. The costs should be borne, instead, by the individuals directly responsible for the mistreatment of animals. The current situation puts the rescuers in a position of enormous financial risk, and can bankrupt organizations that rush in to help.

“Animal cruelty will not be tolerated in New Hampshire,” Sununu said, adding that he would revamp the Governor’s Commission on the Humane Treatment of Animals, making it easier for the commission to recruit members, as well as expand their duties to include tracking and promoting current legislation. “I look forward to working with the commission, advocates and legislators to pass commonsense legislation that protects animals, ensuring that the type of situation that took place in Wolfeboro never happens again,” Sununu said.

Under current law, the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture licenses breeders who sell 10 litters or 50 puppies in one year. Breeders that are still selling many dogs but fall below the threshold are not regulated, leaving the door open for unsanitary and dangerous environments for animals and people. State Sen. Jeb Bradley, R-Wolfeboro, intends to introduce legislation in the 2018 session to redefine what constitutes a commercial breeder and to mandate that all commercial breeders be inspected on an annual, unannounced basis.

We applaud Gov. Sununu and an array of state lawmakers, including Sen. Bradley, for promising to lead the effort to ensure that cruelty such as these dogs endured is never again repeated in New Hampshire. It will be important for the people of the state to remind lawmakers that policies are overdue and that the lessons of this incident should not be squandered and the dogs’ plight never forgotten.

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Animal Rescue and Care, Companion Animals, Public Policy (Legal/Legislative)

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  1. Brian says:

    Good news! How great to hear Sununu did the right. Good on him and Wayne Pacelle. It will be even nicer to visit New Hampshire now.

  2. Diana says:

    I can honestly say I am very, very proud to call New Hampshire my home with news such as this.
    Thank you Governor Sununu. And thank you for saving the ‘Hanover Bears” this past June.

  3. Freddie Lussier says:

    I believe commercial breeding of dogs and cats should be stopped. We are killing millions of animals every year in this country due to overpopulation. These breeders are not breeding for quality just quantity. Mass production breeds contempt. These animals are not cars. They are sensitive feeling creatures. Leave the breeding to people who truly care about the animals and breed the best to the best to get better offspring. And this would cut the population down!!!

  4. Brian Sullivan says:

    Doesn’t this miss the point entirely that someone was very mentally ill to have 90 dogs inside a house? Put them in an mental institution and find the dogs new homes and find the politicians who stayed seated at their desks a new job, cause somebody should have noticed this long before now and addressed the real issues, mental illness rather than making a disney story about saving puppies.

    • Dani says:

      It is not a “mental illness”…..its pure “GREED”

    • Nancy M. Gould says:

      They are criminals. This is not a case of a mentally ill hoarder. These are uncaring people immune to the pain of others. Their property should be confiscated to pay for the expenses incurred by their ruthless actions.

  5. Jeff says:

    Half million to care for some damn dogs.

    Unbelievable. How many HUMAN lives could be improved with that?

    Nope…DOGS. are more important

    • Beate Bulling says:

      YOU are not paying for this, HSUS is with donations from people who have a right to spend THEIR money as they please. Do you criticise people in the store if you don’t agree with the way they just spent their money? How about if I start doing that to you, you would tell me it is none of my business. Sorry, but I have been criticised so many times by co-workers for example, because I spent my money on surgery for one of my pets – I am just really tired of it.

    • Nancy M. Gould says:

      if you are into torture that’s on you.

    • terry says:

      The dogs got no choice

  6. Carmen says:

    How about changing New Hampshire law to document the findings of professionals regarding the health and condition of the animals and then release them to new homes? There is no reason to hold these animals until the trial is over. There are many other states with laws like this.

  7. jenaI herod says:

    I am thrilled with this governor and Pray more follow his lead until EVERY LAST COMMERCIAL BREEDER AND the eugenics founded AKC breeders who FULLY SUPPORT creating sick congenital defected pure needs because of irresponsible inbreeding It’s a common fact known by most that AKC breeders are producing dogs that are very sick 50 % of all pure needs today are suffering thanks to these greedy eugenics minded social climbing freaks. it’s sickening how they could sign horrific cruelty in the name of BEST IN SHOW I pray they all get what they deserve and animals are protected from such evil minded greedy breeders

  8. jenaI herod says:

    the AKC NEEDS TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR RECRUITING LOBBYISTS FROM PORK INDUSTRY TO BLOCK BANS ON PUPPY MILLS. SCREW THEIR PEDIGREES. THEY ARE EVIL PLAYING GOD USING A EUGENICS BASED MINDSET. these dog breeding cus are some sick twisted Dr Frankenstein and they have ruined out pure bred dogs and promote horific cruelty. I will do all I can to expose them for the monsters the breeders for AKC have become

    • Beate Bulling says:

      In Missouri the voters passed proposition B against puppy Mills and the state government reversed it. They tried to pass a law that the voters would never again be able to vote against puppy Mills and we’re only defeated by a very few state senators who voted against it. I am ashamed to live in such a state.

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