New Hampshire Considering Law Making it Illegal to Kill Cats in Hit-and-Runs
Currently, drivers in New Hampshire are required to report any driving incidents involving a dog to the police or to the pet’s owners. If a driver fails to report the incident, they could be fined $1,000, based on a law created 40 years ago.
The state of New Hampshire is looking into passing a law that will make it illegal to kill or injure a cat in a hit-and-run and not report the incident, the Associated Press reported.
Currently, drivers in New Hampshire are required to report any driving incidents involving a dog to the police or to the pet’s owners. If a driver fails to report the incident, they could be fined $1,000, based on a law created 40 years ago, People reported.
Republican Rep. Daryl Abbas was the sponsor behind the current bill. His partially-blind cat was hit by a car and left to die. Abbas told the AP that he recognized that it was an accident, but was more upset that the person driving did not stop the car.
After he reported the incident to police, he found out that there wasn’t the same protection for cats as there are for dogs, even though there are requirements for hit-and-runs involving personal property.
"Literally under the law, if you were to hit a statue of a fake cat with your car, you would have to report that, but not the real cat," Abbas said, according to People magazine. "The real cat and the fake cat should at least have equal property protection."
New Hampshire's House of Representatives passed the bill, co-sponsored by Democrat Rep. Anita Burroughs, who is a cat owner, without debate, and the Senate is expected to do the same, according to the AP.
Lora Dunn, director of the Criminal Justice Program at the Animal Legal Defense Fund told CBS Boston that these laws are really a nationwide trend to recognize that “animals are more than your property, they are living, feeling beings.”
“They have the capacity to suffer, and they’re deserving of positive experiences as well,” Dunn said. “These laws really recognize that sentence and also the bond between animals and their human companions.”
If a law is passed, New Hampshire will join New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, where cats have the same protections.
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