NH Law About... Animals in Hot Cars

Introduction to... Animals in Hot Cars

Updated March 23, 2017.

No, we're not talking about stolen cars or sports cars, but about animals left in parked cars in hot weather. New Hampshire has had a law since 1981 that prohibits confining animals in a motor vehicle or other enclosed space that subjects them to either very hot or very cold temperatures. The statute governing this conduct, RSA 644:8-aa: Animals in Motor Vehicle, is short and very straightforward. Anyone in violation of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, for a second or subsequent offense, of a felony. RSA 644:8 defines cruelty to animals and lists the penalties for violating the law.

Unlike some other states, only law enforcement officers or agents of licensed humane organizations can act to rescue the animal; there is no Good Samaritan immunity from liability for anyone else.

Please remember that this guide is for information purposes only and is not comprehensive. It is intended as a starting point for research, to illustrate the various sources of the law, and to provide guidance in their use. NH Law About ... is not a substitute for the services of an attorney. 


Read about... Animals in Hot Cars

WEBSITES

Governor's Commission on the Humane Treatment of Animals  GO>

Link verified on: March 23, 2017

New Hampshire. Dept. of Agriculture, Markets & Food. How to Report Animal Cruelty

Link verified on: March 23, 2017

Animal cruelty is in the Criminal Code in New Hampshire, thus it is the purview of police. As such, according to NH law all complaints must be filed with local law enforcement. If someone sees an act that they believe to be animal cruelty, it should be reported to local law enforcement officials   GO>

Animal Legal and Historical Center. Table of State Laws that Protect Animals Left in Parked Vehicles

Link verified on: March 23, 2017

This table describes the laws that concern leaving a companion animal unattended in a parked vehicle. Approximately 23 states have laws that regulate this practice. Most of these laws provide that the animal must be confined or unattended in a parked or stationary vehicle. Further, the laws add that in order for a person to violate the law, the conditions have to endanger the animal's life. Under some state laws, law en-forcement or other individuals are allowed to rescue animals left under extreme con-ditions.   GO>

Animal Legal and Historical Center. Table of Veterinary Reporting Requirement and Immunity Laws

Link verified on: March 23, 2017

This table lists the 31 state laws related to the reporting of animal cruelty by veterinarians and the 8 states that have administrative provisions that concern reporting of animal cruelty.   GO>

What to Do If You See a Pet in a Parked Car  GO>

Link verified on: March 23, 2017

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Read the law about... Animals in Hot Cars

NEW HAMPSHIRE STATUTES

RSA 625:9. Classification of Crimes  GO>

Link verified on: May 18, 2017

RSA 644. Breaches of the Peace and Related Offenses  GO>

Link verified on: March 23, 2017

Find it in a Library ... New Hampshire Revised Statutes Annotated

Link verified on: July 21, 2017

Find the New Hampshire statutes in print at libraries throughout the state.   GO>

Learn About New Hampshire Statutes: New Hampshire statutes are the laws of the State of New Hampshire as enacted by the New Hampshire General Court. GO>
 

FOR MORE HELP ...

New Hampshire Law Library

Link verified on: July 31, 2017

The state's only public law library. Call, email, or visit, we'll be happy to help.   GO>


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DISCLAIMER: This website is designed to collect and organize reliable, authoritative legal information about New Hampshire law. The links from this site are to sites over which we have no authority or control. We assume no responsibility for the accuracy of the information you may encounter once you leave our site.