New Hampshire bill seeking feline equality sent to governor
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A bill seeking justice for run-over cats in New Hampshire is heading to the governor’s desk, minus the name of the animal that inspired it.
State law already requires drivers who injure or kill dogs to notify police or the animals’ owners, or else face a $1,000 fine, but Rep. Daryl Abbas, R-Salem, sponsored a bill to give cats equal footing after the death of his 5-year-old cat, Arrow.
The House passed the bill in April, as did the Senate, but the latter objected to dubbing it “Arrow’s Law.” The House agreed Thursday to drop the name and advance the bill to Gov. Chris Sununu, who has said he will sign it.
Rep. Thomas Walsh, chair of the House Transportation Committee, urged his colleagues to support the bill despite the change.
“While we will always remember Arrow, there was no objection from the committee,” said Walsh, R-Hooksett.
In any state, hitting an animal with a car could be a potential violation as destruction of property, but animal advocates say the New Hampshire bill is part of a trend of states going further. In Massachusetts, the law includes cats and dogs, New York requires drivers to report injuries to dogs, cats, horses or cattle and Rhode Island’s statute covers all domesticated animals.