Clear majority support revising animal cruelty law - 613 participants, 1287 responses

Feb 16, 2016

NH's sub-zero temperatures in February raised questions about whether it is considered cruel or neglectful to leave animals outside for extended periods of time in cold weather. While states like Minnesota and Illinois include language about cold weather in their animal cruelty laws, NH's law has no cold weather-specific rules or definitions. On February 16, the LFDA decided to put the issue to its Facebook members, posting the question, “Should NH's animal cruelty law make it a crime to leave pets out in extreme cold?”

“Should NH's animal cruelty law make it a crime to leave pets out in extreme cold?”

Results: Yes or No Respondents

Participation:

A total of 91% of those participating gave a 'yes or no' response to the question. The remaining 9% of participants engaged in the discussion but did not give a yes or no response. In total, the LFDA received 1,287 responses from 613 individuals. (Click here for details on our methodology.)

What Participants Said:

Yes: A clear majority, at 77% of ‘yes or no’ respondents, were in favor of revising NH’s animal cruelty law.

  • “It's cruel and inhumane to keep them out in the cold weather. If it's too cold for a human, it's too cold for a pet.”
  • “I believe that it should be unlawful to keep pets or livestock out in weather that could harm them in any way. People should report this kind of cruelty and neglect to police or animal control officers.”
  • “An animal should be treated as part of the family. If you can’t take care of your pets, then you shouldn’t have them—and if you do, then deal with the consequences for mistreating them.”

No: The minority of ‘yes or no’ respondents, at 23%, opposed revising NH’s animal cruelty law.

  • “How do you decide what is an ‘extended period of time?’ Where exactly is the line for ‘extreme cold,’ and does the ‘extended period of time’ vary with the temperature? Do these lines also vary by animal and by other weather conditions? You can't really write all of this into a reasonable statute.”
  • “Cold weather breed dogs love being out. They thrive on it. Outdoor pets spend all fall generating an appropriate coat. A broad law is better so it can be determined case-by-case.”
  • “Once again, we already have animal cruelty laws on the books. Some dogs love the snow. This isn't a huge problem in NH. No need to create yet another law.”

Other: As noted above, 9% of those participating did not give a yes or no response, instead addressing their comments to related questions and issues. These included:

  • Discussing the role of the government: “The ‘state’ should only do what the constitution says.”
  • Debating the legislative priorities of the state government: “[NH is] the largest state of socialists more worried about the animals than they are of their country.”
  • Expressing concern at the implications behind revising NH’s animal cruelty law: “I'm beginning to think this NH place sounds like not so free a place.”

*Editor selection of actual participant quotes. 

Click here to read the full discussion of this question. 

Know someone who would be interested in these results? Forward them the summary version of this report. 

Do you think NH should require labels on meat that indicate country of origin? Leave a comment and have your say! 

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