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  • Writer's pictureGina Scrofano

Vote For Legislators Who Vote For Animals

The need to strengthen animal welfare laws is becoming increasingly evident to New Hampshire residents each year. And with the FBI acknowledging evidence linking animal cruelty to other criminal acts, such as domestic violence, we know that when we protect animals, we protect ourselves, our families and our fellow residents as well. So while we strive to vote for legislators who support a wide range of our beliefs, why not include animal welfare among them? Below is general information regarding the 2018 elections, as well as a few vital animal welfare bills and the very telling ways in which our legislators voted on them. It is crucial to gain valuable insight before we elect those who will be speaking for us and NH's animals in 2019 and 2020.

General Election and Voting Information

Vote Date

Nov 6, 2018

Open Seats

All 24 Senate and 400 Representative seats are open for election this year. Both Senators and Representatives serve for a two-year term.

Where To Vote

Each polling place (voting location) is dependant upon your street address. Find your polling place here.

Your Current Registration

Check the status of your registration here.

NH Voting General Information

For information on how to register, NH college student voting, voter ID laws, absentee ballots (mail-in ballots for those unable to attend the elections), uniform and overseas voting, etc., you may click here.


Contact the NH Secretary of State's Office, Elections Division - Administration

Phone: 603-271-3242

TDD Access, Relay NH: 1-800-735-2964


2018 General Election Candidates

NH House here

NH Senate here

Who Are My Current Legislators?

Find your senator here

Find your representative(s) here

Stand-Out Legislators Who Voted FOR Animals

The following legislators sponsored animal welfare bills, spoke in support of them at hearings and during floor debates, and/or strongly supported animal welfare during 2017 and 2018.

Stand-Out Legislators Who Voted AGAINST Animals

  • Rep. James Spillane (R-Deerfield, Rockingham 2)

  • Rep. Spillane not only voted against the passing of every animal welfare bill assigned to the House Fish and Game Committee, and spoke in strong opposition to them at hearings, but also made misleading and false statements on the house floor about current NH law and animal welfare bills to convince other representatives to vote against them. He additionally made egregious comments during public hearings on Jan 24, 2017, such as implying that he drowns animals that he accidentally traps on his property (public hearing for SB 381-FN), and suggesting that the NH Fish and Game Commission be biased towards hunters and fishers, as opposed to equally representing all residents, such as conservationists, wildlife watchers, non-hunting boat owners, and non-hunting gun owners, disregarding the funding those equipment owners provide to the Fish and Game through taxes (public hearing for SB 48). He also voted to gut a domestic animal welfare bill in 2018 (SB 569-FN), and motioned to table a wildlife trafficking ban on the house floor this year (SB 451), referring to the bill as 'superfluous', despite the fact that there are no current Federal or NH state laws supporting his assertions.

  • Rep. John O'Connor (R-Derry, Rockingham 6)

  • As chairmen of the House Environmental and Agriculture Committee, he not only led members towards opposing animal protections and adopting an amendment to gut an animal welfare bill assigned to his own committee (SB 569-FN), but also motioned to table a wildlife cruelty bill (HB 1412-FN). Rep. O'Connor was opposed to even the most common-sense animal protection measures, such as inspecting commercial breeders in 2018, and a ban on dog fighting equipment in 2016 (HB 1571-FN).

  • Rep. John Klose (R-Epsom, Merrimack 21)

  • Rep. Klose strongly opposed a bill to study the efficiency and effectiveness of the Fish and Game Department (SB 48), denying residents equal representation, as well as wildlife cruelty bills in 2017 and 2018 (HB 381-FN & HB 1412-FN). He also demonstrated disrespectful and dishonest behavior during public hearings; talking over a resident during their testimony and making false statements about the current law (public hearing on SB 48, Mar 28, 2017). Rep. Klose additionally submitted a non-germane amendment in an attempt to expand the already unsporting and nearly limitless hunting season on coyotes in 2017 (AM to HB 224), and voted to gut a bill protecting domestic animals, shelters and taxpayers in 2018 (SB 569-FN).

  • Rep. Raymond Howard (R-Alton, Belknap 8)

  • Rep. Howard voted in opposition to all wildlife protection bills that came through his committee in 2017 and 2018 (HB 381-FN and HB 1412-FN), as well as in opposition to domestic animal welfare bill in 2018 (SB 569-FN). He also implied that residents should manipulate current NH law (public hearing, Mar 28, 2017) and made crude remarks during other public hearings. On Jan 24, 2017, a NH wildlife rehabilitator from Wings of the Dawn Bird Sanctuary, testified that she had seen wildlife that was intentionally burned, purposely run over, bludgeoned and also saw a skunk from Clermont that had been put in a trap and had fireworks set off on it. Following her testimony, Rep. Howard asked if she had known who was involved in each incident, then sarcastically stated with a smirk, "That one with the skunk, it was probably pretty obvious, the kids [likely] didn't smell too good after." Additionally, while talking about animal welfare with three NH residents during a Humane Lobby Day at the statehouse on Mar 28, 2018, Rep. Howard commented that he puts live animals in the refrigerator, and also stated that as opposed to pet owners surrendering animals they can't afford to shelters, they should euthanize them.

Below are additional Stand-Out Legislators who voted AGAINST animal welfare bills, and/or spoke strongly in opposition to such bills at public hearings and on the house floor in 2017 and 2018.

SB 569-FN - Animal Welfare Bill

One of the most comprehensive and vital animal welfare bills in NH history was SB 569-FN of 2018, primarily sponsored by Sen. Bradley. SB 569-FN would have helped ensure the regulation and inspection of commercial breeders, enhanced punishments for purposeful acts of cruelty causing the death of animals, and helped protect the valuable and beneficial funds of animal shelters and taxpayers.

SB 569-FN - NH Senate Votes

SB 569-FN passed the Senate with a significant majority. There were several Senate votes on the bill including two committees and two full Senate votes. Below is the roll call for the full Senate vote for SB 569-FN on March 8th, 2018 (19Y/5N). The final full Senate vote was a voice vote on March 22nd, however, based on attendance during that vote, those who were present voted the same via voice on March 22nd, as they did via roll call on March 8th.

Senators Who Voted FOR Protecting Animals with SB 569-FN

*Bill Sponsor

+Bill Co-Sponsor

Senators Who Voted AGAINST Protecting Animals with SB 569-FN

Sen. Bob Giuda's Unjustifiable Vote Against Co-Sponsored Bill

Despite co-sponsoring SB 569-FN, Sen. Bob Giuda voted against it. Sen. Giuda's vote is seemingly unjust, as there were no amendments added before his vote that substantially changed the bill nor its intent. Sen. Giuda also made no meaningful arguments against the bill during the Senate floor debate and did not return messages to provide insight regarding his vote.

2018 General Election Candidates

NH Senate here

Who Are My Current Legislators?

Find your senator here

SB 569-FN - NH House Votes

Although the SB 569-FN had strong support from the Senate, the bill was ultimately defeated due to the NH House Environment and Agriculture Committee's ill-considered and shortsighted amendment, which utterly gutted the bill, discriminated against people with a mental disorder, and weakened current law. Members from the House Agriculture Committee then failed to make any meaningful compromises with the Senate during Committee of Conference and SB 569-FN died.

The vote by the House Environment and Agriculture Committee to gut SB 569-FN with the amendment was 15-1. The one representative, Anne Copp, who voted against the amendment filed a minority report (HJ 17), including misleading and false information, and also stating that the bill was inexpedient to legislate, meaning she was opposed to SB 569-FN regardless of the House Committee's amendment. Rep. Copp then voted to adopt the amendment on the house floor, on May 2nd. (RC)

House Environment and Agriculture Committee Members who voted to GUT or AGAINST Protecting Animals with SB 569-FN:

2018 General Election Candidates

NH House here

Who Are My Current Legislators?

Find your representative(s) here

How Did My Representative Vote on SB 569-FN?

If your representative is not one of those listed above, you may check whether or not they voted for or against the House Environment and Agriculture Committee's amendment which utterly gutted SB 569-FN. A 'yea' vote was a vote against animal welfare or indicated that your legislator did not understand what they were voting on. A 'Nay' vote was a vote For animal welfare, or a vote made by a legislator who acknowledged how immensely damaging the House amendment to SB 569-FN was.

Yea = Bad For Animals, Nay = Good For Animals

Roll Call Here

HB 1412-FN - Protecting Wildlife From Egregious Cruelties

NH is one out of only 5 states that do not protect wildlife from purposeful acts of cruelty. This means that if someone beat baby skunks to death with a baseball bat, set a turtle on fire, or set fireworks off on a skunk, which are all incidents reported in our state, there is no law in NH they could be charged with. Similar bills, HB 381-FN (2017) and HB 1412-FN (2018), would've changed that. Unfortunately, representatives, such as Rep. James Spillane spoke in opposition of the bills, asserting that they would impede upon the rights of hunters, despite the fact that both bills explicitly excluded all hunting, trapping, baiting, fishing, pest control and resident's rights to protect themselves and their crops. Colonel Jordan, Chief of Law Enforcement for the Fish and Game Dept., offered an amendment to HB 1412-FN that even further clarified the protection of those rights, to the House Fish and Game and Marine Resources Committee. Rep. Ellen Read offered to prepare an official amendment with Jordan's language, but Rep. James Spillane and Rep. John Klose spoke against it, and Chairman James Webb refused to allow her to do so. When the bill went to the full house, Rep. Spillane and Rep. Webb both made misleading statements, confusing the House. The bill was ultimately tabled, following a motion made by Rep. John O'Connor from the House Environment and Agriculture Committee. There is no roll call for the full House vote on either bill. However, the following is the roll call for the members of the House Fish and Game and Marine Resources Committee for HB 1412-FN on January 23rd, which put the bill in interim study; a way to prevent the bill's passing before going to the full house.

Votes FOR Protecting Wildlife With HB 1412-FN

Votes AGAINST Passing Wildlife Cruelty Bill HB 1412-FN

The 2018 election Senate candidates are here and Representatives here. You may check those lists to see who is running in the place of your current legislator if they are not running this year, or to consider voting for someone to replace your legislator if you believe they did not adequately represent you. Some candidates do not have a voting history, as they haven't run or been elected in the past. You may gain insight regarding those individuals by clicking on their name on the ballots linked above, or by searching their name, district, and keywords '2018 elections' online or on social media, such as Facebook or Twitter. You may also search online for committees who may be able to provide more information about the candidates in your area and who may also be holding meetings, which candidates will be attending. For ex., search online for, 'your county name' or 'your town name' along with 'a political party'. Involvement in elections and the lawmaking process is more important now than ever. We must do our due diligence to ensure those who represent us stand up for our beliefs.


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