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Animals in Hot Cars: Introduction

Reviewed 07/08/2019

Introduction

New Hampshire Law Library


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Introduction

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 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, in New Hampshire 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.

Cartoon of brown dog in red car under full sun. Green trees and grass in background.

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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.