In New Hampshire, HSUS is promoting House Bill 624 which would require owners charged with cruelty to pay for their seized animals’ care while waiting for their day in court. If the accused can’t afford to pay, they lose all rights to their animals, regardless of the outcome at trial. HB 624 would change the current law from requiring those convicted of cruelty to pay court costs to those accused. So much for presumed innocent, I guess.
The bill reportedly has support from the state’s animal shelters, which often house the seized animals and determine the fees associated with their care. The officers citing the owners for cruelty are typically closely affiliated with the shelters. The cruelty citations, seizure, cost determination and forfeiture would potentially all be handled by a very small, tightly knit group of individuals. All without the accused ever receiving the benefit of a trial.
HB 624 is scheduled to come before the House Environment and Agriculture Committee on Friday.
Anyone see any possible up side to this bill? Nothing jumps out at me.