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Sununu re-establishes commission on the humane treatment of animals

Union Leader Correspondent

August 17. 2017 8:57PM
Gov. Chris Sununu shakes the paw of a Great Dane puppy held by Debra Cameron, operations manager for the Conway Area Humane Society. (Bea Lewis/Union Leader Correspondent)

WOLFEBORO — Staff and volunteers with the state’s animal welfare groups crowded the front lawn at the police station on Thursday to watch Gov. Chris Sununu pen an executive order that many of those in attendance view as a solid step toward helping curb animal cruelty.

“What was done here in Wolfeboro was amazing. Some communities would have destroyed these animals,” said Sununu in praising the efforts of local police, area animal shelters and the Humane Society of the United States.

The executive order reestablished the Governor Commission on the Humane Treatment of Animals and broadens their charge to advocate statewide not just for traditional pets, dogs and cats or bears, said Sununu, referencing his intervention that saved a mother bear and her cubs who were scheduled to be destroyed by New Hampshire Fish & Game after breaking into a house in search of food.

“This was the right thing to do,” Sununu said, of the June 16 rescue operation, explaining that his signature on an executive order was more than codifying something on paper, but empowering people to work on behalf of animal welfare.

Lindsay Hamrick, state director for the Humane Society of the United States, said the large turnout was proof that citizens care about animals and thanked the Governor for his continued support of animal welfare issues.

Hamrick said 10 years ago the state’s animal shelters had a total of five cruelty investigators. Now there are three, a decline she blames on the financial drain that results from investigations and animal seizures. She said she predicts the HSUS will spend some $500,000 providing the needed medical treatment, enrichment and food for the Great Danes.

Wolfeboro Chief of Police Dean Rondeau said despite recent filings by Christina Fay’s legal team claiming her dogs were kidnapped, and asking a judge to allow her to rehome them, Rondeau said he is looking forward to his day in court.

“I feel confident that the Wolfeboro Police will be victorious in this case.”

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