New Hampshire’s Proposed Law Would Make It Illegal To Hit-And-Run A Cat

As sad as it is, it’s not uncommon for drivers to hit and kill cats and just continue driving. Often, the cats who are struck and killed by cars are family pets and the families are left searching for the felines or come across them, dead on the side of the road.

Finding a pet cat that’s been hit by a car and left for dead can be extremely difficult for families to cope with and some may have wished the driver would’ve stopped and tried to help or contact them.

As it turns out, New Hampshire is considering a bill that would require driers to do just that.

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According to the Associated Press, New Hampshire lawmakers are working to extend additional protection to cats. Under the bill, it would be illegal to hit a cat and continue driving without reporting the incident.

New Hampshire already has a similar law in place for dogs. Under Section 264:31, “The driver of any vehicle who knowingly strikes a dog and fails to report the incident to the dog’s owner or custodian or to a police officer as soon as possible, shall be guilty of a violation.”

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The potential bill for cats came about after Republican Rep. Daryl Abbas’ lost a partially blind cat to a hit and run. He went on to sponsor the bill after their family was left devastated by the loss.

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He told the AP, “I remember telling my wife, ‘It’s an accident, we have to forgive the person,’ but I was more upset that the person didn’t stop. Who doesn’t stop?”

Abbas was even more frustrated and eager to offer cats more protection when he went to the police to report the hit-and-run of his feline. There, he learned that cats don’t fall under the law protecting personal property.

If someone were to hit personal property with their vehicle, they’d be legally required to report the incident. But if someone were to hit a living cat, that’s someone’s pet, they are currently no legal obligations to report it.

Photo: Unsplash

He said to the AP regarding the personal property law, “The only glaring exception is if the damage is to a person’s cat. Literally under the law, if you were to hit a statue of a fake cat with your car, you would have to report that, but not the real cat. The real cat and the fake cat should at least have equal property protection.”

It’s expected that the bill will pass in the Senate and be enacted as law. Currently, New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island are the only states that have laws protecting cats in hit-and-runs.

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