Dogs living outside with wooden boxes at breeding facility

Outdated laws mean that wooden boxes are ‘good enough’ for dogs in the snow

When the temperature plummets in New England, dogs left outside with nothing more than a wooden box for shelter must suffer in the cold. The sight of the dogs enduring the frigid temperatures outside left a good Samaritan shaken – enough so that she reached out to the local authorities for help. But no help was to be had – the outdated animal welfare laws in New Hampshire means that nothing will change for these dogs.

Laurel, the good Samaritan, told the Pet Rescue Report about the first time she saw the dogs, who are owned by a pit bull breeder, outside in the snow:

“I first became aware of the dogs on 2015, just randomly driving down the road. The kennels are easily visible from the road, which has prompted many complaints to animal control and the police, from local residents. Without going into detail, since that time, I have contacted animal control, police, town council, ASPCA, NHSPCA, HSUS, local newspapers, all 400 NH State Representatives, and NH Senators. No one is willing to help, the excuse being that the owners are within the (very outdated) NH animal welfare laws, because the dogs have “shelter” (wooden boxes).”

The temperature this coming week in Newton, New Hampshire, shows lows tumbling to just 12-degrees. With weak animal welfare laws on the books – little can be done to ease the suffering of the dogs who must endure each day outside, regardless of the temperature.

Earlier this month, animal control officers volunteered to spend a night outside in Saginaw County, Michigan, to show what it feels like to be forced to live outdoors in the cold – suffice to say, the three volunteers reported a night which left them in pain, and on the brink of hypothermia, from just one night in the frigid weather.

Dogs get cold – just like people do. Tragically, many dogs, who are forced to leave outside with woefully inadequate shelter, have perished over the past several weeks. In many areas of the nation, the authorities have advised residents to report dogs who are suffering outdoors – in some areas, there is help to be had. In others – the suffering continues, unchecked.

(Image contributed by good Samaritan)

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16 replies
  1. Adrienne says:

    There needs to be national laws the same throughout all our states for dogs left outside as well as other abuse and fatal treatment of dogs. Stiff jail sentences and fines for people who do this to dogs. So many politicians have pets yet none want to really bother dealing with changing the laws. I always call my reps. and try to have them bring up something like this in the House or Senate. Keep calling. Animals should be protected just as much as humans.

  2. Pamela Garlisch says:

    OMG, is there no one that will take an interest to change these laws? Do you have a TV station there that would bring recognition to these dogs plight? I know it’s a long involved process to change laws but it can be done although slowly. Keep trying, don’t give up, these dogs have no voice but you do!

    • Laurel Silvia says:

      Marni, are you in NH? Please contact the NH State Reps and senators. They are the only ones that can change the laws.

  3. Nancy Raymond says:

    The treatment that allows people to leave their animals in wooden boxes is INHUMANE at the very least. New Hampshire officials need to spend a few nights in wooden boxes and see how they like it. Let them freeze their asses off – what the hell is wrong with these people? The owner who considers themselves a ‘breeder’ is what we call ‘BACKYARD BREEDERS’ who are losers who live off their animals because they are incapable of getting a job. This bastard needs to be arrested and put in one of their wooden boxes along with the incompetent and unconcerned authorities.

  4. Betty says:

    They post it in the news all the time about keeping your pets inside on cold days in Massachusetts
    But that New Hampshire for you
    I’m going to look into the laws up there

  5. Betty says:

    I fond this and it don’t make any sense
    A woman was arrested on 22 counts of animal cruelty in New Hampshire after police found she had been housing 22 dogs in a barn without fresh water or heat on Wednesday, according to several local outlets.

    New Hampshire’s Jennifer Choate was arrested, and the dogs were sent to a shelter in the state, according to the New Hampshire Union Leader. Local police told WMUR that the temperature in the barn in which the dogs were being kept was as low as -11 degrees Fahrenheit.

  6. Red says:

    How about putting the law makers in a wooden box, in the snow, for days and see how well they fare!
    This is a stupid, idiotic, outdated law!!!

  7. DCB says:

    Laurel, the good Samaritan should verify the laws in New England. Unfortunately even animal control officers do not always know the law. The definition of shelter may be more specific such as:

    II-a. In this section, “shelter” or “necessary shelter” for dogs shall mean any natural or artificial area which provides protection from the direct sunlight and adequate air circulation when that sunlight is likely to cause heat exhaustion of a dog tied or caged outside. Shelter from the weather shall allow the dog to remain clean and dry. Shelter shall be structurally sound and have an area within to afford the dog the ability to stand up, turn around and lie down, and be of proportionate size as to allow the natural body heat of the dog to be retained.

  8. Mary Ann Clark says:

    This morally and ethically repugnant and this cruelty goes beyond any law of mankind! Thaese dogs need to be rescued immediately and the owner put in jail for the rest of his useless life!


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