New HampshireDepartment of JusticeOffice of the Attorney General

Consumer Protection BureauConsumer Sourcebook – Extra Note: Pets

New Hampshire law requires that we protect our pets in several basic ways (RSA 436 & RSA 437).

Preface | User's Guide | Table of Contents | Print Sourcebook Portable Document Format Symbol

Pets are wonderful companions and can be good protection. In return, New Hampshire law requires that we protect our pets in several basic ways (RSA 436 & RSA 437).

  • Animal shelters and pet stores cannot give away or sell any cat or dog before it reaches eight weeks old. Animals must have a veterinarian's health certificate within 14 days of transfer of ownership (whether by purchase or adoption). If the animal is found to be diseased, the purchaser/adopter may return it within two business days for a full refund or for another animal.
  • Chicks, ducklings, goslings, and rabbits must be at least four weeks old before being sold or offered for adoption. New Hampshire law also prohibits these animals from being artificially colored.
  • Dogs, cats and ferrets three months or older must be vaccinated against rabies. The veterinarian will issue a certificate of rabies vaccination and a tag (dogs are required to wear the tag).

These laws apply to all breeds, purebred as well as mixed breed, whether the litter was planned or accidental. These laws also apply no matter how the pet is acquired: bought, found, adopted, or received as a gift.

Portable Document Format Symbol Portable Document Format (.pdf). Visit nh.gov for a list of free .pdf readers for a variety of operating systems.

New Hampshire Department of Justice
33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301
Telephone: 603-271-3658