As the Town of Meredith does not have a designated Animal Control Officer, the Meredith Police Department (MPD) takes on that roll. The Police Department and the Town Clerk's Office work in conjunction to ensure that all State RSA's governing Animal Control issues and subsequent fines are followed.
We kindly remind both residents and visitors alike that it is better to leave a collar and tags on your dog so that if "Sparky" takes off during that pesky thunderstorm, the information through the tag allows us to get him home faster. Also, we would like to encourage residents to get to know your neighborhood pets. More often than not, we have responded to someone's house for a stray dog that turns out to be from two houses down, not two towns away. There also seems to be questions and/or concerns regarding the true implications of the 'leash law'. In truth, a dog doesn't have to be on a physical leash, but has to respond and act to its owner and/or guardian as though it was. That being said, a 'leash' can be a physical leash or control of the dog's action(s) by way of voice command, clicker control, whistle command, hand signals, electronic collar, etc... The only dogs that do not have be on a physical leash at all are classified as working dogs, ie. herding or hunting dogs.
Dog Licenses are issued by the Office of the Town Clerk. Licenses are issued on a yearly basis. Regardless of when the license is issued to the dog owner, all licenses expire on April 30 of the following year. Per the State of New Hampshire, all dogs must be licensed by May 1 of each year unless the dog is under 4 months of age, or after the dog has received its first veterinarian certified rabies vaccination, whichever comes first. The dog in question must have a valid and current rabies vaccination prior to being licensed.
The fees for licensing a dog(s) within the Town of Meredith are as follows:
|Unaltered male or female:||$9.00|
|Spayed female or Neutered Male:||$6.50|
|Senior Citizen (owner age over 65):||$2.00|
*There is a $1.00 penalty assessment per month starting on June 1 on all unlicensed dogs*
And although it would seem that dog complaints are the most prevalent, the Police Department has to deal with livestock and wildlife; and in regards to wildlife issues, we work with the NH Fish & Game Department. Of note, both the Police Department and the NH Fish & Game Department are well aware of bear, fox and coyote issues in town. We would remind residents and visitors to keep trash locked up until removed to the transfer station and to avoid intentional contact (in other words, don't head out to take pictures or think it's safe to let your dog chase it away).
If you have other wildlife questions and/or concerns, contact the NH Fish & Game Department at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/ or at (603) 271-3421.
Please be advised that we do NOT catch or set traps for feral cats. If you have taken in a feral cat, it is now your responsibility; whether you decide to keep it or bring it to a local shelter for placement. The Town of Meredith does have a current 'contract' with the NH Humane Society located on Meredith Center Road in Laconia to accept strays and surrenders from Town Residents. Even so, there are several great shelters within the State that can assist anyone with further questions and/or recommendations.