What Happened to Gus?

This was Gus. He was our puppy and he died at puppy palace...

Gus the puppy

On July 22, 2023, a woman named Holly B. reviewed The Puppy Palace on Yelp and told the world how Gus, the puppy her family had planned to take home, died at The Puppy Palace.

(Note: Please disregard Yelp’s “Not Recommended” rating for Holly’s review. The site’s automated software likely mistook it for an unhelpful “rant” because it’s long and her only review.) 

A short, sad life

Puppy mills are large-scale breeding operations that put profit before the well being of dogs. The Puppy Palace in Manchester, NH sells dogs from puppy mills located in the Midwest. One of those dogs was Gus.

Bred in Missouri, Gus arrived at The Puppy Palace on May 25, 2023 in poor health and was not seen by a veterinarian for seven days. When finally examined, the veterinary report shows that Gus was riddled with hookworm and Giardia.

Veterinary report for Gus

According to Holly, Gus also had a cough that she noticed days after his arrival.

He was lethargic, his eyes and nose were runny, and he was not gaining weight like a healthy puppy.

Holly goes on to write that the store told her that Gus had some kind of respiratory issue and would be treated with antibiotics.

On June 7, Holly went to see Gus, but he was not on display with the other puppies. According to her review, she was told Gus was heavily sedated due to his antibiotic treatment and was resting in the back.

Gus was found dead the morning of June 8, 2023 when staff opened the store.

Gus was only one of many sick puppies

Gus is just one of many sick dogs who have passed through The Puppy Palace in Manchester. Below we share accounts of some other sick puppies and their stories.

You can find many more complaints about The Puppy Palace on Yelp and Google reviews.

About Kilo the Puppy

We caught up with this very unhappy customer outside The Puppy Palace on July 29, 2023. His puppy, named Kilo, was extremely sick.

About Chili the Puppy

My son bought his dog there…..$6,000 later! Picked up his Husky on Sunday August 27th….assured he was all healthy and ready to go home. Well on Tuesday (2 days later) he was at the emergency room veterinary hospital with a very sick dog. $$$$. My son WILL be taking legal action. It’s funny how the sales person was checking in to see how the puppy was doing. When my son told him the dog was very sick…. Those texts stopped immediately. I wonder why?! They knowingly sold a sick puppy!

Bought a Sick Pet Store Puppy? What You Can Do

Many people unknowingly buy a sick puppy from a New Hampshire pet store. If this happens to you, there are things you can do to help prevent it from happening to other people and puppies. Contact us if you need help.

1. Contact the Better Business Bureau. You can file a complaint online with the Better Business Bureau. This is an important step because Better Business Bureau reports stay on file and are available for others to read.

2. Contact the New Hampshire attorney general and file a Consumer Complaint. You can file your complaint electronically or by printing and mailing a form.

3. Contact animal control. Animal control in the town/city where the pet store is located may not have jurisdiction over the store, but it’s good to alert them to your situation. Animal control officers are busy people, so be prepared to leave a message.

  • Manchester Animal Control: (603) 792-5461
  • Nashua Animal Control (Bob Langis):
    (603) 594-3500
  • Hudson Animal Control:
    (603) 886-6011 or
    (603) 889-PETS (7387) or
  • Lebanon Police: (603) 448-1212
4. Contact the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture and make a complaint. Call (603) 271-3551 (8:00 am–4:00 pm, M-F) or send email to the following three addresses:
  • Dr. Nathan Harvey, Assistant State Veterinarian: nathan.d.harvey@agr.nh.gov
  • Anna Richards, Veterinary Technician: anna.l.roberts@agr.nh.gov
  • Pet vendor complaints: petvendingcomplaints@agr.nh.gov

5. Contact the media. Local news outlets are always looking for human/animal interest stories. Reach out to New Hampshire newspapers, radio stations, and television channels via “tip lines” or contact an investigative reporter directly. Provide as much documentation as you can (photos, video, receipts). 

  • To Contact WMUR, call (603) 669-9999 or send email to breakingnews@wmur.com
  • To contact the Union Leader call (603) 668-4321 ext. 757 or email news@unionleader.com
  • To contact NHPR, call (603) 228-8910 or email news@nhpr.org

7. File a complaint with the breed club or registry. If your puppy came with breed registration papers, contact the registry. You might also contact the parent breed club for the breed of your dog.

Pet Store Puppies

Bought a Sick Pet Store Puppy? What You Can Do

Many people unknowingly buy a sick puppy from a New Hampshire pet store. If this happens to you, there are things you can do to help prevent it from happening to other people — and puppies. Follow these suggestions, and contact us if you need help.
It is well documented that the majority of pet store puppies come from “puppy mills.” A puppy mill is a commercial breeding operation that disregards the well-being of dogs for profit. Animals are housed in crowded and often unsanitary conditions. To maximize profits, female dogs will be bred at every opportunity with little or no respite between litters. When they are worn out or no longer able to reproduce, breeding females are often killed.
Photo Credit: Michelle Heath Photography

Despite the growing trend to adopt a homeless dog rather than support an industry that profits from bringing more animals into the world, there are five pet stores in New Hampshire that still sell puppies.

These pet stores purchase dogs from commercial breeders located in faraway places such as Arkansas and Missouri. The puppies are handed over to truck drivers to be transported halfway across the country to New Hampshire, displayed like a product, and sold to anyone with a credit card.

Petition in Opposition to Selling Puppies in Pet Stores

A significant number of puppies sold at pet stores come from large-scale, commercial breeding facilities where the health and welfare of the animals are not adequately provided for (“puppy mills”). Puppies produced in puppy mills often have health and behavioral issues, which many consumers are unaware of when purchasing these animals due, in part, to misleading sales tactics of pet stores. These health and behavioral issues can impose exorbitant financial and emotional costs on consumers.

Manchester is a city built on the backs of its own citizens. For this reason, practices which aim to take advantage of our citizens or the animals they love have no place in our city.

As such, I oppose allowing the sale of puppies in Manchester, NH pet stores.

Petition in Opposition to Selling Puppies in Pet Stores

A significant number of puppies sold at pet stores come from large-scale, commercial breeding facilities where the health and welfare of the animals are not adequately provided for (“puppy mills”). Puppies produced in puppy mills often have health and behavioral issues, which many consumers are unaware of when purchasing these animals due, in part, to misleading sales tactics of pet stores. These health and behavioral issues can impose exorbitant financial and emotional costs on consumers.

Manchester is a city built on the backs of its own citizens. For this reason, practices which aim to take advantage of our citizens or the animals they love have no place in our city.

As such, I oppose allowing the sale of puppies in Manchester, NH pet stores.

%%your signature%%

318 signatures
318 Heather S. Boscawen, NH
317 Mary A. Concord, Nh
316 kyle a. merrimack, nh
315 Tom O. Nashua, New Hampshire
314 Jen W. Hillsborough, NH
313 Lyn F. Manchester, NH
312 Liz H. Deering, NH
311 April G. Hudson, NH
310 Patricia R. Palm Coast, FL
309 Heidi S. Pelham, NH
308 Michael Q. Concord, NH
307 Kathryn D. Concord, NH
306 Denise M. Nashua, NH
305 Nina H. Rye, NH
304 M J. Kingston, NH
303 Jennifer M. Weare, NH
302 Jeannine O. Manchester, NH
301 Barry R. Nashua, NH
300 Melissa M. Manchester, NH
299 Laurel W. York, ME
298 Tatum T. Weare, NH
297 Janet F. Salem, Nh
296 Peggy B. Winchester, NH
295 Jen F. Portsmouth, NH
294 Christina C. Amherst, NH
293 Kathryn D. Kittery, ME
292 AJ C. Manchester, NH
291 Caitlin D. Manchester, NH
290 Dave G. Manchester, NH
289 Matthew R. Hooksett, NH
288 Martha M. Seabrook, Nh
287 Melissa D. Pembroke, NH
286 Kim T. Manchester, NH
285 Victor A. Manchester, Nh
284 S P. Manchester, NH
283 Kristin R. Manchester, Nh
282 Malcolm S. Manchester, NH
281 Linda R. Chichester, NH
280 Olivia C. Hudson, NH
279 Samantha M. Hooksett, NH
278 Jacqueline B. Manchester, NH
277 Alyson L. Manchester, NH
276 Jocelyn T. Manchester, NH
275 Amanda R. Pembroke, NH
274 Tracy F. Salem, NH
273 Robin G. Windham, NH
272 Brianna P. Nashua, NH
271 Mary Lou D. Webster, NH
270 barbara B. Nashua, New Hampshire
269 Stefanie P. Concord, NH
268 Matthew S. Pembroke, NH
267 April F. Chichester, NH
266 Erin D. Derry, NH
265 Paul V. Manchester, NH
264 Carolyn B. Amherst, NH
263 Mickie F. Nashua, NH
262 Kristina B. Franklin, NH
261 Megan a. Manchester, Nh
260 Bri b. Dover, NH
259 Angelica C. Manchester, NH
258 Michael M. MANCHESTER, NH
257 Link M. Marlow, NH
256 Diane D. Manchester, NH
255 Brenna D. Manchester, NH
254 Jennifer L. Manchester, Nh
253 Shelbie A. Manchester, NH
252 Victoria B. Manchester, NH
251 JOANNA R. Nashua, NH
250 Gail S. Manchester, NH
249 Linda B. Tilton, NH
248 Jacqueline B. Manchester, NH
247 Mary M. Bedford, NH
246 Debbie C. Plaistow, NH
245 Jeany W. Manchester, N.H
244 Colleen B. Derry, NH
243 Sarah V. Manchester, NH
242 Zohair N. Manchester, NH
241 Kathy B. Nashua, NH
240 Suzanne H. Manchester, NH
239 Kim R. Manchester, Nh
238 Jocelyn T. Manchester, NH
237 Mary B. Chester, NH
236 Matt W. Nashua, NH
235 Laura S. Bedford, NH
234 Joanne T. Portsmouth, NH
233 Andrew D. Concord, NH
232 Anita F. Manchester, MI
231 Jeanne T. Concord, NH
230 D L. Chester, Nh
229 Brianna B. North Andover, MA
228 Hannah C. Manchester, NH
227 Dawn C. Raymond, NH
226 Amy S. Stuart, FL
225 Shelley D. Manchester, NH
224 Patty T. Hobe sound, FL
223 Roberta L. Manchester, New Hampshire
222 Lauren N. Manchester, NH
221 Dorothea H. Brighton, CO
220 Mary M. Bedford, NH
219 Dennis M. Campton, New Hampshire
218 Mandy E. Fitzwilliam, NH
217 Siiri C. Lewiston, Maine
216 Katie M. Manchester, NH
215 Erin M. Concord, NH
214 Sandra S. Canterbury, NH
213 Karen C. Stuart, FL
212 Becky M. Stuart, Fl
211 Lisa A. Merrimack, Nh
210 Andrew M. Warner, NH
209 Jessica K. Wolfeboro, NH
208 Emily K. Warner, NH
207 Andrew K. Goffstown, NH
206 Meaghan T. New Boston, New Hampshire
205 Taylor F. Kingston, NH
204 Pamela L. Kingston, NH
203 Diana K. Manchester, NH
202 Marie D. Palm City, FL
201 Tracie L. Jensen Beach, FL
200 Sabrina H. Allenstown, NH
199 William B. Jupiter, Fl
198 Patricia R. Epsom, NH
197 Courtney S. Bow, NH
196 Laura R. Pembroke, NH
195 Sara B. Derry, NH
194 Cara B. Chester, NH
193 Shaye D. Manchester, NH
192 Pattie F. Hampstead, NH
191 Ellen Q. Manchester, NH
190 Brooke A. Manchester, NH
189 Theresa F. Manchester, NH
188 Julie M. Manchester, NH
187 Tone G. Milford, NH
186 Joseph L. Merrimack, NH
185 Cynthia G. Merrimack, NH
184 Terri H. Manchester, NH
183 Paula D. Derry, New Hampshire
182 Ellen M. Danville, NH
181 Cynthia S. Manchester, NH
180 Kathleen G. Auburn, NH
179 Maura S. Manchester, NH
178 Melissa F. Nashua, NH
177 Kate r. Manchester, NH
176 laura p. HUDSON, NH
175 Taylor L. Manchester, NH
174 Ruth T. Salem, NH
173 Julia T. Newfields, New Hampshire
172 Ali K. Nashua, NH
171 Hunt M. Machest, Ng
170 Donna W. Chester, NH
169 Kay C. Epsom, NH
168 Michelle F. Concord, NH
167 Melanie O. Concord, NH
166 Randi C. Manchester, NH
165 Maureen E. Nashua, NH
164 Jessica C. Chester, NH
163 Brooke S. Manchester, NH
162 Dianna C. Manchester, NH
161 Melina T. 03054, Nh
160 Ron C. Manchester, NH
159 Julia H. Manchester, NH
158 Erica S. Windham, NH
157 Susan M. Derry, Nh
156 Kristen G. Hudson, NH
155 Kenneth R. Manchester, NH
154 Shannon J. Manchester, NH
153 Anita K. Manchester, NH
152 Leigha M. Kingston, NH
151 Grace B. Manchester, NH
150 Derek K. Raymond, Nh
149 Veronica H. Epping, NH
148 James G. Raymond, NH
147 Andrea M. Manchester, New Hampshire
146 Kristen W. Andover, MA
145 Rachel P. Manchester, NH
144 Francine B. Windham, Nh
143 Joanne L. Londonderry, NH
142 Shannon W. Groveland, FL
141 Mary-Ann O. NEW BOSTON, New Hampshire
140 Steve O. NEW BOSTON, NH
139 Kendal S. Bedford, NH
138 Megan R. Fitchburg, MA
137 Brienne D. Goffstown, NH
136 Kelly P. Loudon, NH
135 Susan P. Raymond, NH
134 Christine K. Pittsfield, NH
133 Nancy R. Manchester, NH
132 Nathan B. Dover, NH
131 Tammy L. Manchester, NH
130 Meg L. Manchester, NH
129 T A. Manchester, Nh
128 Jessica D. Litchfield, NH
127 Trois M. Goffstown, NH
126 adrien h. Manchester, NH
125 Earline B. Warner, nh
124 Gabrielle L. Manchester, NH
123 Amy D. Salem, Nh
122 Dylan P. Portland, Maine
121 Stacey L. Manchester, NH
120 Ben L. Belmont, New Hampshire
119 Kerry G. Brewster, MA
118 Sarah M. Rochester, NH
117 Brenda K. Manchester, Nh
116 Andrea F. Manchester, NH
115 Karen J. Boxborough, string:MA
114 Jennifer R. Manchester, NH
113 sharon p. EPPING, nh
112 Michael L. Milo, Maine
111 Stephanie K. Dublin, NH
110 Antonio R. Manchester, Nh
109 Rosemarie Y. Manchester, NH
108 Cathy C. Strafford, NH
107 Sarah D. Manchester, NH
106 Michaella F. Milford, NH
105 Eileen M. Manchester, NH
104 Kristen R. Manchester, NH
103 Rob R. Merrimack, NH
102 Alex M. Manchester, NH
101 Melanie B. Manchester, Nh
100 Wendy S. Hudson, NH
99 Carole F. Stratham, NH
98 Kori W. Manchester, NH
97 Ann W. Framingham, MA
96 Sarah F. Hudson, Nh
95 Carin L. Kingston, NH
94 Suzanne F. Milford, NH
93 Jeannine B. Northwood, NH
92 Kaylie M. Salisbury, Nh
91 Julizah S. Manchester, New Hampshire
90 Tom B. Litchfield, New hampshire
89 M M. Manchester, NH
88 Gabby M. Pembroke, NH
87 Heather R. Hollis, Nh
86 Kelsey M. Concord, Nh
85 C G. Manchester, New Hampshire
84 Alicia L. 03102, Nh
83 Prudence D. Manchester, NH
82 Tatum T. Weare, NH
81 Sue M. Grantham, NH
80 Gabrielle L. Johnson, VT
79 Samantha N. Manchester, NH
78 Whitley B. Manchester, Nh
77 Jessica O. Goffstown, NH
76 Amanda B. Manchester, NH
75 Autumn L. salem, nh
74 Nicole R. Nashua, NH
73 Kelly H. Manchester, Nh
72 Trisha B. Londonderry, NH
71 Angelique T. Manchester, Nh
70 George R. Manchester, NH
69 Samantha L. Manchester, Nh
68 Janice D. Manchester, NH
67 Alexander N. Derry, NH
66 Kat L. Manchester, NH
65 Angie L. Londonderry, NH
64 Caitlyn M. Derry, NH
63 Jaime O. Manchester, Nh
62 Linda G. Manchester, NH
61 Caitlyn D. Manchester, NH
60 Amanda G. Lawrence, US-NH
59 Meaghan M. Manchester, 0
58 Angel G. Manchester, NH
57 Tiffany R. Manchester, NH
56 Gina Q. Manchester, Nh
55 Katie M. Manchester, NH
54 JoEllen R. Pepperell, MA
53 Sabrina K. Manchester, Nh
52 nichole w. Manchester, NH
51 Anne R. Manchester, NH
50 Angela M. Manchester, NH
49 Ashley M. Manchester, Nh
48 Dee H. Manchester, NaH
47 Lily T. Manchester, NH
46 Shawna D. Manchester, NH
45 Keith L. Meredith, NH
44 Linda D. Raymond, NH
43 Sydney H. Litchfield, NH
42 Amanda C. Manchester, NH
41 Alicia S. Manchester, NH
40 Erin S. Derry, NH
39 Katherine Z. Merrimack, NH
38 Tarah H. Manchester, NH
37 Melissa M. Manchester, Nh
36 Cristina J. Derry, NH
35 Jeannie R. Manchester, NH
34 Daniel D. Manchester, NH
33 Elizabeth P. Hooksett, NH
32 Drew P. Hooksett, NH
31 Brielle B. Derry, NH
30 Melissa V. Windham, Nh
29 nicole p. raymond, NH
28 Angi B. Auburn, NH
27 Davi C. Derry, NH
26 delaney y. Epping, NH
25 Wilhelmine E. Manchester, Nh
24 Sophia L. Derry, NH
23 Laura G. Goffstown, NH
22 Crystal C. Manchester, NH
21 Sebastian B. Lowell, MA
20 alianna v. londonderry, nh
19 Nicole A. Charlotte, NC
18 jules d. manchester, nh
17 spencer s. Concord, NH
16 Linda B. Bow, NH
15 Christopher F. Manchester, NH
14 Ashley M. Manchester, Nh
13 Jaylynn S. Manchester, NH
12 Mary S. Manchester, NH
11 Cessie H. Waxahachie, TX
10 Jess P. Belmont, Nh
9 Sharon S. Manchester, NH
8 Rebecca J. Manchester, Nh
7 Adriana M. Hudson, Nh
6 Elizabeth F. Merrimack, NH
5 Elizabeth S. Derry, NH
4 Brian T. Acton, Maine
3 Jodie A. Nashua, Nh
2 Elisa O. Bedford, Nh
1 Joan O. Amherst, NH

Foie Gras

The photo above is of a Moulard duck rescued from the foie gras industry (photo credit Farm Sanctuary)

Foie gras, French for “fatty liver,” is the unnaturally fattened liver of a duck (or, less commonly, a goose). It is produced by force feeding ducks so that their livers grow from six to ten times the normal size. Images of these birds hanging featherless after slaughter show bulging livers that take up the majority of their lower half.

Ducks used for foie gras are generally all males. The female duck’s liver doesn’t grow as well as the male’s, so it is most profitable to raise only males. Female ducklings are destroyed or sold to duck meat farms overseas. This use of males is a break from what generally happens in animal agriculture, where more often than not male animals have little or no value.

While the practice of force feeding birds has been with us for thousands of years, our modern view of foie gras as a delicacy likely comes from its connection to French cuisine. Because dishes such as foie gras appear on the menus of fancy, expensive restaurants, we collectively come to regard them as desirable.

Growing Public Awareness

Because of the work of animal rights groups in targeting foie gras and publicizing their methods, which include inserting a feeding tube down the bird’s throat, the general public is aware that there is “something bad” about foie gras. A number of countries and jurisdictions have laws against the production, import, and sale of foie gras. New Hampshire has no such laws. In many places foie gras laws and bans face ongoing opposition and sometimes get overturned.

The “Humane Foie Gras” Myth

Defenders of foie gras point to the anatomy of ducks in arguing that the force feeding is not inhumane. They point out that unlike humans ducks do not have a “gag reflex,” and for this reason claim that the birds are not bothered by having a tube inserted down their throat. The second defense is that the birds are predisposed to “gorge” as normal pre-migration behavior. Yet an undercover investigation carried out at Hudson Valley Foie Gras, a self-proclaimed “humane foie gras” operation in Ferndale, New York, revealed injured and dead birds, as well as workers talking about the number of birds who die during force feeding.

“Sometimes the duck doesn’t get up, and it dies”

Oversized livers push against nearby organs, including the lungs, which can make it difficult for a bird to breathe. Arguments about whether or not the ducks suffer and to what extent miss the point, as summed up by Paul Shapiro of the Humane Society of the United States when he argued in favor of the California foie gras ban:

“Is a soft rubber tube better than a hard tube? Maybe, but you are missing the point. You are still forcing them to eat more than they would ever eat voluntarily and inducing a state of disease.”

New Hampshire Restaurants Serving Foie Gras

Various New Hampshire restaurants have served foie gras at one time or another. As of June 2022, New Hampshire Animal Rights League is aware of three restaurants that serve foie gras:

Note: At The Foundry in Manchester, foie gras is no longer on the menu. When asked about the decision, the General Manager wrote, “We decided not to have it on the menu anymore due to non sale and too much waste on product.”

What You Can Do

  • Avoid restaurants that serve foie gras. Consider contacting the restaurant and expressing your concern.
  • Educate friends and family about the cruelty behind foie gras.

Cows raised for Food

Beef has been getting a lot of bad press lately, and for good reason. Eating beef has been shown to have a negative effect on our health, the environment, and, of course, the animals. Nevertheless, for many beef is still the habitual main course for the big weekend meal, dinner out, and special occasions.

Despite our devotion to beef, consider that our taste for it might be largely learned. Parents often have to urge young children to “eat your meat,” or use catsup or some other sweet sauce to make it appealing. As adults, if we eat beef it’s likely out of habit, perhaps because it was always just there — at the dinner table, in the cafeteria line, on the restaurant menu, and so on. Eating beef might feel like a “personal choice,” but chances are the choice was made for us, long ago.

“But I Eat Only Grass-Fed Beef”

As the truth about what happens to animals raised for food is increasingly reaching the general public, growing numbers of people are looking for meat that they can buy with a clear conscience.

Beef producers have responded to this demand with labels such as “grass fed,” “local,” and “humanely raised.” Such marketing works because consumers want to trust these labels. But even on the best of farms, there are inherent cruelties involved in raising animals for food, including:

  • Shortened lives — Whether grass-fed or factory-farmed, cows raised for food live only about one-eighth of their natural life span. Beef cows are typically slaughtered between two and three years old. “After about 30 months of age, you will start running into tenderness problems…” one one beef producer wrote.

  • Painful procedures — In addition to living very short lives, cows raised for food may be subjected to painful procedures, such as castration and horn removal without anesthesia. Many of the cruelties animals endure on farms are legal because they are “standard agricultural practices.” These methods save time and money, and for that reason standard agricultural practices are widely used, on big and small farms alike. Pain management is suggested but not required.

  • Potential neglect — Even on small local farms, good care, including providing veterinary care to sick or injured animals, is not guaranteed. For example, sometimes cows aren’t given enough to eat, or nothing is done to protect them from swarming flies, a local beef producer told us. Hay and fly control are expensive. If cash is tight, a farmer may cut corners.

Transport and Slaughter

An inescapable fact of eating animals is that they have to be killed. When that day comes, a local beef producer has only a handful of options in and around New Hampshire. This means that beef producers are often pulling a trailer of animals for hours to get to the slaughterhouse. (Anyone selling meat to the public must take the animals to a slaughterhouse; backyard slaughter is allowed only if the flesh is for one’s own household or will be given away.)

Once at the slaughterhouse, by law the animals are supposed to be killed as quickly and painlessly as possible. But our humane slaughter laws represent a goal, not a guarantee. Even with inspectors on site, mistakes are inevitable. Knives miss the mark. Stun guns don’t work on the first try. Shackled animals come loose and fall to the ground.

Make enough mistakes and the USDA will issue a citation and perhaps even shut a slaughterhouse down for a period, but that’s of no use to the animal who was deprived of the one mercy promised by law: a quick and painless death.

“It’s a common thing that happens in other slaughterhouses. I’d like to see the slaughterhouse that doesn’t have this problem.”


Small-scale New England slaughterhouses may make fewer mistakes than larger facilities, but errors are inevitable.

When Blood Farm in West Groton, MA was shut down for violations of the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act as a result of an employee improperly stunning an animal on the killing floor for the third time,  the owner of the establishment was quoted in the Lowell Sun as saying:

Living with Wild Neighbors

Walk down the “pest” control aisle of the average home and garden store, and you may get the impression that we are at war with every other living creature (except, of course, our pets). This anthropocentric perspective — the idea that humans are at the center of the world — can be so ingrained that many don’t think to question it.

We encourage a different perspective, one where humans are part of not apart from the rest of the living world, and where the goal is peaceful co-existence.

Humane Mouse Control

In New Hampshire, mice getting into the home is a common problem, especially in the fall when these animals are looking for a warm place to spend the winter. Unfortunately, most home and garden stores are in the business of selling inhumane, temporary solutions for dealing with mice.

Of the many lethal traps and poisons for sale, glue traps may well be the cruelest. Glue traps kill indiscriminately, and animals stuck to them die slowly of hunger, dehydration, and exhaustion.

Poison is also inhumane, as well as irresponsible. Poison bait blocks are formulated to contain only a low dose of poison, so that if a child or pet accidentally ingests the product, it will not be fatal. But for the mouse, the low dose means a slow death, often spanning days. In their sluggish state, poisoned mice are easy targets for predators, including foxes, eagles, and other protected birds, who often become sick and die from consuming poisoned mice.

Compassionate and responsible approaches for dealing with mice include exclusion, natural odor repellents, and ultrasonic devices. If uninvited guests still manage to get in, you can use a live mouse trap to catch and relocate them outside in a brushy or wooded area.

The Smart Mouse Trap

Video of Smart Mouse Trap in action posted on YouTube. (The video does not demonstrate the time-delay release feature.)

Get Your Free Live Mouse Trap

Our favorite live mouse trap is the Smart Mouse Trap, because of its effective and thoughtful design. We like it so much that we are offering free samples while supplies last. (For NH residents only. One trap per household.)

In return for your free trap, we will add you to our News & Events email list and send a follow-up message in about a month to ask about your experience with the Smart Mouse Trap. Take pictures and we’ll post them on social media!

  • This offer is for New Hampshire residents only.
  • Recipients will be added to our News & Events email list.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

About The Smart Mouse Trap

A special feature of the Smart Mouse Trap is its time-delay release mechanism, which involves inserting a cracker into a slot. When the inner door is removed, the cracker becomes a second door that the mouse will chew through to exit the trap. The delay while the mouse chews protects you from contact with the mouse, and also allows the mouse to escape without panic.

“I have Smart-Trapped 53 mice and released them, humanely...”

“Your Smart Mouse Trap is a beautiful expression of humaneness. Once caught, the mice can be released in the woods, to be free and in peace.”

Helane Shields


Helane Shields was a longtime member of the New Hampshire Animal Rights League and a passionate animal advocate.

Her legacy included a generous gift to NHARL, which we used to establish the Helane Shields Wildlife Fund in her honor.

The fund will be used to further our efforts to protect the wild animals of New Hampshire that Helane so loved, including beavers.

According to her husband, Charles, there’s a beaver pond not far from their home, and in winter Helane enjoyed seeing the steam from the beavers’ breath rising from their lodge.

Posting Your Property

Posting your land against hunting creates safe haven for people, pets, and wildlife. We will send you as many free “No Hunting” signs as you need, to make it easy for you to post your property.
Along with your signs, we’ll send you a copy of the NH Landowner’s Guide to Protecting Your Property, which explains how and when to post, along with other useful information.

About protecting your property

People are often surprised to learn that by default privately owned land in New Hampshire is open to hunting.

This means that if you do not put up “No Hunting” signs, anyone with a hunting license can come on your property and hunt.

It is even legal for hunters to set up tree stands and observation blinds on your property from Apr 25–Jun 1 and Aug. 1–Dec. 31 in the absence of “No Hunting” signs. (Written permission is required to bait or trap animals on your property, however.)

Other states have what’s called “reverse posting,” which means privately owned land is off limits by default.

Allowing public use of private land is a tradition that dates back to New Hampshire’s first settlers.

Back then, when wild land was abundant and people depended on animal meat and fur for survival, the idea of public access to private land for the “public good” made sense.

But today, the New Hampshire landscape is completely changed. There is far less undeveloped land left for wildlife, and only a small percentage of people hunt.

Expecting today’s landowners to forego their property rights and leave their land open to hunting is an outdated notion.

You don’t have to be an animal rights activist not to want people killing animals on your property. Even hunters themselves often post their property because of bad experiences with other hunters.

Following are five good reasons to post your property:

1. Post to protect your privacy

Many people are understandably uncomfortable with the idea of strangers on their property. Hunters can legally come within 300 feet of your home. 

Prior to Jan. 1, 2024, hunters were also allowed to place hunting cameras on your property. Cameras are no longer allowed on private property without landowner permission.

2. Post to keep your family and pets safe

Posting protects children, pets, horses, and other large animals from stray bullets and arrows left by bowhunters, as well as from unwelcome encounters with strangers.

3. Post to avoid lawsuits

If your land is open to the public, it is your duty to guard or warn against any dangerous condition, use, structure, or activity. If a hunter gets injured on your property, you could be liable (per RSA 212:34 Duty of Care).

4. Post to prevent property damage

Hunters may leave behind litter, cause damage to trees and crops, or rip up trails with their ATVs.

5. Post to protect wildlife from cruel hunting practices

Lazy, unethical hunting methods — Fair-chase hunting is becoming a thing of the past. New Hampshire is one of only seven states that allows bear hunting with trained dogs, for example.

This low-effort approach, called “hounding,” involves using packs of dogs with radio collars to pursue bears until the exhausted animals seek refuge in a tree, where they are easily shot down by the hunter.

Even more leisurely, New Hampshire allows hunters to shoot bears over piles of bait. During the 2022 hunting season, 60% of the bears hunted in New Hampshire were killed over bait.

Immense suffering — Hunted animals often don’t die quickly. Many must be shot multiple times, and those who escape may endure prolonged, painful deaths.

Hunters are required to track wounded deer, but ending the animal’s suffering is not the goal. Bowhunters, for example, deliberately wait at least 30 minutes and up to 6‑12 hours (if the hit was poor), to give the animal time to die. Half these deer are never recovered.

Orphaned wildlife — When mother animals are killed, orphaned young may starve or fall victim to predators.

Vanishing animals — Despite declining populations of fishers, foxes, and other so-called “furbearers,” New Hampshire caves to the pressure of the hunting minority, allowing all but fishers to be killed in unlimited numbers for the cost of a hunting license — $34.50 in 2023.

How to post your property

Under state law RSA 635:4, the legal manner of posting calls for durable signs describing the physical activity prohibited, such as “No Hunting or Trespassing” placed at least every 300 feet (100 yards) on all sides of the property and at entrances.

Example: In the example below, the property would need 10 signs, one every 300 feet, and another where an old hiking trail crosses the boundary.

Put up “No Hunting” signs no matter how small your property is.

Write your name and address with permanent black marker. (Even without this information, your property will still be legally posted.)

Note: RSA 635:4 has not been updated since 1977 and causes confusion because it states that the words describing the prohibited activity (such as “No Hunting”) must be no less than 2 inches high. As illustrated in the photo above of a typical no trespassing sign, the words do not need to be that large.

Be Safe — Wear Orange!

When you head out to post your property, make yourself visible to hunters by wearing a blaze orange vest, hat, or jacket. The more orange, the better. And don’t forget a vest for your dog!

When to Post

Each year the NH Fish and Game Department decides on a start and end date for hunting each type of animal. General season dates are pictured below, with specific dates varying by location. Normally, longer hunting periods are allowed in areas with more wildlife, but often hunting is allowed even when animal populations are perilously low in order to satisfy hunters.

(Hunted animals not represented in the calendar above include woodcocks, grouses, quails, chukars, partridges, otters, ducks, mergansers, coots, sea ducks, Canada geese, snow geese, brants, and snipes.)

Warning! Coyote hunting is allowed 365 days a year, including at night from January to March. Be especially careful during night hunting months. A dog on a walk with her guardian was killed by coyote hunters in New Hampshire one February.

Deer hunting starts late summer and continues into the fall, but some animals can be killed year round. In New Hampshire, it is always hunting season. NH Fish & Game encourages young hunters to kill crows and gray squirrels for practice. If you don’t post your property, you could have hunters on your land at any time, including spring and summer when you and your family are more likely to be outside.

Learn More

What if my property is in Current Use?

Current Use is a property tax law designed to encourage the preservation of open space by making it affordable for people who own large tracts of land (10 acres or more, with some exceptions for wetlands and agricultural land) to keep it undeveloped. 

Current Use landowners pay property tax based not on the land’s full market value (what a developer might pay), but rather on its income-producing capability in its “current use” as farm, forest, wetland, and so on.

It is a common misconception that to be eligible for Current Use property must be open to the public. Opening your land to the public is not required to qualify for Current Use status.

Although towns may offer a 20% “Recreational Discount” on the assessed value of Current Use property if owners allow public access, to qualify for the discount land must be open year-round for all of the following activities, at no fee:

  • skiing
  • snowshoeing
  • fishing
  • hunting
  • hiking
  • nature observation

(Towns may allow exclusion of certain activities with special permission.)

For many landowners, the 20% “Recreational Discount” yields only modest savings 

Example: A 50-acre farm in the Current Use program is assessed at $10,000.
At an average town tax rate of $25 per $1,000, the resulting property tax bill would be $250 ($25 × 10).

With the 20% Recreational Discount, the property would be assessed at $8,000, with a resulting tax bill of $200 ($25 × 8).

This amounts to a modest savings of $50/yr. in exchange for leaving your property wide open for hunting and other recreational uses.

Setting aside land for wildlife

Landowners wanting to ensure that their land is never developed can sell or donate property or a conservation easement to a land trust, municipality, or a state or federal conservation agency.

One caveat of such arrangements could be giving up control over how the land is used. It might be the policy of the land trust to allow hunting on all the lands it manages, for example. This is true in the case of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, where without exception all donated land is open to hunting.

If you are in a position to donate land, be sure to choose a conservation group that will allow you to attach restrictions, including no hunting.

Wildlife as property owners?

Forward-thinking legal scholars are considering ways in which wildlife could own property.

It may sound far-fetched, but if you consider that the law already allows us to give property to animals — a typical example being a trust fund set up for a pet — giving land to wildlife is not such a crazy idea. (To learn more about this burgeoning area of law, we recommend reading Wildlife as Property Owners by Martha Nussbaum.)

In fact, the concept of wildlife having property rights existed in pre-colonial times. Some indigenous governments recognized an animal’s right to property as equivalent to a human’s. And why shouldn’t it be?

Reporting wildlife crimes

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s Law Enforcement Division is responsible for the enforcement of all laws, rules, and regulations pertaining to hunting.

If you have problems with hunters

Contact your local Conservation Officer. Call NH Fish and Game’s Dispatch Office at (603) 271-3361 (8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday – closed from noon until 12:30 p.m.). The Dispatcher can relay a message to your Conservation Officer.

To report poaching

Poaching is illegal hunting, trespassing, littering, theft, or destruction of property. To report poaching, call Operation Game Thief at (800) 344-4262 or fill out the confidential online form at nhfishgame.com/ogt-form.

Fur and Trapping

The New Hampshire Animal Rights League believes that wild animals have a right to an environment in which to live, breed, and raise their young, free from harassment by humans.

Fur and Trapping

Perhaps hundreds of years ago, killing an animal for its fur could be justified if the alternative were freezing to death. Yet even in the days of the North American frontiersmen, the fur trade was not driven solely by necessity. Animals such as the beaver were trapped to near extinction in meeting demand for fashionable fur items. Today we have many options for keeping our bodies warm that don’t require taking the lives of animals.


Whether it comes from animals trapped in the wild or raised on a fur farm, every fur coat, fur accessory, or piece of fur trim causes tremendous suffering and needlessly takes lives.

At Discover WILD NH Day, an annual  “family-friendly” event hosted by the NH Fish and Game Department, New Hampshire trappers display furs from animals that they killed.

Children line up to touch the soft fur of dead foxes, minks, skunks, and all the other animals that trappers, who comprise a tiny sliver of New Hampshire’s population, are allowed to torture and kill, often without limit.  

For many years, NHARL has held demonstrations outside the event to educate the public about the inherent cruelty of trapping.

More recently, we have gone inside the event, becoming exhibitors, and presenting information about helping, rather than harming, wildlife.  

The leg-hold trap is probably the most cruel device ever invented by man and is a direct cause of inexcusable destruction and waste of our wildlife.

Andrew’s Legacy

In 2012, a dog named Andrew was killed by an illegally set body-crushing conibear trap.

Out for a walk with his guardian on a public trail in Auburn, NH, Andrew caught the scent of the baited trap and went to investigate. Next came a popping sound, followed by a yelp, as the trap slammed shut on Andrew’s neck.

Screaming, his guardian tried desperately to free him, but conibear traps are purposefully designed to be extremely difficult to open. In the end, all she could do was watch helplessly as her beloved companion suffered and died in front of her.

The trapper responsible for Andrew’s death, George Klardie, was charged with three counts of violating NH Fish and Game trapping rules and fined a total of $248.

In 2013, the New Hampshire Animal Rights League worked alongside other animal protection groups to get these body-crushing traps banished from New Hampshire’s landscape. The legislation, known as “Andrew’s Law,” did not pass, but the tragic death of this dog brought public attention to the issue.

While Andrew’s death was witnessed by his human companion and widely mourned, countless wild animals routinely endure the same horrible death in these traps.

NHARL board member Julia Sinclair gives testimony for Andrew’s Bill (HB 1579) in Representative’s Hall

Fur Farming

Fur is no longer primarily obtained by trapping animals in the wild. Today 80% of the fur comes from fur farming operations.

On these farms, rabbits, foxes, mink, and other wild animals spend their entire lives in cramped cages, deprived of the ability to engage in natural behaviors. Confinement drives them to pace relentlessly, tremble, and self-mutilate.

The day that the cage door finally opens is the day they are killed. The finale to a life of utter misery is an excruciating death, accomplished in one of several ways devised not to damage their fur. Preferred methods include gassing, poisoning, and anal/genital electrocution.

At least one fur farm has operated in New Hampshire, Gauthier Fur Farm in Lyndeborough, but reports indicate it has since closed. 

Hope for a Fur-Free Future

It’s been a long time coming — and too late for many animals — but 2019 brought an unprecedented shift in public attitude about fur. As consumers learned about the horrors of the fur industry, luxury brands, fashion houses, and department stores took note and began phasing out fur.

In 2019, Macy’s announced that they would stop the sale of fur and close their fur vaults by the end of 2020. This decision was celebrated by NHARL, who for many years held anti-fur demonstrations outside the Mall of New Hampshire, one of Macy’s locations.