NJ lawmakers mull bill to impose stricter regulations, penalties for owners of large dogs

Anyone who owns a large dog in New Jersey may one day be required to have a fence for that pet.

News 12 Staff

Jun 12, 2021, 2:23 AM

Updated 1,047 days ago

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Anyone who owns a large dog in New Jersey may one day be required to have a fence for that pet.
A bill moving through the state Legislature, known as the Responsible Dog Ownership Act, was created partly in response to a deadly dog attack in Carteret earlier this year.
A 3-year-old boy was killed in the March 17 attack. Two pit bulls mauled the boy and were subsequently euthanized.
The bill would require that owners have fencing for large dogs and it imposes leash laws to ensure that dogs are never allowed to run free. The bill also sets up serious penalties for dog owners if their pets injure someone or take a life, including reckless homicide and aggravated assault.
Alan Braslow is with the nonprofit Dog Advocacy and Rescue Inc. He says that this bill is a waste of time and says leash laws and other dangerous dog laws already on the books simply need to be enforced.
"We have leashing laws in 99% of New Jersey. How about enforcing that?” he asks.
Braslow says that not everyone can afford or is even allowed to have a fence.
“It puts responsible dog owners in a terrible situation where they might have to surrender their beloved pets to a shelter or be fined for the inability to install a fence,” he says.
Another child died this week after being attacked by his family’s dog in Elizabeth. That boy fell out of a window in his home and was attacked.
Braslow says that the Responsible Dog Ownership Act would not have prevented this tragedy even if it was in place at the time.
If the law passes, it will be up to each municipality to determine what constitutes a "large dog."


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