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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Four dog-related bills are scheduled to be considered and voted on by the New Jersey General Assembly at 1PM on Monday, December 19, 2016.  The American Kennel Club encourages all New Jersey residents concerned with any of the following bills to contact their Assembly member and the Assembly Speaker with their concerns. 

Dog-related bills scheduled for consideration and a vote include:

  • A.308 – This bill would prohibit those convicted of an animal cruelty offense from participating as an owner, employee, or volunteer at an animal-related enterprise; and bar them from owning a domestic companion animal for a court-specified period of time.  Under A.308, after conviction a court may appoint a receiver to whom ownership and custody of an animal shall be transferred, but does not require that non-possessory co-owners’ interest would supersede all other parties that may serve as receiver.  Owners of animal-related enterprises would be required to determine that a prospective employee or volunteer has not been convicted of a cruelty violation by (1) requesting and receiving a determination by the state’s Commissioner of Health that the person does not appear on a public list of those ineligible to be animal control officers and by (2) having performed a criminal background check on all employees, prospective employees, or volunteers.  The AKC believes this bill should be amended to ensure that the property rights of co-owners who were not party to the underlying criminal incident be protected by ensuring they are first to take possession of such animals. 
     
  • A.2041 – This bill allows courts to issue an animal protection order against a person found guilty of animal abuse or otherwise violating animal cruelty crimes.  The order may require the person to refrain from interacting with a specific or any other animal permanently or for a period of time specified by the court. 
     
  • A.2052 – This bill amends the definition of “necessary care” in the state’s animal cruelty law.  Changes include (1) exceptions for emergencies or circumstances beyond the reasonable control of the person responsible for the animal; (2) providing that adequate protection from the weather includes an enclosed non-hazardous structure to protect the animal against cold and dampness and for adequate protection against extreme or excessive sunlight and from overexposure to the sun, heat, and other weather condition; and (3) reasonable access to a clean and adequate exercise area. 
     
  • A.3636 – This bill provides immunity from civil and criminal liability for those who break into and enter a vehicle if the person reasonably believes that an animal that has been left unattended in the vehicle under inhumane conditions, that the animal is in imminent danger of serious harm, and the person in good faith enters the vehicle in order to remove or render emergency care to the animal.  The bill requires the person to immediately report the circumstances to rescue personnel, and make a reasonable effort to locate the owner or other person responsible for the animal.  After rescue, the person shall immediately contact a law enforcement officer or animal control officer to provide notification of the action.  Law enforcement is then required to seek immediate veterinary care for the animal and commence an investigation. 

WHAT YOU CAN DO:
New Jersey residents concerned with any of the dog-related bills listed above are strongly encouraged to contact their Assembly member and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto and respectfully express their concerns. 

To find your Assembly member, click here to access the New Jersey Legislature’s online Find Your Legislator tool

Email Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto at AsmPrieto@njleg.org

For additional information on these bills or other pending legislation in New Jersey, contact AKC Government Relations at doglaw@akc.org.  

Four dog-related bills are scheduled to be considered and voted on by the New Jersey General Assembly at 1PM on Monday, December 19, 2016. The American Kennel Club encourages all New Jersey residents concerned with any of the following bills to contact their Assembly member and the Assembly Speaker with their concerns.

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact us at enewsletter@akc.org
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