Faced with strong opposition from New Jersey dog owners, Assemblyman John Burzichelli has vowed to withdraw his breed-specific bill (A2906) when the legislature reconvenes in May. In a statement made on March 21st, Asm. Burzichelli said he plans to introduce new, generic legislation that will strengthen the state's dangerous dog law without targeting specific breeds.
A2906 would have required a special license for all “pit bulls,” including American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Staffordshire Terriers and any dog determined to be a pit bull type. The legislation also provided for very strict provisions for keeping pit bulls, with violators being subject to fines of up to $1,000 per day.
When A2906 was first introduced last fall, the AKC, AKC clubs in New Jersey, and other dog clubs and individuals quickly organized a fervent opposition campaign. Outraged dog owners, including AKC President Al Cheaure, wrote, faxed, and e-mailed their representatives, keeping the pressure on over the next several months. The AKC, the New Jersey Federation of Dog Clubs, the Delaware Valley APBT Club, the neighboring Responsible Dog Owners Association of New York and others repeatedly provided Asm. Burzichelli with alternative language that was not breed-specific. These determined efforts were rewarded by the Assemblyman's recent announcement, and fanciers are extremely pleased by the news.
Despite the good news regarding A2906, New Jersey dog owners still face an identical bill (S2381) that was recently introduced in the Senate. The AKC will continue to work with fanciers to oppose the legislation, and we strongly urge dog owners to keep up the flow of communications to New Jersey senators.
The defeat of A2906 is another excellent example of dog owners working together to positively impact legislation. Congratulations to all New Jersey residents who contributed to this success!
What You Can Do:
- E-mail, call or write your NJ Senator and urge him/her to oppose S2381. (To find your legislator's contact information, visit http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/members/legsearch.asp.)
- Contact the Senate bill sponsor and tell him New Jersey dog owners oppose S2381.
Senator Sharpe James (D-29)
State House Box 099
Trenton, NJ 08625-0099
609-292-5339 (No e-mail)
- Share this information with fellow dog owners in New Jersey.
For more information, contact:
AKC Canine Legislation dept.
NJ Federation of Dog Clubs
Faced with strong opposition from New Jersey dog owners, Assemblyman John Burzichelli