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On Monday, November 14, the New Jersey Senate is scheduled to vote on a bill that would impact those who are charged with cruelty violations and whose animals are seized. 

AKC urges New Jersey residents to call their State Senator and express concerns with Senate Bill 2454.  Visit the AKC Legislative Action Center and type your address in the “Find Your Elected Officials” box to get the name and contact information for your State Senator. 

Summary: 

Under Senate Bill 2454, those accused of cruelty are responsible for the costs of care of the animals during the hearings.  The bill does allow the court to adjust the actual amount to be paid based on the owner’s financial circumstances.  However, this is not required and Senate Bill 2454 would still make it possible for a person to permanently lose their animals– even before a verdict is reached — if they miss a payment.

While AKC appreciates that under this bill the burden of proof is on the agency seizing the animals to prove that cruelty has occurred, and that the owner’s financial situation may be considered, there are still numerous concerns.  The seizing agency may not be held liable for any harm to the animals while in their care unless it was wanton neglect or intentional.  Further, there is no protection to ensure the animals may not be sterilized or otherwise altered while in the agency’s care. 

The AKC believes this bill would infringe on the rights of responsible dog owners, and in particular is concerned that someone may permanently lose their animals even if they are ultimately found not guilty. 

Read AKC’s article “Guilty Until Proven Innocent?” for talking points and more information on this issue.

AKC Government Relations and the New Jersey Federation of Dog Clubs will continue to closely monitor this legislation.  For more information, contact AKC Government Relations at doglaw@akc.org.

On Monday, November 14, the New Jersey Senate is scheduled to vote on a bill that would impact those who are charged with cruelty violations and whose animals are seized.

AKC urges New Jersey residents to call their State Senator and express concerns with Senate Bill 2454.

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