[nagdu] Bill to crack down on dog-on-dog violence is headed to Chris Christie's desk

Ginger Kutsch GingerKutsch at yahoo.com
Tue Jan 7 14:16:59 UTC 2014

Bill to crack down on dog-on-dog violence is headed to Chris Christie's desk

By  Matt Friedman/The Star-Ledger   



"Winny," a golden retriever guide dog, peers down from the second floor
balcony during a break in the filming of a 2008 public service 

TRENTON - Letting your pet mess with service or guide dogs could land you in
the kennel under a bill that's on its way to Gov. Chris Christie's desk. 


The Assembly voted 79-0 to give final approval to "Dusty's Law" (S1907),
named for a seeing eye puppy from Bergen County who was attacked by a pit
pull while undergoing training in 2010. Although Dusty survived, he was
unable to continue his training due to emotional distress. 


Under the bill, a person who recklessly kills - or allows his animal to kill
- a guide or service dog could be punished by up to 18 months in prison and
a fine of as much as $10,000. Recklessly causing injury to the dog could
result in up to 6 months in prison or a $1,000 fine. And recklessly
interfering with the dog could land you in jail for 30 days and with a $500


"Guide dogs provide an invaluable benefit to those with disabilities. For
individuals who are blind, deaf or have vision or hearing impairments, they
are their eyes and ears," said Assemblyman Scott Rumana (R-Passaic), the
bill's sponsor, in a December press release. "This measure is a major step
in recognizing the important role these vital animals play in assisting
those with an impairment and sends a message that abusing or killing these
animals will have significant repercussions." 


Perpetrators could also be forced to pay restitution, including for a
replacement dog, the expenses that went go into training it and vet bills. 


"Recklessly" is defined as "consciously disregard(ing) a substantial and
unjustifiable risk." 


The bill passed the state Senate in December by a vote of 38-0. 


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