New Jersey's 21st Legislative District

Senator Tom Kean, Jr.

Senator Tom Kean

Committee Advances Kean Bill Protecting Dogs from Cruelty

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Legislation Establishes Trunk Fighting as a Third-Degree Crime

Legislation strengthening protections against animal cruelty today cleared the Senate Environment and Energy Committee.

A Senate committee advanced Senator Kean’s legislation that would designate ‘trunk fighting’ of dogs an animal cruelty offense and a crime of the third degree. (

Sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean, bill S-975 defines “trunk fighting” as the barbaric practice of enclosing two or more dogs in the trunk of a motor vehicle and instigating them to fight to the death. The bill establishes the contemptible act as an animal cruelty offense and a crime of the third degree.

“We’re sending a clear message to anyone who would consider fighting dogs in this most inhumane manner,” said Kean (R-21). “Trunk fighting is morally reprehensible and it will not be tolerated it in New Jersey.”

In addition to making trunk fighting a third-degree crime, the bill provides for civil penalties up to $5,000 for each offense.

“The thirst for blood and money overwhelms common decency for some people, and they abuse dogs for amusement and financial gain,” said Kean. “Humans and canines have shared a mutually beneficial relationship for more than 15,000 years. This bill is intended to restore the bond between species, and ensure dogs are treated like companions, not combatants.”

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