Continuing their efforts to prevent the cruel treatment of animals, Senator Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Dave Wolfe and Greg McGuckin (all R-Ocean) have introduced legislation to prohibit the inhumane tethering of dogs.
Legislation sponsored by Sen. Jim Holzapfel and Asm. Dave Wolfe and Greg McGuckin (all R-Ocean) would prohibit the inhumane tethering of dogs. (©iStock.com)
“As legislators and pet owners, we have always been passionate about protecting animals from abusive pet owners,” said Holzapfel. “It’s difficult to understand why someone would chain or restrain their ‘pet’ for long periods of time to the point where the dog cannot care for itself. It’s deplorable.”
The bill, S-3061/A-4628, makes it unlawful to tether a dog that poses a risk of entanglement, strangulation, drowning or other harm to the health or safety of the dog. It also prohibits the tethering of a dog during severe weather conditions. Dogs at risk of imminent harm may be seized by authorities. Violators face fines and jail time.
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“Leaving a dog tethered to a tree or a stake for long periods of time is inhumane,” said Wolfe. “Not only does it make it impossible for them to reach their food and water, it also makes them sitting targets for attacks by other animals and bugs. Left to fend for themselves, they usually end up getting bit by mosquitoes and ticks which carry disease. This measure sends a strong message to abusive pet owners and others who mistreat dogs that their behavior will now have consequences.”
“Being tied to a rope or chain which often results in injury or strangulation is bad enough, but these defenseless animals are also exposed to harsh weather conditions such as extreme heat, bitter cold, snow, rain and hail,” stated McGuckin. “There’s no excuse for treating an animal like that. Man’s best friends deserve the same love and loyalty they provide for their owners.”
Holzapfel, Wolfe and McGuckin also sponsored legislation to expand the state’s Pet Purchase Protection Act. Signed by Gov. Christie earlier this year, the law requires pet stores to provide consumers with breeder information about each cat or dog being offered for sale and prevents stores from obtaining animals from breeders who don’t meet basic care standards that comply with federal and state law.