Press Release
Senator Tom Kean, Jr. Senator Tom Kean, Jr. (R-21)
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Contact: Robbie Kenney / (609) 847-3600
January 28, 2021
Senate Advances Kean/Singleton Bill Making Trunk Fighting a Third Degree Crime

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The Legislation Protects Dogs from Inhumane Treatment

Trunk fighting with dogs would become an animal cruelty offense and a crime of the third degree under legislation sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean and Senator Troy Singleton and approved today by the Senate.

The Senate approved legislation sponsored by Sen. Tom Kean and Sen. Troy Singleton that would protect dogs from inhumane, torturous trunk fighting. (©iStock)

The bill, S-975, defines trunk fighting as enclosing two or more dogs in the trunk of a motor vehicle and instigating them to fight to the death.

“This contemptible practice is morally reprehensible,” said Kean (R-21). “In New Jersey, we will not tolerate this barbaric and despicable activity. With this bill, we are sending a clear message to anyone who would consider fighting dogs in this most inhumane manner that they will face significant penalties and substantial fines.

“Man and dog have shared a symbiotic relationship for thousands of years,” said Kean continued. “This bill restores the bond between the species, and ensures dogs are treated like companions, not combatants.”

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

“During my time in the Legislature, I have sponsored multiple proposals to prioritize animal welfare,” said Senator Singleton (D-Burlington). “Trunk fighting is a horrifying act of animal cruelty where dogs are provoked to fight to their death in the trunk of a car. It is disgusting and it must not be tolerated in New Jersey. Those who commit this crime must be brought to justice and be punished accordingly.”

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