Urgent Action Needed!!
Call and Email Legislators Below to Stop a Bill That Will Round Up and Kill Hundreds of Thousands of "Large Dogs" New Jersey Bill A2401, the "Responsible Dog Act"
Please call and email the following state Assembly Agriculture Committee members and tell them the following.Please vote no on A2401 for the following reasons: This bill will quickly overcrowd shelters and kill many innocent dogsThis bill will destroy families by stealing loving family petsThis bill will cause severe financial hardships to municipalitiesThis bill will significantly raise taxesEric Houghtaling: 732-695-3371; AsmHoughtaling@njleg.org
Eric Houghtaling: 732-695-3371; AsmHoughtaling@njleg.org
Adam J. Taliaferro: 856-339-0808;AsmTaliaferro@njleg.org
Ronald S. Dancer: 609-758-0205; AsmDancer@njleg.org
Lisa Swain: 201-576-9199; AswSwain@njleg.org
Parker Space: 908-441-6343; AsmSpace@njleg.org
Urgent Action - Call and Email Legislators Below to Stop a Bill That Will Round Up and Kill Hundreds of Thousands of "Large Dogs"
New Jersey Bill A2401, the "Responsible Dog Act", would require all owners of "large dogs" to have a fenced in yard or face a $500 per day fine. Under the bill, the state health department would determine what "large dogs" would require fencing and the type of fencing and the dimensions of the fencing. Additionally, the bill would require the state health department to determine what types of leashes dog owners could use. The New Jersey Assembly's Agriculture Committee will hold a virtual hearing on this bill on Wednesday, June 9 at 12:00 PM. If it passes, the bill will move closer to becoming state law.
A2401 would result in the round up of massive numbers of dogs. Based on U.S. census and American Pets Products Association survey data, I estimate over 850,000 medium (which include many pit bulls that this bill appears to target) and large dogs and around 430,000 large dogs live in New Jersey in homes without fences. Given the high cost of fencing, it is likely that owners would have to surrender the vast majority of these dogs to shelters. Furthermore, many of these dog owners live in apartments, rented homes and in home owner associations where they can not build a fence. Thus, this bill would tear huge numbers of families apart.
The bill would result in the mass killing of pet dogs never seen in the United States before. Based on 2019 New Jersey shelter data, the state's shelters have around 1,400 available dog enclosures. If this bill resulted in the impoundment of all dogs who live in homes without fences, this would cause shelters to house around 76,000 large and medium dogs or 38,000 large dogs each day if all these dogs were surrendered over a 90 day period. Since the state's shelters do not have the capacity to hold these dogs, the facilities would kill these animals or other dogs they'd displace. Furthermore, New Jersey's shelters would have to violate the state's 7 day ban on killing owner surrendered animals due to these facilities having no space to hold almost all these animals.
A2401 would cause severe financial harm to municipalities and taxpayers. Assuming shelters held these dogs the required 7 days under state law, I estimate the facilities would incur $91 million (if shelters have a vet on staff) to $156 million (if the facilities use an outside veterinarian) to care for and kill the medium and large dogs. If the shelters only impounded large dogs, I estimate these costs would be $45 million to $78 million. Furthermore, I estimate the cost to build proper facilities to house these dogs and comply with state humane care and holding period laws would be around $3 billion for large and medium dogs or $1.5 billion for large dogs. Under this bill, I estimate each New Jersey household would end up paying $424 to $867 in taxes initially and more in the future.
This bill will not increase public safety. Decades of breed specific legislation shows that laws banning so-called "dangerous breeds" did not decrease dog bites compared to places without such legislation. Additionally, dog bites in the country have decreased massively over the last several decades and therefore no dog bite epidemic exists.
Please call and email the following state Assembly Agriculture
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