TRENTON, NJ – If a Democrat-sponsored bill in Trenton passes and is signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy, dog owners who don’t have fences will be subjected to the same law that penalizes child sex offenders, child pornographers, and child rapists.
Democrats in Trenton want New Jersey dog owners to do better. If a new bill proposed by state Democrats passes, it would mean that part of your municipal dog licensing process will also involve the local building department. Democrats want all dog owners to be required to fence in their yards.
They are calling it the “Responsible Dog Ownership Act“.
“The Legislature finds and declares that there is a need to focus attention on the behavior of, and safe interaction with, all dogs in the communities of the State; that children are at particular risk from confrontations with unrestrained dogs, due to the size of children in relation to many dogs, but also because of their innocence, inexperience, and emotional perceptions; that dog owners embrace their role as caretakers and trainers of their dogs and are likely to be the first to wish to curtail any negative interactions between themselves, their dogs, children, and any other members of the communities in which they live; and that any regulation of dog behavior must be implemented with consideration, forethought, and reasonableness for the good of both the public and dog owners in the State,” the bill reads. “The Legislature, therefore, determines that it is in the public interest and for the well being of our children and our dogs that the State develop leashing and fencing requirements for dogs, to be implemented by the municipalities in the State, and establish penalties for certain violations that threaten the safety of our children and all members of our communities, all of which are in keeping with responsible dog ownership to which so many, if not all, dog owners in the State are committed and subscribe.”
According to the bill, the bigger the dog, the more you will be responsible for providing security to contain that dog on your property. That will be determined of course, by your local municipality. What is a large dog? Ask your local council and mayor, because they’re the ones who will write the laws and penalties for your town.
Towns will have to decide the size of the dog that would constitute a large dog necessitating fencing for the protection and well being of the public at large, the appropriate height and dimensions of an enclosed fenced area for such large dogs so as to properly protect the public and ensure the well-being of the dog, standards for leashing, restraining, and otherwise restricting the free movement of a dog when it is off the property of its owner, and the appropriate requirements for the control and regulation of the free movement of dogs all sizes of dogs off the property of an owner in the State.
If you don’t build a fence for your big dog, you could be fined $500, or worse charged with the crime of endangering the welfare of a child. Democrats also propose to amend the state statute 2C:24-4 Endangering Welfare of Children. Endangering Welfare of Children, to include people who do not fence in their dogs. This law is usually reserved for child sex offenders, child pornographers, and child rapists. Convictions carry prison sentences ranging from 5 to 10 years or more.