UPDATE: The Fight Over Unrestrained Dogs in Cars Continues in New Jersey

Should it be a crime to have an unrestrained dog in your car, or is this a
case of government overstepping its bounds?

photo via nydailynews.com

Back in June, we posted about a crackdown on unrestrained dogs in cars in New Jersey. The New York Daily News reported yesterday that there are now dueling bills in the New Jersey State Assembly seeking to either ensure either that dog owners pay a penalty for loose dogs or that the state cannot fine individuals for such an offense.

Bill No. 3221—sponsored by Assemblywoman L. Grace Spencer (D)—could establish that failure to use a pet harness in a motor vehicle is an animal cruelty offence. A violation could result in a $20 ticket and a civil penalty of up to $1,000. . . .Bill No. 3182—sponsored by Assemblyman Jay Webber (R), among others—proposes that failure to restrain an animal does not constitute animal cruelty. “It would prevent citizens from being fined or imprisoned for not putting a belt on their pets in their vehicles,” Tom Weisert, Webber’s chief of staff, told the
Daily News.

As is all too common with issues like these, it may end up that neither bill is passed. Faced with difficult questions, many politicians find it safer to do nothing. One wonders if there is perhaps a middle ground here—one that could promote dog safety without seeming like an intrusion. What do you think?

Click here for the full story.

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