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New Bill Requires Owners of Big Dogs to Build Tall Fences

Law Offices of James M. Curran

If you’re like many residents of New Jersey, you’re a proud dog owner. There is a new bill in the state that will require owners of large dogs to build tall fences to keep their pets on their properties. It’s important to understand more about this bill and how it will affect you if it passes.

What is the New Bill?

After several complaints of dog bites afflicting the public, the state proposed a new bill, A-2401, the Responsible Dog Ownership Act. If the bill is passed, it would require individuals who have large breed dogs to build tall fences around their properties to keep their pets in, preventing them from escaping and potentially harming the public. There are other measures proposed in the bill, including keeping dogs on leashes to secure them.

How is the New Bill Being Viewed?

Some local politicians announced that they would oppose the A-2401 bill, stating that the requirement of tall fencing can pose financial hardships to homeowners. They also cited the bill’s requirements as a very drastic measure and questioned whether it truly is in the interests of the public’s safety. Certain animal welfare groups also oppose the bill.

The bill also states that anyone who owns large breed dogs and doesn’t comply with the rules will be subject to fines. Additionally, it states that if any dog owner deliberately and knowingly lets his or her dog wander around without a leash in neighborhoods, parks or other areas, especially where children may be present, may be subject to criminal charges.

An assemblyman who sponsored the bill stated that the point of the measure is to keep dog owners responsible and prevent dog bites and attacks from occurring. He added that fencing around a large dog’s property should be high enough to keep the dog from escaping, such as by jumping over fencing that’s too low or digging its way out from under a fence.

The measure would not apply to dog owners who live in apartments or townhouses but only to those living in private houses.

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