Senator GERALD CARDINALE
District 39 (Bergen)
Senator ANTHONY R. BUCCO
District 25 (Morris)
Establishes $100 to $500 fine for owner of animal which attacks, injures, or otherwise interferes with law enforcement animals, search and rescue dogs, or service dogs; designated as “Dusty’s Law.”
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Act concerning attacks on certain animals by other animals and designated as “Dusty’s Law,” and supplementing Title 4 of the Revised Statutes.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. a. Any person who owns an animal which attacks, injures, or otherwise interferes with a dog, horse or other animal owned or used by a law enforcement agency, or a search and rescue dog or any kind of service dog, whether the dog, horse or other animal is in the process of being trained, or is fully trained and serving in the capacity for which it was trained, shall be liable to a mandatory civil penalty of not less than $100 or more than $500 for each such attack, injury, or act of interference, in addition to any penalty that may be applicable and imposed pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1983, c.261 (C.2C:29-3.1).
b. Any such civil penalty imposed may be collected with costs by the State or a municipality in a summary proceeding pursuant to the "Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999," P.L.1999, c.274 (C.2A:58-10 et seq.). The Superior Court and the municipal court shall have jurisdiction to enforce the provisions of the "Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999" in connection with this section.
c. As used in this section, "service dog" means any dog individually trained or in training by a recognized training agency or school to serve the requirements of a person with a disability including, but not limited to, pulling a wheelchair or retrieving dropped items, guiding blind persons or assisting deaf persons. “Service dog” shall also mean a "seizure dog" trained to alert or otherwise assist persons subject to epilepsy or other seizure disorders, and any dog referred to as a “guide dog.”
2. This act shall take effect immediately.
This bill establishes a mandatory civil fine of $100 to $500 for a person who owns any animal which attacks, injures, or otherwise interferes with a dog, horse or other animal owned or used by a law enforcement agency, or a search and rescue dog or any kind of service dog, whether the dog, horse or other animal is in the process of being trained or fully trained and serving in the capacity for which it was trained. The penalty would apply to each instance of attack, injury, or act of interference.
The bill is designated as “Dusty’s Law” in honor of Dusty, a seeing eye dog in training that was attacked by another dog during his training exercises. Attacks such as these often result in physical or emotional trauma, or both, that renders the service animal unable to continue in its service role, leading to a loss of resources, such as time and money spent on training the service animal.