SENATE, No. 1303

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

215th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED JANUARY 30, 2012

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  THOMAS H. KEAN, JR.

District 21 (Morris, Somerset and Union)

Senator  RICHARD J. CODEY

District 27 (Essex and Morris)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Senators Bateman, Pennacchio, A.R.Bucco and Lesniak

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Revises penalties for animal cruelty, increasing degree of certain offenses; designated as Patrick’s Law.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning animal cruelty and designated as “Patrick’s Law,” and amending R.S.4:22-17 and R.S.4:22-26.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    R.S.4:22-17 is amended to read as follows:

     4:22-17.      a. A person who shall:

     (1)   Overdrive, overload, drive when overloaded, or overwork [,] [deprive of necessary sustenance, abuse, or needlessly kill] a living animal or creature;

     (2)   Cause or procure, by any direct or indirect means, including but not limited to through the use of another living animal or creature, any such acts to be done; or

     (3)   Inflict unnecessary cruelty upon a living animal or creature, by any direct or indirect means, including but not limited to through the use of another living animal or creature; or unnecessarily fail to provide a living animal or creature of which the person has charge either as an owner or otherwise with proper food, drink, shelter or protection from the weather; or leave it unattended in a vehicle under inhumane conditions adverse to the health or welfare of the living animal or creature--

     Shall be guilty of a disorderly persons offense [, and notwithstanding] .  Notwithstanding the provisions of N.J.S.2C:43-3 to the contrary, for every [such] conviction of an offense pursuant to paragraph (1) or (2) of this subsection, the person shall be fined not less than $250 nor more than $1,000, or be imprisoned for a term of not more than six months, or both, in the discretion of the court; and for every conviction of an offense pursuant to paragraph (3) of this subsection, the person shall be fined not less than $500 nor more than $2,000, or be imprisoned for a term of not more than six months, or both, in the discretion of the court.

     If an animal is needlessly killed or dies as a result of a violation of this subsection, or the person has a prior conviction for a violation of this subsection, the person shall be guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.

     A violator of this subsection shall also be subject to the provisions of subsection c. and, if appropriate, subsection d. of this section.

     b.    A person who shall purposely, knowingly, or recklessly:

     (1)   Torment, torture, maim, hang, poison, unnecessarily or cruelly beat, [or] needlessly mutilate, deprive of necessary sustenance, or abuse a living animal or creature; or

     (2)   Cause or procure, by any direct or indirect means, including but not limited to through the use of another living animal or creature, any such acts to be done --

     Shall be guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.

     If the animal or creature is cruelly killed or dies as a result of a violation of this subsection, or the person has a prior conviction for a violation of this subsection, the person shall be guilty of a crime of the third degree.

     A violator of this subsection shall also be subject to the provisions of subsection c. and, if appropriate, subsection d. of this section.

     c.     For a violation of subsection a. or b. of this section, in addition to imposing any other appropriate penalties established for a crime of the third degree,  crime of the fourth degree, or disorderly persons offense, as the case may be, pursuant to Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes, the court shall impose a term of community service of up to 30 days, and may direct that the term of community service be served in providing assistance to the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, a district (county) society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, or any other recognized organization concerned with the prevention of cruelty to animals or the humane treatment and care of animals, or to a municipality's animal control or animal population control program.  The court also [may] shall require the violator to pay restitution , including but not limited to, the monetary cost of replacing the animal if it died or had to be euthanized because of the extent of its injuries, or otherwise reimburse any costs for food, drink, shelter, or veterinary care or treatment, or other costs, incurred by the owner of the animal, if the owner is not the person committing the act of cruelty, or incurred by any agency, entity, or organization investigating the violation, including but not limited to the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, a district (county) society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, any other recognized organization concerned with the prevention of cruelty to animals or the humane treatment and care of animals, [or] a local or State governmental entity , or a kennel, shelter, pound, or other facility providing for the shelter and care of the animal or animals involved in the violation.

     d.    If a juvenile is adjudicated delinquent for an act which, if committed by an adult, would constitute a disorderly persons offense pursuant to subsection a. of this section or a crime of the third degree or crime of the fourth degree pursuant to subsection b. of this section, the court also shall order the juvenile to receive mental health counseling by a licensed psychologist or therapist named by the court for a period of time to be prescribed by the licensed psychologist or therapist.

(cf: P.L.2005, c.105, s.1)


     2.    R.S.4:22-26 is amended to read as follows:

     4:22-26.  A person who shall:

     a.     (1) Overdrive, overload, drive when overloaded, or overwork [, deprive of necessary sustenance, abuse, or needlessly kill] a living animal or creature, or cause or procure, by any direct or indirect means, including but not limited to through the use of another living animal or creature, any such acts to be done;

     (2)   Torment, torture, maim, hang, poison, unnecessarily or cruelly beat, or needlessly mutilate , deprive of necessary sustenance, or abuse a living animal or creature, or cause or procure, by any direct or indirect means, including but not limited to through the use of another living animal or creature, any such acts to be done;

     (3)   Cruelly kill, or cause or procure, by any direct or indirect means, including but not limited to through the use of another living animal or creature, the cruel killing of, a living animal or creature, or otherwise cause or procure, by any direct or indirect means, including but not limited to through the use of another living animal or creature, the death of a living animal or creature from commission of any act described in paragraph (2) of this subsection;

     (4)   Needlessly kill a living animal or creature, or cause or procure, by any direct or indirect means, including but not limited to through the use of another living animal or creature, the death of a living animal or creature as a result of the commission of any act described in paragraph (1) of this subsection or subsection c. of this section;

     b.    (Deleted by amendment, P.L.2003, c.232).

     c.     Inflict unnecessary cruelty upon a living animal or creature, by any direct or indirect means, including but not limited to through the use of another living animal or creature; or unnecessarily fail to provide a living animal or creature of which the person has charge either as an owner or otherwise with proper food, drink, shelter or protection from the weather; or leave it unattended in a vehicle under inhumane conditions adverse to the health or welfare of the living animal or creature;

     d.    Receive or offer for sale a horse that is suffering from abuse or neglect, or which by reason of disability, disease, abuse or lameness, or any other cause, could not be worked, ridden or otherwise used for show, exhibition or recreational purposes, or kept as a domestic pet without violating the provisions of this article;

     e.     Keep, use, be connected with or interested in the management of, or receive money or other consideration for the admission of a person to, a place kept or used for the purpose of fighting or baiting a living animal or creature;

     f.     Be present and witness, pay admission to, encourage, aid or assist in an activity enumerated in subsection e. of this section;

     g.     Permit or suffer a place owned or controlled by him to be used as provided in subsection e. of this section;

     h.     Carry, or cause to be carried, a living animal or creature in or upon a vehicle or otherwise, in a cruel or inhumane manner;

     i.      Use a dog or dogs for the purpose of drawing or helping to draw a vehicle for business purposes;

     j.     Impound or confine or cause to be impounded or confined in a pound or other place a living animal or creature, and shall fail to supply it during such confinement with a sufficient quantity of good and wholesome food and water;

     k.    Abandon a maimed, sick, infirm or disabled animal or creature to die in a public place;

     l.      Willfully sell, or offer to sell, use, expose, or cause or permit to be sold or offered for sale, used or exposed, a horse or other animal having the disease known as glanders or farcy, or other contagious or infectious disease dangerous to the health or life of human beings or animals, or who shall, when any such disease is beyond recovery, refuse, upon demand, to deprive the animal of life;

     m.    Own, operate, manage or conduct a roadside stand or market for the sale of merchandise along a public street or highway; or a shopping mall, or a part of the premises thereof; and keep a living animal or creature confined, or allowed to roam in an area whether or not the area is enclosed, on these premises as an exhibit; except that this subsection shall not be applicable to:  a pet shop licensed pursuant to P.L.1941, c.151 (C.4:19-15.1 et seq.); a person who keeps an animal, in a humane manner, for the purpose of the protection of the premises; or a recognized breeders' association, a 4-H club, an educational agricultural program, an equestrian team, a humane society or other similar charitable or nonprofit organization conducting an exhibition, show or performance;

     n.     Keep or exhibit a wild animal at a roadside stand or market located along a public street or highway of this State; a gasoline station; or a shopping mall, or a part of the premises thereof;

     o.    Sell, offer for sale, barter or give away or display live baby chicks, ducklings or other fowl or rabbits, turtles or chameleons which have been dyed or artificially colored or otherwise treated so as to impart to them an artificial color;

     p.    Use any animal, reptile, or fowl for the purpose of soliciting any alms, collections, contributions, subscriptions, donations, or payment of money except in connection with exhibitions, shows or performances conducted in a bona fide manner by recognized breeders' associations, 4-H clubs or other similar bona fide organizations;

     q.    Sell or offer for sale, barter, or give away living rabbits, turtles, baby chicks, ducklings or other fowl under two months of age, for use as household or domestic pets;

     r.     Sell, offer for sale, barter or give away living baby chicks, ducklings or other fowl, or rabbits, turtles or chameleons under two months of age for any purpose not prohibited by subsection q. of this section and who shall fail to provide proper facilities for the care of such animals;

     s.     Artificially mark sheep or cattle, or cause them to be marked, by cropping or cutting off both ears, cropping or cutting either ear more than one inch from the tip end thereof, or half cropping or cutting both ears or either ear more than one inch from the tip end thereof, or who shall have or keep in the person's possession sheep or cattle, which the person claims to own, marked contrary to this subsection unless they were bought in market or of a stranger;

     t.     Abandon a domesticated animal;

     u.     For amusement or gain, cause, allow, or permit the fighting or baiting of a living animal or creature;

     v.     Own, possess, keep, train, promote, purchase, or knowingly sell a living animal or creature for the purpose of fighting or baiting that animal or creature;

     w.    Gamble on the outcome of a fight involving a living animal or creature;

     x.     Knowingly sell or barter or offer for sale or barter, at wholesale or retail, the fur or hair of a domestic dog or cat or any product made in whole or in part from the fur or hair of a domestic dog or cat, unless such fur or hair for sale or barter is from a commercial grooming establishment or a veterinary office or clinic or is for use for scientific research;

     y.     Knowingly sell or barter or offer for sale or barter, at wholesale or retail, for human consumption, the flesh of a domestic dog or cat or any product made in whole or in part from the flesh of a domestic dog or cat;

     z.     Surgically debark or silence a dog in violation of section 1 or 2 of P.L.2002, c.102 (C.4:19-38 or C.4:19-39);

     aa.   Use a live pigeon, fowl or other bird for the purpose of a target, or to be shot at either for amusement or as a test of skill in marksmanship, except that this subsection and subsections bb. and cc. shall not apply to the shooting of game;

     bb.  Shoot at a bird used as described in subsection aa. of this section, or is a party to such shooting; or

     cc.   Lease a building, room, field or premises, or knowingly permit the use thereof for the purposes of subsection aa. or bb. of this section --

     Shall forfeit and pay a sum according to the following schedule, to be sued for and recovered, with costs, in a civil action by any person in the name of the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals or a county society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, as appropriate, or, in the name of the municipality if brought by a certified animal control officer or animal cruelty investigator:

     For a violation of subsection e., f., g., u., v., w., or z. of this section or of paragraph (3) of subsection a. of this section, or for a second or subsequent violation of paragraph (2) of subsection a. of this section, a sum of not less than $3,000 nor more than $5,000;

     For a violation of subsection l. of this section [or] for a first violation of paragraph (2) of subsection a. of this section, or for a violation of paragraph (4) of subsection a. of this section, a sum of not less than $1,000 nor more than $3,000;

     For a violation of subsection c. of this section, a sum of not less than $500 nor more than $2,000;

     For a violation of subsection x. or y. of this section, a sum of not less than $500 nor more than $1,000 for each domestic dog or cat fur or fur or hair product or domestic dog or cat carcass or meat product;

     For a violation of subsection t. of this section, a sum of not less than $500 nor more than $1,000, but if the violation occurs on or near a highway, a mandatory sum of $1,000;

     For a violation of subsection [c.,] d., h., j., k., aa., bb., or cc. of this section or of paragraph (1) of subsection a. of this section, a sum of not less than $250 nor more than $1,000; and

     For a violation of subsection i., m., n., o., p., q., r., or s. of this section, a sum of not less than $250 nor more than $500.

(cf: P.L.2005, c.372, s.16)

 

     3.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill, designated as “Patrick’s Law,” increases to crimes of the fourth degree, the offenses of depriving an animal of necessary sustenance, or abusing an animal, and it increases the grade of these offenses to crimes of the third degree if the animal dies as a result of these acts.  The civil penalty for these offenses would also be increased under the bill to a fine of $1,000 to $3,000 for a first offense, and $3,000 to $5,000 for a second or subsequent offense.

     The bill would additionally increase the criminal and civil penalties for the following offenses:  1) inflicting unnecessary cruelty upon a living animal or creature, by any direct or indirect means, including but not limited to through the use of another living animal or creature; 2) unnecessarily failing to provide a living animal or creature of which the person has charge either as an owner or otherwise with proper food, drink, shelter or protection from the weather; or 3) leaving it unattended in a vehicle under inhumane conditions adverse to the health or welfare of the living animal or creature. The criminal penalty would be increased to a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $2,000, or imprisonment for a term of not more than six months, or both, at the discretion of the court. If an animal is needlessly killed or dies as a result of one of these violations, or the person has a prior conviction for a violation of this provision, the person would be guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.  The civil penalty recoverable under R.S.4:22-26 would be increased to a fine of $500 to $2,000.

     Furthermore, the bill requires that court-ordered restitution include the monetary cost of replacing the animal if it died or had to be euthanized because of the extent of its injuries, in addition to reimbursement of any costs for food, drink, shelter, or veterinary care or treatment, or other costs.  The bill clarifies that the reimbursement would be for costs incurred by the owner of the animal, if the owner is not the person committing the act of cruelty.

     This bill is being introduced in response to the treatment of Patrick, a pit bull in Newark, which after being starved to an extremely emaciated condition, was placed in a garbage bag, and dropped down a garbage chute in an apartment complex in that city. The dog is now being cared for and recuperating after a maintenance person in the building collecting garbage noticed movement in one of the garbage bags and found the dog still alive inside.