New Jersey's Animal Cruelty Laws were recently amended to make it unlawful to expose any dog, domestic companion animal, or service animal to adverse environmental conditions for more than 30 minutes, unless the animal has continuous access to proper shelter. Adverse weather conditions include temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit or other cold weather or precipitation-related environmental conditions, including, but not limited to, wind, rain, snow, ice, sleet or hail that a person should reasonably know would pose a risk to the health or safety of the dog or to temperatures above 90 degrees Fahrenheit or exposure to direct sunlight or hot pavement or any other hot surfaces that a person should reasonably know would pose an adverse risk to the health or safety of the animal.
In addition, it is also unlawful to tether a dog outside between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. This provision of the law does not take effect until February of 2019.
A first offense for any of the above violations may result in a fine of up to $100; a second offense may result in a fine of up to $200; a third of subsequent offense may result in fines up to $1,000 and the confiscation of the animal in certain circumstances.
This is not an all-inclusive explanation of the new law and all of its requirements. A complete version of the law can be viewed by clicking HERE. Please treat your pets with the care and dignity they deserve!
If you have any questions, please contact Animal Control Officer Meredith Petrillo at 973-627-4900 ext. 265.